The left’s crusade against Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt should be seen for what it is — a witch hunt. We don’t need any more conservatives hanged by leftists who major in criminalizing political differences and minor in slander.
How dare a Republican president appoint an environmental heretic to head an administrative agency the left views as its sole, separate and absolute property? This agency exists to serve the deep state — the entrenched federal government bureaucracy that is tailor-made to advance the left’s agenda and operate above accountability.
This conspiratorially organized assault against Pruitt is precisely what Barack Obama and his friends mean by community organizing. It is vicious, relentless street fighting aimed at discrediting Pruitt and taking him down because he is one of the rare administrative officials who won’t put politics above the law and will stand up to those who do.
The left — always projecting its own malicious practices onto its political opponents — is framing this as its benign campaign to protect the rule of law. Leftists claim that it is Pruitt, appointed by Dr. Donald Evil himself, who is imposing his political agenda. These Alinskyites understand the impact of words and the force of propaganda. Anyone who doesn’t swallow whole their radical assumptions on the environment is a menace, especially one who is in a position to make a policy difference.
Leftist activists and their media co-pilots are hell-bent on disgracing Pruitt and destroying his reputation to effect his removal, so they are throwing all kinds of phony scandals against the wall of public opinion to pressure the White House to give them Pruitt’s head.
The energy they are expending on this should tell you how important progressives view unelected, unaccountable administrative agencies in implementing their draconian regulations, which have been choking our individual liberties and wreaking havoc on our economy.
The left is blowing a lot of smoke about alleged improprieties with Pruitt’s travel expenses. Thank goodness media conservatives, whose very existence leftists lament every day, are on the case. The Wall Street Journal’s Kimberley Strassel, in a series of tweets, dismantled this bogus charge simply by comparing Pruitt’s travel and security costs with those of his predecessors, whose similar expenses dwarf Pruitt’s. And when you add the disturbing factor that Pruitt has been the target of death threats, which have required greater security measures, the contrast between Pruitt’s expenses and those of his dutifully liberal forerunners is even more pronounced.
There is also the earth-shattering matter of the alleged sweetheart deal Pruitt was given on a condo lease, a transaction that was reviewed and found proper by the EPA’s ethics office, which is hardly staffed by Trump supporters.
Leftists don’t care a whit about these nonissues; they are just using them as cudgels to thwart the democratic process — the legitimate effort of our duly elected president to appoint people who will not advance radical policies by being lawless agents. No matter how desperately leftists want to brand Pruitt as a renegade activist, he is just a cog in the wheel of their activism or, in some cases, the driver who is going to put their environmental vehicle in reverse and slam his foot on the pedal.
The left has bullied its way into imposing administrative regulations that are disastrous for business and onerous for individuals. They aren’t just horrible in substance; they’re also terrible in process. The Obama administration shamelessly thwarted the rule of law and exceeded its authority in issuing many of these regulations.
Under Pruitt’s leadership, the EPA has eliminated regulations gratuitously detrimental to the coal industry that Obama crafted to achieve his stated agenda of bankrupting that industry. Pruitt has determined, in light of recent data, that the current greenhouse gas emissions standards for cars and light trucks for model years 2022-25 are inappropriate and require revision. In announcing his decision, Pruitt said that “Obama’s EPA cut the Midterm Evaluation process short with politically charged expediency, made assumptions about the standards that didn’t comport with reality, and set the standards too high.”
That is, Obama’s regulations were not only inappropriate based on the data but also issued unlawfully pursuant to a political agenda. You won’t hear leftists or their media water carriers complaining about this.
In addition to their angst over Pruitt’s revision of the fuel emissions standards, which, incidentally, could reduce the price of new cars by as much as $7,000, The Heritage Foundation’s Genevieve Wood offers two reasons the left is going after Pruitt — and neither of them has to do with ethics issues. He has led the Trump administration’s efforts to dismantle Obama’s “expensive and ineffective climate legacy piece by piece.” And his EPA is scrapping the transparency-hostile practice of developing regulations based on studies that are kept secret from the public.
One thing I appreciate about President Trump is that he is taking action in certain areas that would have been unthinkable to entrenched politicians, many of whom are so used to the inertia of bad policy that they seem to be paralyzed with feelings of futility. The EPA is one of those areas. We are actually seeing concrete results, and it’s immensely refreshing.
Like many others, I’ve long said that we can’t afford to sleep for one second in our ongoing battles against leftists because they don’t. We need to shed some of the defeatism that has crippled the conservative agenda and celebrate the kind of progress we’re seeing at the EPA.
The left considers Pruitt a hill to die on. So should we.
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David Limbaugh is a writer, author and attorney. His latest book is “Jesus Is Risen: Paul and the Early Church.” Follow him on Twitter @davidlimbaugh and his website at www.davidlimbaugh.com. To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.