In theory, there’s no such thing as Democratic science or Republican science. The very idea is simply unnecessary – objective truths that can withstand rigorous testing and analysis should be embraced, politics be damned.
With this in mind, there was nothing partisan or ideological about the “strongest evidence yet” of salty liquid water flowing on modern-day Mars. It was an exciting breakthrough, made possible by American scientists and researchers, taking advantage of cutting-edge tools developed right here in the United States. This could, in theory, be a point of national pride.
And yet, there was Rush Limbaugh yesterday, telling his audience that the news is somehow connected to some kind of liberal agenda. Politico reported:
The conservative radio talk show host addressed NASA’s announcement on Monday that it had found evidence of flowing water on present-day Mars, and — spoiler alert — he doesn’t believe it.“OK so there’s flowing water on Mars. Yip yip yip yahoo. Hey, you know me, I’m science 101, big time guy, tech advance it, you know it, I’m all in. But, NASA has been corrupted by the current regime,” Limbaugh said on his show, according to Media Matters. “Don’t know how long it’s going to take, but this news that there is flowing water on Mars is somehow going to find its way into a technique to advance the leftist agenda.”
When the host refers to the “current regime,” Limbaugh’s argument is that President Obama and his administration have “corrupted” NASA scientists. As proof of this corruption, Limbaugh pointed to, well, nothing.
In fact, the Republican media personality conceded he has no idea why “the leftist agenda” would manufacture this Mars report, though Limbaugh assumes it is has “something to do with global warming.”
It’s worth emphasizing, in case anyone’s confused, when the reality-based community refers to the planetary crisis of climate change, we’re referring to our planet, not some other planet.
Media Matters posted the audio clip and a full transcript.
As for the bigger picture, when even Mars discoveries are filtered through partisan lenses, it’s a discouraging reminder that in 2015, literally anything can be politicized in unhealthy ways.