It’s time to test the proposition whether it’s possible to roll back the Obama regulatory agenda without using government employees as glorified personal assistants.
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt long ago acquired the moniker “scandal-plagued” in the press. None of his offenses is criminally corrupt — no one has found cash stuffed in his freezer.
But the corner-cutting and grubbiness are unworthy of a high-level government official, who should be ever mindful that the money and people at his command aren’t truly his. Public service should mean that you serve the public, not that publicly funded resources and personnel serve you.
It was possible to look beyond the initial bout of Pruitt stories. Sure, he had a sweet $50-a-night condo deal from the wife of an energy lobbyist, but maybe he was simply using a convenient arrangement as he first settled into Washington?
Yes, there was the security detail more extensive and expensive than prior EPA administrators, but isn’t Pruitt much more hated than his predecessors?
OK, he may have reportedly wanted to use the flashing lights of his motorcade to get to Le Diplomate faster, but who among us wouldn’t be tempted, if we could, to run traffic lights on the way to our favorite brasserie?
But as the stories continued to pile up, week after week, often astonishingly petty and memorable, it became impossible to conclude that Pruitt wasn’t behaving selfishly and indefensibly.