Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Two-Faced Kirk Actually One-Faced on Stem Cells

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Mark Kirk is in favor of stem cell research.

    We've known this for years. Fact, in 2005, Kirk co-sponsored a bill overturning President George W. Bush’s ban on embryonic stem cell research. The bill passed, but was vetoed by the president.

    Now he'd like a bill making Obama’s endorsement of stem cell research permanent, so it can’t be meddled with by some future right-wing, pro-life president.

    What's going on? Isn't Kirk, like, a Republican? Didn't he promise to "lead the effort" to repeal health care reform? Bueller?

    Conservatives are already enraged. In response, the conservative Illinois Review snarled that Kirk "wants to make taxpayer funding of embryo experimentation permanent" because that stance "would be rejected by a radically pro-abort Democratic Congress and president.”

    (Nevermind that stem cell research was endorsed by First Lady of Conservatism Nancy Reagan, who believed it could have cured her husband’s Alzheimer’s disease.)

    But that’s exactly the reaction Kirk is looking for. Kirk made himself look like a fool by promising to repeal health care reform, a promise he couldn’t keep. So now he has to stiff-arm conservatives to demonstrate to mainstream Illinoisans that he’s not a right-wing stooge. And he has to show that he can stay consistent on a controversial issue, in spite of pressure from the GOP’s Tea Party wing.

    The Democratic Senate Campaign Committee is mocking Kirk’s ideological flexibility with a pseudo-comic titled “The Adventures of Two-Faced Kirk.”

    It’s subtitled “His Position Is Based On Who Flips Him Coin,” and it criticizes Kirk for flip-flopping on health care repeal, federal ear marks, cap and trade and unemployment extensions.

    But Kirk has only had one face on stem-cell research. That would be “In Your Face, Conservatives!”