By Spencer Kimball
Image from iips.cz
The Bush Administration has been called a lot of names by a lot of people, but competent has never been one of them. If something distinguishes Dubya from previous chief executives, it’s his uncanny ability to screw up and remain shockingly confident. Even when he and his partners-in-disaster circumvent those pesky protocols that the rest of us call the “rule of law,” they manage to drop the ball — with Bush at America’s helm, scandal has been perennial.
With just months left in the oval office and an approval rating that would even give Nixon pause, you’d think that Bush would do us all a favor and bail hay at Crawford until the next schmuck is sworn in. Unfortunately, this Administration doesn’t understand shame — these guys have turned obstruction into a sport and the EPA is being used for batting practice.
According to a report published by the Union of Concerned Scientists, 900 employees of the EPA feel like their work has been interfered with for political reasons; sixty-percent of those who responded to the Union’s survey encountered some form of executive manipulation. These are numbers that are hard to argue with, but given the Administration’s record, they’d probably give it a shot.
This misconduct is really more of an expectation than a revelation. Anyone who has been remotely conscious for the past eight years knows that Dubya and Company don’t exactly get along with people who work with “data” and “empirical” evidence. While the Administration pursues a war based on fiction, they ignore a climate phenomenon based on scientific fact. Ideology has always been their modus operandi.
Even though such meddling may seem like more of the same by this point, it remains toxic. The EPA isn’t a ministry of propaganda, and quite frankly, it’s offensive that the Administration thinks it can treat it as such. If the EPA is to maintain its integrity as an objective source of information, the President has to butt out. Politics and science do not mix – this is one of the few lessons Bush has managed to teach us.
At a time Japanese and European officials are meeting to discuss a robust successor to Kyoto, America’s leaders are more interested in political charades. In a prelude to the Iraq War, the Bush Administration declared that the United Nations would render itself irrelevant if it did not act. What they failed to acknowledge is that this logic applies to the United States as well: if America’s elected leaders continue to politicize the issue of climate change, they will only further undermine the United States’ legitimacy.
We’ll even throw in a free album.