So the Stem Cell research bill squeaked by in the house, just as the Senate moderates made their compromise just in time. (FWIW, seven of CC's firm's clients were for the bill. )
It's early to declare a trend of moderation winning out over conservatism, but these recent developments are a good sign.
Also, I really like this essay.
I knew about the Faustlings' history and had been thinking about them often during the debate over this issue.
Addendum after reading Joel's response:
It is possible that Bush did make a mistake by fighting this one on moral rather than financial grounds. The issue really was government funding of the research rather than the research itself.
But I can also see why Bush fought it the way he did.
1. Arguing morals has worked for Bush many times before.
2. Fighting government funding of research quickly leads to questions about if we should be paying for the expensive yet immensely popular NASA. Even libertarians don't mind the government paying to research weapons, and weapons development does not happen independently of developments in other sciences.
People who attack this bill as a ban on the research itself are wrong.
People who attack Bush for arguing as if his problem is with the research, not necessarily the funding for it, are justified in doing so because that's the position Bush himself has taken in using the "snowflake babies" etc.