Former Surgeon General Richard H. Carmona, a Bush appointee, has told a Congressional committee that “top officials in the Bush administration repeatedly tried to weaken or suppress important public health reports because of political considerations.”
This isn’t news to anyone who’s been paying attention, but it does demonstrate, yet again, that it’s impossible to be pro-Republican and pro-science at the same time. This isn’t just a matter of the Bush administration. Every important element of the Republican base is anti-science, as are all the main pro-Republican thinktanks, blogs and so on. The issues differ from group to group (the religious right focuses on evolution and stem cells, libertarians on global warming and passive smoking, the business base on more specific environmental and public health regulation) but all of them use the same kinds of arguments. The debating tricks used by global warming delusionists have been taken straight from the creationist playbook. More importantly, all of them take for granted the view that science is inherently political, and that what matters is getting the politics right.
The Surgeon-General has been a target of these guys ever since the 1964 report stating that smoking is a health hazard. Leading anti-science shill Steven Milloy (then with Cato, now with Fox News and CEI) wrote an opinion piece for the WSJ back in 1998 calling for the office to be abolished, while neglecting to mention that he was on the Phillip Morris payroll at the time.