Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Appearances Are Everything

An article in this morning's New York Times by David Sanger analyzes the Bush administration's sudden apparent swing toward government activism to protect the public health (the banning of Ephedra yesterday, for example). Here's the crucial passage:

"Ephedra's fate has seemed clear since a 23-year-old pitcher for the Baltimore Orioles died after taking it early this year, though this is the first time the Food and Drug Administration has banned such an herbal supplement. And with mad cow disease suddenly dominating every cable channel and front page, Mr. Bush and a small clutch of his aides staring out at the cattle grazing his ranch knew they had to appear to be taking action. In this case, the action included some protective steps they rejected as unnecessary just months ago...."

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