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If the embattled Obama should win re-election, say the pundits, you can thank the “gender gap.” And Democrats have packaged a campaign slogan that seems to be winning the hearts and minds of soccer moms across the nation: “The Republican War on Women.”
Since the good-old-days of the New Deal, Progressive Democrats have carved out a substantial piece of political real estate by buying off various constituencies with taxpayer cash or by placing the self-appointed leaders of these political factions in the media spotlight.
Recently, Georgetown University Law student Sandra Fluke testified before Congress that mean old Republicans, if they get their way, will hit her unfairly in the pocketbook by refusing to pick up her $3,000-a-year contraception tab.
“We, as Georgetown LSRJ [Law Students for Reproductive Justice], are here today because we’re so grateful that this regulation implements the non-partisan medical advice of the Institute of Medicine,” said Fluke.
The regulation she referred to was a ruling by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that Catholic institutions, like Georgetown University, must provide “free” contraception although it conflicts with church doctrine, tramples on the separation of church and state and the Constitution’s Free Exercise Clause.
“Scientists have abundant evidence that birth control has significant health benefits for women,” insisted HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, adding that contraception “is documented to significantly reduce health costs.”
Fluke and Obama administration thralls used the claim once employed by global-warming alarmists that scientific truth demands we submit to, well, their demands.
Unfortunately for global-warming alarmists, e-mails surfaced unmasking a conspiracy among the globe’s leading climatologists to skew temperature data in a way that supported their alarmist computer models. The e-mails also detailed efforts to discredit and deny peer-review publication of articles by scientists whose conclusions differed from what former Vice President Al Gore insisted was a universal “scientific consensus.”
The “climategate” scandal reduced the Academy Award-winning Gore to shrilly denounce his opponents as “Holocaust deniers.”
Gore, once the darling of the talk-show circuit, is conspicuously missing from the public eye.
Georgetown coed Sandra Fluke breathed new life into the better-living-through-science nostrum. She insisted that the Institute of Medicine recommendation to ObamaCare bureaucrats trumped the Constitution – whether the question was separation of powers, lawmaking by unelected technocrats or trampling the conscience of individuals. To deny her claim to free contraception was a declaration of war against sacred science not to mention an entire gender.
And American women seem to be responding. According to a recent CNN poll, women view President Obama more favorably, by 16 points, than his presumptive Republican opponent Mitt Romney.
Then the New York Times’ Science Section ran a story with revelations as shocking as climategate. An investigation conducted by Dr. Ferric C. Fang, editor in chief of the journal Infection and Immunity, and Dr. Arturo Casadevall, of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, found a dramatic increase in the number of peer-reviewed science articles retracted after it was discovered they contained false claims, and that the retractions “were just a manifestation of a much more profound problem – ‘a symptom of a dysfunctional scientific climate’ … a winner-take-all game with perverse incentives that lead scientists to cut corners and, in some cases, commit acts of misconduct.”
In an editorial published in Infection and Immunity, Dr. Fang explains why he believes misconduct among scientific researchers is on the rise:
“Overall success rates of research proposals, including both renewal and new applications, submitted to the National Institutes of Health have fallen by more than 50% … As the amelioration effects of the 2009 ARRA (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) stimulus funding come to an end, the full impact of the deficient federal investment in science is only now being fully felt … Funding agencies cannot continue to reject more than nine-tenths of grant applications without seriously damaging science.”
This is pure speculation on my part, but Dr. Fang seems to suggest that cutthroat competition among science researchers hungry for federal funds is driving them to tilt their findings in order to legitimize the political prejudices of the funding agencies. If HHS says ripping up the Constitution is good for women’s health … federally-funded scientists can rustle up a study proving it. It’s either that or face the humiliation of standing in a long line at the unemployment office.
Junk science nearly put America’s crippled industries in the hands of United Nations carbon bureaucrats. Today, junk science works to diminish our liberties and return a community organizing political hack to the White House – by cynically reducing American women to frightened lab rats.