The knives are out for Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt. We expected this from the Green Blob—if you’re taking flak it means you’re over the target. But now even the conservative media is joining in calls for his head.
Here is the Weekly Standard in an unsigned editorial:
Pruitt’s use of public money for non-essential purposes has become a pattern. He’s used taxpayer dollars to purchase lavish dinners and accommodations in five-star hotels; a new, expensively retrofitted Chevrolet Suburban; first-class flights, domestic and foreign, for himself and his security detail; a massive security entourage; “special hiring authority” pay raises for favored staff; and costly office renovations (this last violated two laws, according to the Government Accountability Office). None of these profligacies, taken by itself, would present a major political problem. But together, they present a major one.
Even red-meat, Trumpophiliac Red State kinda, sorta thinks it might be time Pruitt went:
Should Trump’s EPA Chief Resign? https://t.co/JaJQq09mkP
— RedState (@RedState) May 14, 2018
Well I’m not buying this. Scott Pruitt is probably the most capable senior operator in the Trump administration. In the teeth of vicious opposition, he has worked miracles—not the least of which was giving his president the moral support he needed when he was courageously and rightly trying to pull the U.S. out of the disastrous Paris climate accord. If it hadn’t been for Pruitt, the “stay in Paris” faction—which included Javanka and then-Secretary of State Tillerson—might well have prevailed. Pruitt is a winner. Winning presidents do not get rid of winners.
My second objection to this anti-Pruitt drive is this: Don’t make the perfect the enemy of the pretty-damned-good. Refresh your memories, why don’t you? Re-read this piece I wrote about Scott Pruitt’s predecessors, especially the ones during the Obama administration. These people were not just really stupid, talentless no-hopers who only got their jobs because they were bovine leftists and fully compliant with the Green Tyranny: they were also mendacious, corrupt, and quite immensely damaging to liberty and the U.S. economy. Suppose every one of the profligacy charges against Pruitt were true: even if he were to stay in office splurging on first class flights and fancy accommodation for the next thousand years, he wouldn’t cost the U.S. taxpayer a fraction of what Gina McCarthy and Lisa Jackson’s junk-science-driven environmental legislation and regulation cost the U.S. economy.
My third objection is that it’s not at clear that the charges being levelled against Pruitt are accurate or fair. That complaint the Weekly Standard makes about the cost of his security detail, for example. This, it has now been shown, did not come from Pruitt but was requested by his landing team. With good reason: The Green Blob has many tentacles, contains more than its fair of certified lunatics, and Pruitt is doing a great job taking it on.
Here is what the Hill has to say:
A Trump administration official originally requested and justified a round-the-clock security detail for the head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) based on fears that President Trump’s expected policy changes would create significant public backlash.
Internal EPA emails obtained by The Hill show that Don Benton, who led the EPA’s “beachhead” team of initial political appointees after Trump’s inauguration, requested 24/7 security for “at least” Administrator Scott Pruitt’s first week of work, fearing Trump’s initial actions related to the EPA were “likely to stir up a hornet’s nest.”
“I have requested 24/7 protection for the new administrator for the first week at least and then evaluate from there. There will be several Executive Orders signed when he is sworn in that will likely stir the hornet’s nest,” Benton wrote in an email dated Feb. 11, 2017, to James Caldwell, a security official at the EPA, indicating that he had already made the request.
There’s something very fishy about this latest round of get-Pruitt stories. I see nothing genuinely worthy or high-minded in the Weekly Standard’s decision to side with the rag-bag of Democrats, greens and GOP swampers who are trying to bring Pruitt down. I smell an inside hit-job, coordinated by the faction in the White House still furious with Pruitt for his successes in enabling Trump to keep his election promises—and drive a dagger into the heart of the Green Blob.