We Must Proceed With Great Care

In a 21st century speech on stem-cell funding, Bush budges and finds compromise. Will it work?

Prime-time Presidential addresses are good for declaring war on enemies foreign and domestic. We've had the War on Poverty, on crime, on drugs, and these exercises are often as much about defining a presidency as defeating an enemy. So it tells you something about the times we live in that George W. Bush's first big televised chat with the nation was not about war or welfare or weapons systems, but about bioethics. And it tells you even more about Bush that he chose to redefine his presidency through an issue he barely mentioned during the campaign, one so complex it can...

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