Monday, March 19, 2007
Oh, the irony!
Way back in the 2000 election, which George Bush won by a razor-thin margin, I refused to vote for President because I saw little difference between the candidates. In particular, I was concerned that environmentalism was about to make a big political impact and that Gore would push such an agenda, while Bush would ineffectively pretend to oppose it. The proper thing to do, as I now realize, would have been to vote for Gore. Be that as it may, I was correct about what each man would do with respect to the environment.
Fast forward to the present. Just as Al Gore's chickens are coming home to roost, President Bush is doing his best to make sure the public can still see as little difference as possible between himself and the former Vice President (and, by extension, the moral difference between the two sides in this debate). How? By emulating some of the worst aspects of the green politicians -- with a big assist from his fellow Republicans.
Recall that recently, I asked, concerning the Delaware governor's desire to strip her State Climatologist of his title because his scientific opinion differed from her policies:
Setting aside whether there should even be such a thing as a "state climatologist", just what the hell is a "consultant" supposed to do? According to [Democratic State Representative] Brad Avakian, it is apparently to serve as a yes-man. Global warming is, after all, "so important" that it trumps any evidence or theory to the contrary.Not to be outdone, the Bush Administration has just been called on doing essentially the same thing: attempting to silence a scientist whose opinion differs from its policies:
James Hansen, director of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies in the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, took particular issue with the administration's rule that a government information officer listen in on his interviews with reporters and its refusal to allow him to be interviewed by National Public Radio.Oh, but Issa isn't done yet! Observe the gall.
"This is the United States," Hansen told the House Oversight and Government Affairs Committee. "We do have freedom of speech here."
But Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista) said it was reasonable for Hansen's employer to ask him not to state views publicly that contradicted administration policy. [bold added]
"I am concerned that many scientists are increasingly engaging in political advocacy and that some issues of science have become increasingly partisan as some politicians sense that there is a political gain to be found on issues like stem cells, teaching evolution and climate change," Issa said.If your policy position is correct, then defend it, if not, change it. But in either case, to silence someone for simply doing his job to the best of his ability is inexcusable and damaging to one's credibility, not to mention, hypocritical. Bush could by now be contentedly watching Al Gore's credibility melt down while his remained intact -- except that he had to stoop to the same level as the global warming hysterics.
Hansen said the Bush administration was not the first in U.S. history to practice information management over government scientists, but it has been the most vigorous. He deplored a "politicization of science." [bold added]
No, wait. It's worse. the GOP is busy smearing evolution and stem cell research by equating them with global warming hysteria.
In the meantime, observe what serious trouble we are in. The Left wishes to use the respectability of science to sell a political agenda that will destroy our economy, while the Right wants to destroy science itself.
Today: Corrected a typo.