Last night I caught on t.v. an ad supporting Governor Granholm's re-election. Like the ad I saw last week, it was a little slick with the truth. Looks like Guv Jen and her gang want to make it clear, as challenger Dick DeVos and his crew have done, that the truth is no obstacle to electoral success this fall.
In the ad the announcer declared that DeVos wants to ban stem cell research and that Granholm supports it and the cures that research has provided for disease. The ad is dishonest, because:  What DeVos opposes is public funding of embryonic stem cell research, and  only adult and umbilical chord stem cell research, which DeVos supports, has yielded treatments for disease so far. Thus, the ad smears DeVos (doesn't he do a good enough job of smearing himself?) while obscuring an important campaign issue: Whether or not taxpayer dollars should finance embryonic stem cell research. Granholm thinks so and DeVos doesn't.
You see, there are three sources of stem cells. Embryos, umbilical chords, and adults. Opposition to embryonic stem cell research, or at least public funding of it, is premised on the fact that an embryo is killed when its stem cells are extracted from it. No one is killed by harvesting stem cells from umbilical chords or adults. So the moral issue surrouding embryonic stem cell research is hardly frivolous and merits better than the ad's demogoguery implying that DeVos wants people to suffer by blocking research into a breakthrough medical technology.
Beyond that, there is the practical matter of requiring the taxpayers to finance embryonic stem cell research. After decades of research, it still offers no promise of any treatment for disease, let alone a cure. However, adult stem cell research has produced about seventy different therapies actually helping sufferers of disease right now. So adult stem cell research is real, while embryonic stem cell research remains pie in the sky. Little wonder the latter doesn't attract the investment of private capital like the former. In that case, why should the taxpayers step up to the plate to finance embryonic stem cell research when private investors won't?
Granholm says the taxpayers should. But don't they deserve a better argument from her than dishonesty about what DeVos opposes and promises of cures that embryonic stem cell research has yet to keep?