The buzz about a possible seat in the Cabinet for hothead scion and anti-vaccine crank Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. continues with a second article in Politico, this time shifting the speculation to the Environmental Protection Agency and citing “Democratic officials” who claim Obama is “strongly considering” RFK, Jr. for that post (Mike Allen, “Obama considers stars for Cabinet”, Nov. 5; earlier). Tim Noah at Slate shouts a timely “don’t”:
Environmental Protection Agency or Interior Department. Do not hire Robert Kennedy Jr. He’s too partisan and kind of a nut when it comes to policy. Check out this dangerously alarmist 2005 Rolling Stone piece about the purported link between autism and childhood vaccines. (To learn why Kennedy’s piece was alarmist, see “Sticking Up for Thimerosal” by Arthur Allen in Slate, August 2005.) Throw in Kennedy’s 1983 heroin bust, and you’ve got yourself an unconfirmable nominee.
(“The Uncabinet”, Nov. 5). Jonathan Adler @ Volokh, frequent vaccine-blogger Orac/Respectful Insolence, Jason Zengerle at the New Republic, and Hans Bader @ CEI are all on the case as well. Even David Roberts at GristMill is very far from enthusiastic, to say the least. I said exactly what I thought of Kennedy’s book Crimes Against Nature in a New York Post review, and our tagged posts here provide a lot of background on the celebrity environmentalist.
More: Orac returns with a lengthy, devastating and link-rich second post; Mike Dunford/Questionable Authority (“The politicization of science is bad no matter who does it. It wasn’t just bad when the Republicans were involved. It will be just as bad if it’s a Democrat doing it.”); Eric Berlin (“hope it’s someone’s idea of a bad joke”). And Michael Moynihan, Reason “Hit and Run” (“nutty” pro-Hugo-Chavez rants).