In the great Aaron Sorkin television creation “West Wing,” very accomplished fake president Jed Bartlet goes in for a brief bit of therapy during which the following exchange occurs:
Bartlet: “It’s not good for a person to keep setting goals?”
Psychologist: “It probably is. But it’s tricky for somebody who is still trying to get his father to stop hitting him….”
Bartlet: “I’m not trying to get my father to like me.”
Psychologist: “Good. Because it’s never, never going to happen.”
It is of this conversation that I thought when I read of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Secretary Scott Pruitt’s possible way-overkill cleanup plan for a Saint Louis, Missouri Superfund site.
Please do not misunderstand - I think President Donald Trump’s choice of Pruitt was inspired. It was a very stable, brilliant, very high IQ decision. How good was it? It had the likes of the Huffington Post - and the people with whom they spoke - freaking the heck out.
Scott Pruitt Has Sued The Environmental Protection Agency 13 Times. Now He Wants To Lead It: “It’s a safe assumption that Pruitt could be the most hostile EPA administrator toward clean air and safe drinking water in history.”
Yes, because we conservatives breath different air and drink different water than the rest of you yahoos. Oh - and I speak out of school, but we have our own emergency telephone number: 6-1-1. It’s 9-1-1 - for conservatives and rich people.
You silly, silly Leftists.
Pre-EPA Pruitt may very well have been the Left’s lead environmental bete noire. Now that he’s running that particular joint? Absolutely no question he is Leftist Enviro-Enemy No. 1.
Is that loathsome loathing getting to Pruitt? Is it coloring his determinations? Causing him to make decisions to appease Leftists - rather than Reality?
Scott Pruitt Leans Toward a Radical Solution at a Superfund Landfill: “Mr. Pruitt…often mentions one site, the closed West Lake landfill outside St. Louis, as an example of EPA neglect….He’s correct that the delay has been inexcusable, but in his rush to resolve the problem the EPA may be about to make a bad choice, succumbing to political pressure from the left, which is never satisfied with anything less than everything it demands.”
Is Pruitt trying to get these Leftists to like him? To stop hitting him? Because it’s never, never going to happen.
Death Threats Against Scott Pruitt Has Led to Dramatic Rise in Security Costs: “The EPA’s inspector general’s office, which investigates threats, says Pruitt has received more death threats than any of his predecessors. The office has launched more than 70 investigations into threats against Pruitt and others, the agency said.”
I’m fairly sure getting these people to like you…is out.
And who would be Pruitt’s Leftist point person in Saint Louis?
“Missouri State Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal, who earlier tweeted her hope that someone would assassinate President Trump.…”
Another quite sensible peace and policy proponent.
And what exactly do these Leftist murderous radicals want in Missouri?:
“Mrs. Chappelle-Nadal…demands that the EPA dig up the radiological waste buried there and take it in trucks to another landfill specifically designed to handle it….Mrs. Chappelle-Nadal and the community activists are pushing for the radical solution and further demand that the state of Missouri buy the houses near the site and pay relocation costs of the displaced residents.”
Does that make scientific sense for this site? It does not:
“Both the state of Missouri and the federal government have conducted extensive testing of the levels of radioactivity, which decline year after year, and found that the levels are well within what is considered safe and acceptable.”
So - no need to expensively excavate the area and move the dirt elsewhere. Certainly no need to buy out the neighboring neighborhoods and move the neighbors to new neighborhoods.
All of which would cost a metric ton of money - and makes zero scientific sense.
Certainly Pruitt understands all of this, yes? Sadly, it appears he may not:
“Mr. Pruitt is said to be thinking that the waste be excavated as demanded, and stored on site.”
This is bad policy - and really bad precedent:
“If (Pruitt) agrees to excavate he…will send a signal to every radical environmentalist that political pressure will move him in directions that sound science says is not necessary.”
And while Pruitt is apparently listening to the radical Left - he is ignoring his very many longtime, free-market friends expressing concern:
“Members of the property rights in land policy movement have tried for months to get a meeting with Mr. Pruitt in hopes of persuading him that such a decision is the worst decision. So far, they can’t get his attention.”
And House Republicans on the Energy and Commerce Committee sent a letter expressing their right and reasonable concern. Which also elicited…no response from Pruitt.
And a whole host of outside groups - who have long sung Pruitt’s praises and lauded his EPA nomination - have written Pruitt multiple letters their own selves. To no additional avail - also eliciting no Pruitt reply.
Pruitt needs to dance with the folks who not only brought him to the dance - but carried him into it Super-Bowl-winning-coach-style. This especially includes President Trump, who ran on, won with and now wants smart, sensible government - not multimillion dollar ridiculous, wasteful throw-aways.
Pruitt absolutely should not try to appease or please hardcore Leftists who are too busy sending him record-setting numbers of death threats - to ever consider not hitting him. Let alone liking him.
Secretary Pruitt: It’s never, never going to happen. So do what’s right - not what’s Left.