Author, Lecturer, Ethicist

Scott Pruitt: Forward Into the Past

                       Photo by Sean McCabe

                      Photo by Sean McCabe

By now - a little more than one year into the Trump presidency - it should be abundantly clear that the primary qualification for occupying a Cabinet post is a psychopathic need to defund, dismember of destroy the very department one has been chosen to lead. It also helps to possess a personal, political or religious philosophy that goes counter to the department's very mission statement.  Take Scott Pruitt, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator as a prime example.  Before he was nominated to head the EPA, the 49-year old Pruitt (he will turn 50 in early May) served 6 years (2011-2017) as Attorney General of Oklahoma.  During those years (as well as his 8 years in the Oklahoma legislature) Pruitt opposed abortion rights, same-sex marriage, the Affordable Care Act and . . . environmental regulations, as a self-described "leading activist against the EPA's activist agenda." 

But wait . . . there's more . . . a whole lot more . . . a whole, whole  lot more!

 

Pruitt, a close associate of former Trump adviser Steve Bannon, lobbied hard for the job, believing that his anti-Paris climate accord stance would come in handy. In the lead-up to '45's rejection of the Paris agreement, Pruitt was all over the media map, sparring with Tapper and Scarborough, religiously arguing that the agreement would slow the U.S. economy by hindering America's God-given right to mine, burn and export fossil fuels, even going so far as to suggest the agreement was part of a plot by European leaders to weaken America. Wondering why Pruitt doesn't mention the effect burning fossil fuels have on man-made climate change? Don't, because he doesn't. Really. Our EPA Administrator is a world-class climate change denier who, while serving as Oklahoma A.G., sued the very agency he would one day grow up to administer at least a dozens times.

In a recent CNBC interview quoted by Scientific American's, Doina Chiacu and Valerie Volcovici "Pruitt said " I would not agree that [carbon dioxide's] a primary contributor to the global warming that we see.. "But we don’t know that yet, we need to continue to debate, continue the review and analysis.”

Isn't there something wrong with this picture?

But wait . . . it gets even worse.

Besides being an unabashed shill for the Koch brothers and other petroleum biggies doesn't believe in Evolution! No, really!  In a recently discovered  series of radio interviews from 2005, Pruitt - then an Oklahoma state senator, spent five hours among about a host of hot-button  issues:

  • "There aren't sufficient facts to establish the theory of evolution, and it deals with the origins of man  which is more from a philosophical standpoint than a scientific standpoint."
  • Lamented that ". . . minority religions" are pushing mainstream Christianity "out of the public square."
  • Advocated amending the Constitution to ban abortion, prohibit same-sex marriage and protect the Pledge of Allegiance and the Ten Commandments.
  • Described the Second Amendment as divinely granted and condemned federal judges as a “a judicial monarchy” that is “the most grievous threat that we have today."    
  • Did not object when the program’s host described Islam as “not so much a religion as it is a terrorist organization in many instances.”

The ever ambitious Pruitt has made no secret of the fact that should 45's Attorney General Jeff Sessions either resign or get canned, he would give anything to replace him. Should this horror come about, Pruitt's successor, Andrew Wheeler, is already waiting in the wings.  Compared to Pruitt, Wheeler - a former coal lobbyist, EPA bureaucrat, and aide to the snowball-wielding Oklahoma Senator Jim Inhofe, is, if possible, even worse.

We are about to enter election season.  There is far more at stake than mere seats in the House and Senate; there is a future fraught with even political greater incompetence, insensitivity and self-service than we have experienced over the past year. The future is ours to shape and guide.  The last thing on earth America needs in times like these are backward-looking leaders whose marching orders come from either the mirrors they look in or the last person they've listened to.

406 days down, 1,151 days to go.

Copyright©2018 Kurt F. Stone