Thursday, June 30, 2005

Chris Mooney recently wrote about Rick Piltz, a senior official in the government climate research program who resigned in March. In a complaint document, Piltz wrote:
I believe the overarching problem is that the administration ... does not want and has acted to impede forthright communication of the state of climate science and its implications for society. I have not seen a situation like the one that has developed under this administration during the past four years, in which politicization by the White House has fed back directly into the science program in such a way as to undermine the credibility and integrity of the program in its relationship to the research community, to program managers, to policymakers, and to the public interest.
Recall that Christine Todd Whitman resigned from the EPA for many of these same reasons.

This problem is epidemic, like a cancer spreading throughout the entire government apparatus. The partisan whims of the current administration are overly-influencing and pressuring every nook and cranny of every department, program, and policy. From the rigged press (Gannon et al), to faith-based initiatives, to the PBS "overhaul," to Ray McGovern's recent testimony about how CIA intel has been corrupted by intense pressure from this administration.

The impact of the harm that Bush has wrought throughout the government is so widespread and far-reaching that it will likely take many administrations in the future to fix all of the wrongs and get things back to where they were at least generally respectable and trustworthy. Granted, the government has never been perfect or without flaws, however it's never undergone this kind of rampant partisan makeover, esp. not to this degree.

Much of the transformation has filtered down into the blood-and-guts of all departments and divisions, affecting individuals that have normally been protected or shielded from such influence in the past. Prior presidents typically focused on effecting change through the very top officials, leaving the more career government workers alone to get the real work done, free from political interference or pressure. Not the case with GW, with analysts such as Piltz (and as Ray McGovern describes) feeling the heat and in turn lobbyists stepping in to pick up the slack.

Hopefully, with the country finally rid of GW in '08, we'll eventually be able to restore the government to the more democratic and Constitutional institution it once was (it's been so long, I can hardly recall....).

UPDATE: The "influence" continues.

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