Administration Puts Ideology First

NASA and the Environmental Protection Agency have suppressed research findings, and the Justice Department used ideology to hire candidates for nonpolitical positions. The Bush administration is putting ideology ahead of policy — and the facts.

Copyright © 2008 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.


Washington has seen its share of scandals lately, not that that's news necessarily, but a parade of alleged wrongdoing by the Bush administration has led NPR's senior news analyst Daniel Schorr to, well, if not despair, then maybe lament.

DANIEL SCHORR: We like to associate NASA with the right stuff, and so it's disappointing to learn than an inspector general's report found political appointees in NASA to be engaged in the wrong stuff.

For at least two years, the agency has been suppressing and distorting researchers' findings about climate change. This is only one example of an administration nearing its end thrashing about in an advanced state of decomposition, trying to maintain its hold on unpleasant information.

The Environmental Protection Agency, like NASA, has been playing fast and loose with research findings. A federal appeals court found fatal flaws in the EPA's approach to air pollution, rejecting any mandatory controls.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development is struggling to cope with the housing crisis, having last April lost its department head, Alphonso Jackson, accused of contract favors to cronies.

The Justice Department is embarrassed by revelations that what should have been the most non-partisan of agencies has been one of the most partisan. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales had to resign after the uproar over the disclosure of the firing and hiring of at least nine U.S. attorneys on the basis of their political credentials.

Now the inspector general comes out with new word of political appointment of federal immigration judges. So much has been subject to the deadening hand of an ideological administration. State and local officials nationwide are protesting that a Department of Homeland Security, funneling $1.8 billion in anti-terrorism grants, is diverting funds from the fight against drugs, gangs and violent crime at home.

In a recent NBC-Wall Street Journal poll, 30 percent of people approve of the job that President Bush has been doing and 64 percent disapprove. Any wonder? This is Daniel Schorr.

Copyright © 2008 NPR. All rights reserved. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to NPR. This transcript is provided for personal, noncommercial use only, pursuant to our Terms of Use. Any other use requires NPR's prior permission. Visit our permissions page for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.