I'm a Republican - or was, until this administration moved the Republican Party so far to the right that it's unconscionable, in my judgment, to be a member. But I've been a Republican for about 40 years. I think the problem with this administration is that it simply must deceive and manipulate, and this is troubling to me because I believe they are trying to manipulate the very fundamentals of our society, and it has profound implications for our society in the long run, and obviously for our children and grandchildren.
To my knowledge, perhaps the only administration ever to be upbraided by a federal judge specifically for using "junk science" to promote a political agenda was the Clinton administration and the Environmental Protection Agency under Carol Browner. Every administration does this with science. The media are outraged by the manipulation of science by the Bush administration? Then, why, I wonder, weren't they outraged during the Clinton years?
The process of science is a human endeavor, and like all such endeavors is highly competitive and a rough-and-tumble game. It has its share of scholars, scoundrels, and saints. Yet the process of doing science is reasonably transparent and fair to all who play. It produces good ideas and good results, and the discrepancy between scientists and their access to journals and funds is probably less than the difference between the average Joe and Bill Gatesian wealth. President Bush often has said that he embraces the free marketplace, and he notes that it produces high-quality goods, ideas and results. So it seems surprising to me that he is turning his back on scientists, who in fact are producing those kinds of results.
Whenever I know the facts of a story that appears in a newspaper, the story's always a little bit wrong. The Bush administration acts like a poor journalist does: First, we figure out what the story is; we write it, and then we find the facts that fit the story. I think that's just what Mr. Bush does and certain other politicians do. They figure out the story, manufacture the facts, and then they present it to the public. And the media ought to understand that strategy very well - usually they play right along.