When taxpayer money for medical research is used for political hit-jobs [Darleen Click]
William Jacobson muses What “medical research” will look like in the age of Obamacare
Had I but world enough and time, I would write something original about the sickeningly stupid argument that the Tobacco industry and Koch brothers began planning for the Tea Party movement over a decade ago and long before anyone had even thought up the Stimulus and Obamacare legislation which actually sparked the movement in 2009-2010.
The theory was developed because a study funded by the National Cancer Institute found that the Tobacco industry and Koch brothers advocated and organized for limited government, and even used the term Tea Party. Because, as we all know, before the Tobacco industry and Koch brothers advocated for limited government and used the term Tea Party, no one had ever done that in the entire history of the United States.
It is so stupid, and such an abuse of taxpayer funding, that one would have hoped it would die in the laboratory, but it was just the sort of crackpot theory to which the left-blogosphere inevitably would be drawn. And it has.
As Hans Bader points out, the sole “evidence” that BIG!!TOBACCO!! and the Evil Evil Koch Bros “created the TEA PARTY” is based on some tenuous linguistic coincidences
The study is based on strange reasoning, such as the fact that one group funded in small part by tobacco companies used the word “Tea Party” in passing in 2002, a group largely unrelated to the groups that later came into being and used it in 2009. (Because, obviously, no one had ever used the words “Tea Party” before the 21st century.) Never mind that much of America’s non-profits get money from tobacco companies, which fund countless causes, such as arts funding, domestic violence shelters, and non-profits across the political spectrum — the family behind Lorillard Tobacco is famously liberal and donates to liberal politicians. […]
The reasoning is based on associating the Tea Party not only with groups that used the word “Tea Party” at some point in time, but also with completely different groups that existed back in the 1980s and didn’t use “Tea Party” terminology at all, but merely happened to share their opposition to big government. As syndicated columnist Jacob Sullum notes, the study argues that supporting “private property rights, consumer choice and limited government” can make you a tobacco-industry tool regardless of whether you get any tobacco money or not.
I’m sure such creative [ahem] use of taxpayer dollars will lead to other groundbreaking studies such as:
National Institute for Mental Health producing a study showing conservatism is a mental disease.
National Institute of Health producing a study showing conservatism makes people “at risk” of health problems due to dangerous ideas like the freedom to eat food of one’s choosing and guns.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health producing a study showing people suffering from conservatism should be barred from owning businesses because they are prone to protest government regulation, which everyone knows is only done to protect people.