Sorry for the I Can Haz Cheezburger title, but it's early around these parts. But you knew, if you follow the news, that the Obama administration couldn't make so controversial a statement as "we make scientific decisions based on facts, not ideology" without asking for, nay, begging for a ridiculous false-equivalency piece to be written in response. And of course, it had to be in the NY Times, because we wouldn't want the universe to be shaken to its foundations or anything. On the science side, we get Doctors Harold Varmus and Alan Lesher:
“Scientists should have no illusions about whether they make policy — they don’t,” said Harold Varmus, president of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and co-chairman of a panel that advises Mr. Obama on science matters.And on the politics side, we get...sigh.
The directive, Dr. Varmus said, was simply intended “to provide the best available scientific information” to those who make policy decisions....
But by asserting “the centrality of science to every issue of modern life,” Dr. Lesher said, Mr. Obama is suggesting that science rather than ideology will be the foundation for his decision making. “What you are seeing now is both a response to the last eight years, and a genuine reaction to President Obama’s enthusiasm for science,” he said.
“Those who suggest that the Bush administration did not rigorously apply science are themselves ignoring the facts,” said Karl Rove, the former president’s political strategist....Yep--two doctors and noted scientists equal two political hacks defending their own guy. Some things never change.
In the end, said Ed Gillespie, the former counselor to Mr. Bush, all administrations use science in service of a political agenda.
“Administrations come into office with a point of view,” Mr. Gillespie said. “The people in office tend to highlight those facts that support their point of view — not because they’re quashing dissent or not being scientific, but because this is what helps inform their thinking. A lot of scientific data can’t be refuted, but a lot of science is subjective. And even irrefutable science can be value-laden.”