THE BLOG
09/29/2015 10:47 am ET Updated Sep 29, 2016

Coffman's Anti-Science Stance Pulls Down the Republican Party

On a couple of ocassions, Colorado GOP Chair Steve House has stated publicly that State Rep. Gorden Klingenschmitt of Colorado Springs doesn't speak for the Republican Party. Last week, for example, after Klingenschmitt called Allah a "false god," House told 9News: "House: Representative Klingenschmitt has a Constitutional right to free speech," House wrote in a statement. "However, as I've said several times in the past, Gordon does not speak on behalf of our Party, and his hurtful words do not represent our values."

Last week on KNUS 710-AM's "Rush to Reason," House supported stem cell research, a view that's also not shared by all in the GOP.

Stem cells are obtained from embryos, which form after a human egg and sperm join. So we're talking about the earliest stage of human development.

Some Republicans, including Congressman Mike Coffman of Aurora, want to ban stem cell research because they consider embryos to be human life, even if the embryos are obtained from fertizilization clinics that would otherwise dispose of them. (Even "pluripotent stem cells," which are used in research and are derived from adult stem cells, are grown at the University of Colorado Medical School using embryonic stem cells for comparison purposes.)

As 9News reported in 2012: "This year, Congressman Coffman was asked point blank by Colorado Right to Life, 'Will you oppose any research or practice that would intentionally destroy the tiniest living humans, embryonic stem cell research?' With a pen he wrote, 'Yes.'"

9News also reported, "A spokesperson says, he isn't against stem-cell research in general, just embryonic, because the cells are harvested from embryos, and he says, that is a human life."

On the radio Sept. 22, House included stem-cell research as part of an "optimistic view of technology" that should be part of the "GOP message."

House: I think the next decade and a half will be the greatest decade of innovation in American history. Just reading recently about stem cell research. And how they can create brain cells. They're trying to deal with Alzheimer's. A lot of people don't realize that Alzheimer's is a $174,000 cost to manage an Alzheimer's patient. And cost is not the major factor.

Host John Rush: But the cost is there.

House: It's such a tough disease. They've figured out how to have stem cells create brain cells. So now they are doing testing on brain cells created by stem cells, so they can try to figure out drugs to slow down the progression of the disease. And $174,000 for a lifetime cost and rising, Alzheimer's by itself could bankrupt America flat-out because of aging. So there's some really amazing stuff going on right now with technology that we haven't talked about. It's advancing so fast that we could do a radio show almost every week and we wouldn't not keep up.

So I'm hoping that House distances the Republican Party from guys like Coffman who oppose stem cell research, like he did with Klingenschmitt, who trashed Muslims.

How great would it be if House put his "message" about an "optimistic view of technology" to work right away, by saying something like, "Congressman Coffman's hurtful words don't represent the values of the Republican Party when he opposes basic scientific research that has the potential to save so many lives and make the world greater for all of us."

Steve House on KNUS 710-AM's Rush to Reason, with John Rush, Sept. 22, 2015


https://soundcloud.com/bigmedia-org/steve-house-talk-with-john-rush-on-rush-to-reason-klz-september-22-2015