After spreading fear through Republican ranks by announcing that he’d address the Democratic convention, Ron Prescott Reagan made one thing clear last night — the boy is a dope.

Didn’t the Democrats vet his speech to make sure he wouldn’t come across as the boob son of a great man eager to cash in on his surname?

The science was unsound and so obviously shallow that Reagan did little good for his own side, though I suspect that was secondary to his Oedipal desire to stick it to George Bush. It must be galling that Bush has inherited his father’s mantle, along with the white cowboy hat. But it takes a big man to wear that hat, and Ron Prescott is not that man.

Still, the junk science–presented to those Americans who had not yet fallen asleep or flipped to something more intellectually challenging such as “Big Brother 5”–was inexcusable.

“The scenario he outlined — of medicine that would repair the brains of Parkinson’s sufferers, of ‘your own personal biological repair kit standing by at the hospital’ — is generally considered unlikely,” writes Ramesh Ponnuru of National Review.

“To say that it could bring ‘the greatest medical breakthrough in our or any lifetime’ is to show that no real attempt was made at doing justice. Rep. Langevin’s introductory remarks, in which he suggested that taxpayer subsidies would make him walk again, and implicitly also help others in his situation, was also unrealistic — and, to that extent, it was cruel and contemptible.”

The lad was also cavalier in talking about the embryos that must be destroyed for stem cell research. Whatever you think about embryonic research, it is important that the public know just what is going on — young Ron emphasized that these embryos aren’t going to go on to develop into full-fledged people. That right — either because they’re going to be harvested for stem cell research, because they were created for the sole purpose of being harvested, or because they are “leftovers” from in vitro fertilization.

As Ponnuru notes:

“Killing embryos is not a problem, he said, because those embryos have no fingers or toes. So much for quadriplegics. It’s not a problem because they feel no pain — like the comatose, or people given lethal injections. It’s not a problem because the future will approve. In which case, so much the worse for the future. (All of these arguments, by the way, contradict Reagan’s earlier insistence that the research involves only using the materials of our own bodies.)”

Ron Prescott’s motto: “Why stop embarrassing the old man just because he’s dead?”

P.S. Drudge has an intriguing item on the family feud between Ron Prescott and his brother Michael Reagan, the adopted son who turns out to be the real Reagan.