Scott Pruitt’s faith guided his time in office and shielded him
He argued that God gave mankind “dominion” over the environment. Vox
Vox’s Tara Isabella Burton penned the article above in response to the news that the little dandy from Oklahoma, Scott Pruitt, had resigned as head of the Environmental Protection Agency. The news came the morning of July 5, and with it, images of Pruitt wandering the capital grounds the previous evening as crowds gathered to watch a 4th of July fireworks display. Two questions have to be asked.
One, was Pruitt so out of the loop that he had no idea his boss, Donald Trump, was about to give him the boot? Two, did he know of the coming pink slip but went to the celebration anyway knowing it would possibly be the last time he had a chance to rub shoulders with Washington’s elite, a group he was about to be booted from when the morning news cycle came to light? Knowing Pruitt’s capacity for self delusion and sycophantic, toadying nature, there is probably a bit of truth in both.
Nothing, however, is that crystal clear when it comes the actions and motivations of the former director of the EPA. Then there is talk about a new scandal that is being bandied about on cable news shows the last few days. Supposedly, several weeks ago, Pruitt let the president know that he was willing to replace Jeff Sessions if Trump fired the beleaguered Attorney General.
Pruitt argued that under the The Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998 presidents have the right to appoint a “temporary” replacement if the current seat holder is for some reason removed from office. Pruitt’s ill-conceived plan would have him sitting in for 210 days as temporary director as stipulated in the 1998 act. After that time, supposedly, a new AG would have passed through the confirmation process, at which time, Pruitt would step down and move back to Oklahoma to run for either the governorship or as a candidate for the United States Senate.
Pruitt denied the allegation, but Pruitt’s veracity is only a little better than Trump’s own rocky relationship to the truth. Had Trump been foolish enough to accept the offer, presumably, the über loyal lapdog, Pruitt, would have eliminated the pesky little investigation into the Trump campaign’s collusion with the Russians during the 2016 campaign and election, and along with it, the well-respected special prosecutor Robert Mueller.
Yet another scandal is covered in the CNN article that revealed staffers at the EPA kept a secret calendar that would be used as a template for the official calendar released to the public. Before the secret calendar came to print, problematic meetings and appointments with the names of those present would be “scrubbed” from the official version. By law, each department is required to submit an official calendar to allow the public to see what department heads were up to and why.
By keeping a secret calendar, Pruitt could meet with lobbyist and industry officials who had interest in influencing the director to support their desires to change federal regulatory law that came before the EPA. What Pruitt and his minions at the EPA were doing was possibly illegal, and something Pruitt would have to explain before Congress. Trump may have simply had it with Pruitt and wanted him gone.
Back to my original reason for writing this blog and Burton’s Vox article. She stated that Pruitt’s faith in God insulated him from condemnation and allowed him to stay in office. This despite 15 ongoing ethics violations investigations by various departments of Congress and the government currently against him. In the title of the article, Burton states,
“He argued that God gave mankind “dominion” over the environment.”
As a devout Southern Baptist christian, Pruitt is the epitome of hypocrisy. A proven liar, narcissist, and grifter, Pruitt’s claims and actions do not mesh with reality. Maybe his God is a willful destroyer of all things that are right and holy about this planet. Maybe his God is simply an asshole who is beholden to big business and industries that rape, pillage and destroy everything that is good about the planet and the people who live here.
Or maybe, Pruitt is exactly what he appears to be. A small-minded man with an ego the size of Texas who came to Washington with his hand out looking for as many opportunities to enrich himself and his family at the expense of the American people and the government to which he pledged allegiance. This is the kind of person that if there were a God would have long ago been struck down by a proverbial bolt of lightening. He does a poor job of spreading his “Christian values” to the masses and is the poster boy for the Republican Party has become under the Trump administration.
At the end of the day, the one redeeming note of hope to come out of Pruitt’s debacle is he is gone, not forgotten, he still has to face the ethics allegations that he unwisely used his office and position in illegal ways, but gone from the role he played in the EPA. Honestly, his temporary replacement, a former coal lobbyist, will not be much better, possibly worse. Still, I look forward to next Monday morning knowing that Pruitt and his holier-than-thou personae will be headed back to Oklahoma, but this time on his own dime.