In view of the current revelations regarding the administration's suppression and control of the Surgeon General, it is apparent that no branch of the government has escaped politicization. I envision the government's restroom attendants lined up every morning at attention, mops on their shoulders, pails at their sides and hands on their hearts reciting the "Bushie" loyalty pledge.
In respect to both the U.S. Attorneys and the Surgeon General, the President's press secretary has said that the President should be able to carry out his own policies. No one can quarrel with that statement, except when those policies further partisan interests rather than the public interest. The administration can properly establish priorities for United States Attorneys in focusing on particular types of criminal activities, but it cannot and should not seek to use the criminal justice system to accomplish political gains or to protect political allies.
It can encourage and even direct the Surgeon General to focus on particular scientific and medical areas, but it cannot and should not attempt to conceal reports and information which would serve the public interest. The White House has chosen to deny the accusations of Dr. Carmona that he was directed not to speak about stem cell research, sex education and prison health care and that a report on the dangers of second hand smoke was "watered down" and delayed. (NYTimes 7/11/07) But denials by this administration of any wrongdoing or falsity are so automatic that it is fair to treat them simply as admissions. One only need ask what possible motive could Dr. Carmona have for fabricating all of these stories?
But nothing better symbolizes the priorities of the current administration than its efforts to discourage support for the Special Olympics solely because of its historic ties to the dreaded Kennedy clan. Dr. Carmona was asked by a senior official: "Why would you want to help those people?" By those people, he, of course, meant the Kennedys, but in turn, the administration was willing to forgo support of an event and organization that gives encouragement and aid to thousands of special children. But for an administration that would rather see people die than allow stem cell research, it should come as no surprise in a choice between hurting a cause sponsored by the Kennedys or helping that worthy cause because of the good that it does, that they would pick the former over the latter. Politics has infected every corner of this administration, and apparently even the Surgeon General, the country's chief doctor, has suffered from its effects.