OK, let’s start with disclaims and reveals. I do not know Scott Pruitt – never met him. I did have a brief conversation with a cut-out about a possible job at the Pruitt led EPA, a conversation quickly ended. (I doubt Mr. Pruitt even knows the conversation occurred.) I do believe the host when he says:
Scott Pruitt is a good friend and a very good man, caricatured by left and MSM. I hope he sets to work on a memoir ASAP and deals out a tenth of what he took. He’s a man of great faith and perseverance so he probably won’t, but the attacks on his family were unconscionable. https://t.co/Ob69m6fctg
— Hugh Hewitt (@hughhewitt) July 5, 2018
Note the host is responding to Kimberly Strassel with that tweet. She was on a Twitter tear yesterday about this. I am with her on ths tweet as well:
That’s not to say he didn’t give ammunition. He did, and his opponents used a coordinated, relentless campaign to get him out. Thus, the warning to other Trump officials. Republican Administrations are always held to a different standard.
— Kimberley Strassel (@KimStrassel) July 5, 2018
Pruitt made mistakes, but there is no question, as evidenced by the NYT withdrawal, of a coordinated campaign to do away with Pruitt. Further note that in the tweet to which the host responded is a mention of “organized greens” as a part of the campaign. That is where I think this thing turns truly ugly.
OK – from this point forward I am going to engage in speculation, but it is not baseless speculation.
The first thing you have to ask yourself is where does the press get stories about phone booths costing way too much money? When the reality is that there is a decent reason the head of the EPA should have a SCIF. How do stories about his daughter’s law school entrance or a mattress get started? Well, have you ever worked in an office when a new boss came in and started really changing things? If you have then you know that employees that do not like the changes end up sitting at bars after work and bi&^%ing a little too much about what is going on at the office, often talking “out-of-school” as it were.
Now you have to ask yourself, if you are the Obama administration – true believers in all things environmental – and wanting to really beef up the EPA, where are you going to turn to find employees? I think you might just turn to places like the Sierra Club; thus you get people already “well trained” on the issues and ready to go to work.
Now, put these two speculations together and what do you have? You have lower level employees of the EPA, formerly employed by or active in the organized green movement, giving the press the ammunition they needed to go after Pruitt.
Now let’s give that some perspective. The American people, using the constitutional means of the election make Donald J. Trump President of the United States. Among Mr. Trump’s stated objectives for a term of office is the diminution of the EPA. Mr. Trump, now president – as elected by the people, appoints Mr. Pruitt Chief Administrator of the EPA to pursue the agenda Mr. Trump ran for office upon. Employees of the EPA, disagreeing with Mr. Trump’s agenda, and therefore the desires of the American people, set about this campaign of a 1000 cuts against Mr. Pruitt.
Do you get the picture?
This is wrong on a lot of levels. Civil servants, inclusive of EPA employees, are supposed to be politically neutral, following the lead of elected officialdom. The line between policy disagreement and coup-d’etat seems to be growing awfully fine these days. Moreover, the government, inclusive of the EPA, works for us, not the other way around. Finally, that there are strongly religious aspects to the environmental movement has become almost cliche’ to note. And yet, this whole episode just stinks of “theocratic” over reach.
Alright, to conclude – there is a lot of speculation here, but I think it reasonable. I do not blame Scott Pruitt for his resignation – they went after the man’s family for crying out loud – that’s beyond dirty politics. I wish Mr. Pruitt, and his family, the very best in their future endeavors. That this is ugly is unquestionable. But there is more at stake. I have been hoping that Mr, Trump, simply by restoring decent functioning to government could set thing right. Today I think the president’s task is more complex.
The weakest aspect of the Trump presidency has been his consistent underestimation of opposition by forces within the government itself. It is time to address that.