PERFIDIOUS BILL FRIST
August 1, 2005
"Politics is the conduct of public affairs for private advantage." --Ambrose Bierce
Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist sent shock waves through that 87-square miles surrounded by reality by endorsing a bill to make more embryonic stem-cell research eligible for federal money. It is a significant and �expediant� break with the President who has already indicated he will veto the legislation.
Dwight Eisenhower said, �May we never confuse honest dissent with disloyal subversion.� It is a classic challenge for partisans of every stripe. However, there is no confusion over the perfidious �epiphany� of Frist.
Why would a Senate Majority Leader flip off his party�s president?
The answer is the same ambition and duplicity that has driven Hillary Clinton to reinvent herself for political viability. Neither Frist nor Hillary are expressing the �honest dissent� Ike referred to�this is the �disloyal subversion� variety of do-over. Form over substance/perception versus reality�a ham fisted attempt at a Machiavellian finesse to �prepare the battlefield� for a wannabe presidential contender has synthesized into the sad reality check that Bill Frist is not the principled man sold, but rather a disappointment with feet of clay.
Confusius said, �"To see what is right, and not do it, is want of courage, or of principle." Frist has demonstrated (again) that he lacks both courage AND principle. And this is a guy who reportedly intends to run for president?
This is the same �leader� who repeatedly has revealed the spine of an octopus.
Insider sources told me, during the initial Bolton brouhaha, Frist was so focused on preparing for his �08 Presidential race he couldn�t keep his eye on the ball in the Senate.
To paraphrase Samuel Adams, if you love ambition more than principle�go away. We don�t want or need your counsel. Lick the hand that feeds you (or promises to feed you); �and posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.�
�Perfidious� is defined as �not true to duty or obligation: disloyal, faithless, false, false-hearted, recreant, traitorous, treacherous, unfaithful, untrue...Sounds like Frist to me!
In his defense, Frist is only doing what politicians do. However, �everybody does it� is a dog that ain�t gonna hunt.
I�m not the Lone Ranger in expressing disappointment, anger and frustration at Frist�s finesse.
Frist knows the president will veto this finesse�because the president has told him so. The only reason to call for expanding federal funding of something that so duplicitous is for political leverage.
The dreamquest promise of embryonic stem-cell research has been mantled in hype and never proven. Government (if they have to get involved�which is arguable) should focus on adult stem-cell research and research into umbilical cord blood, which is already producing treatments.
A �reasonable� politician (perhaps an oxymoron) would conclude a superior direction would be to throw money at what is already working�instead of a hyped fantasy that is in fashion.
� 2005 Geoff Metcalf - All
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