“So, uh, what was the last straw for Pruitt? Was he caught actually robbing the treasury?”—Former Obama White House speechwriter and “Pod Save America” political commentator Jon Favreau, tweet of July 5, 2018
From now on, the phrase “Swamp Thing” will not be associated with a comic-book anti-hero but with the just-departed and completely unlamented head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Scott Pruitt. Any one of the scandals that erupted on a weekly, sometimes daily basis on his watch would have resulted in an immediate dismissal in any other administration, but was tolerated for a year and a half by President Trump.
The American public, bless its heart, forgets rather quickly matters and people that once consumed its attention. For the sake of history, then, I urge you, Faithful Reader, to read—and commit as much to memory as possible—the litany of Pruitt’s offenses expertly summarized by New York Magazine’s Lisa Ryan.
If you are in the workplace long enough, as I have been, you encounter, sooner or later, someone who, despite a relatively short amount of time in a post—say, up to a year and a half—still manages to do untold damage to an institution. Such, I am afraid, is the case with Pruitt. Even Ms. Ryan’s helpful list does not itemize the number of longtime employees driven out of the EPA for running afoul of the DC Swamp Thing.
Those people are not the only ones who suffered because of their terminations. So has their country, which can badly afford the loss of experts on the one crucial legacy we can leave the following generations: our environment. As noted by Alexander Kaufman for The Huffington Post, all signs point toward his replacement, Andrew Wheeler, being even worse.
If that’s really possible…
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