Sore Loser

Facing a Democratic Congress about to hold hearings exposing a “Republican war on science,” President Bush did what for him was instinctive. He quietly shoved his executive authority up the public’s nose by ordering every science-based regulatory office in government to be run by a political appointee.

There is a temptation to call Bush a sore loser, or worse, citing this executive order as one more example of ideology trumping evidence. The stripping of authority from expert civil servants will delay effecting any controversial rule or regulation that might protect the public health at the expense of industry and will outright kill others, the facts be damned.

There is one positive effect, however. It reminds us that most scientific research is paid for by the public and that in a democracy politicians have every right to determine how science ought to be used. The president may politicize the civil service — at his peril — and congressional opponents may raise hell and defund certain offices — at theirs.

It is perfectly acceptable for politicians to say, “We have examined the scientific evidence on this question and have weighed it against other concerns of our constituencies and public interests in making this policy.” It is not acceptable for them to arbitrarily change standards of evidence to favor their ideological or campaign contributors’ interests. Otherwise, science will become a set of truths subject to change every four years.

2 thoughts on “Sore Loser”

  1. But there is an established means of peer review to detemine the meaning of studies.

    The author understands the funding means in giving out the money, but does not appear to understand the scientific method in determining it’s meaning.

  2. You misquote the article and try and focus attention on just the sensitivity to having “science-based” regulatory based office run by political appointees when it is in fact, all Executive branch govt offices that will be overseen by political apointees.

    Of course, you nor especially the NYT, will point out that this is in reaction to the fact the the US Congress (which is, last I heard, a political branch of the US govt) just passed a huge Continuing Resolution to fund the operations of the Executive Branch for the remainder of FY ’07 and that bill stripped all “Ear Marking” budget items out yet left the appropriations money in. So that, in effect, there are billions of un-targeted $’s for all of the Executive agencies to spend. Now, Bush’s political appointees get to oversee that spending.

    What I love is that an obvious lefty pseudo-science moonbat like you is so focused on one small portion of all of this that you can’t see that “Monkey Boy Bush” just set the stage to screw you and the entire Dem Pols in Congress through out ’07.

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