Scott Pruitt's scalp a trophy for the Deep State

Yesterday's resignation of Scott Pruitt robs the American people of a dedicated reformer who has already helped spark an investment boom and saved countless jobs.  The left is celebrating on two counts: the departure of the man they demonized and the success of their "death by a thousand cuts" strategy.

Make no mistake: many EPA staffers vehemently opposed his policy initiatives and leaked anything and everything that could possibly be construed negatively to environmental groups and the media.  Some of his "offenses" were laughable, such as flying first class or even business class, or spending money on a conference table or secure phone room.  Andrew McCabe – the number-two figure in a bureau (the FBI) of a Cabinet agency – spent much more money on a conference table than the head of a free-standing department of the federal government.

The relentless barrage of "scandal" talk created an atmosphere that motivated rude attacks in public spaces and a "deathwatch" atmosphere for media jackals.  

To be sure, Pruitt made a few genuine mistakes, and he may have come close to violating federal law when he allegedly altered records of his schedule:

Kevin Chmielewski, Pruitt's former deputy chief of staff for operations, said he and other staffers had attended meetings where their boss' official calendar was scrubbed of meetings that might "look bad."  He said Pruitt directed some of the deletions.

"We had at one point three different schedules," Chmielewski told CNN.  "One of them was one that no one else saw except three or four of us."

The EPA denied there were any "secret calendars or schedules," but there were clear discrepancies between internal EPA documents and Pruitt's official calendar.  There was a real chance the EPA's inspector general could have found serious violations by Pruitt of the Federal Records Act.

He also allegedly sought a Chick-fil-A franchise for his wife and got a really good deal on a nightly rental on a D.C. apartment owned by a lobbyist.

I wish he had not done these things.  A newcomer to D.C., he may not have realized how such things could be construed by enemies.  But compared to getting half-million-dollar speaking gigs for a spouse after making a favorable regulatory move selling our uranium reserves to Russia or wiping (with BleachBit, not a cloth) a hard drive with 30,000 subpoenaed emails, Pruitt's sins are pretty small beer.

The real lesson of Pruitt's rise and fall is that the Deep State will leak to its allies in the media anything that could possibly be used against a Trump Cabinet member accomplishing goals opposed by the left.  And the media will hysterically trumpet as a scandal almost anything that is a normal way of doing business for the head of a multi-billion-dollar operation.

Pruitt's deputy, Andrew Wheeler, who will succeed him but who faces Senate confirmation, is now the target.  He already is being tarred as a coal lobbyist.  He needs to be purer than Caesar's wife.  Perfection is demanded of conservatives, while members of the Deep State and their political allies can operate in the dark with their bureaucracies protecting them.

Yesterday's resignation of Scott Pruitt robs the American people of a dedicated reformer who has already helped spark an investment boom and saved countless jobs.  The left is celebrating on two counts: the departure of the man they demonized and the success of their "death by a thousand cuts" strategy.

Make no mistake: many EPA staffers vehemently opposed his policy initiatives and leaked anything and everything that could possibly be construed negatively to environmental groups and the media.  Some of his "offenses" were laughable, such as flying first class or even business class, or spending money on a conference table or secure phone room.  Andrew McCabe – the number-two figure in a bureau (the FBI) of a Cabinet agency – spent much more money on a conference table than the head of a free-standing department of the federal government.

The relentless barrage of "scandal" talk created an atmosphere that motivated rude attacks in public spaces and a "deathwatch" atmosphere for media jackals.  

To be sure, Pruitt made a few genuine mistakes, and he may have come close to violating federal law when he allegedly altered records of his schedule:

Kevin Chmielewski, Pruitt's former deputy chief of staff for operations, said he and other staffers had attended meetings where their boss' official calendar was scrubbed of meetings that might "look bad."  He said Pruitt directed some of the deletions.

"We had at one point three different schedules," Chmielewski told CNN.  "One of them was one that no one else saw except three or four of us."

The EPA denied there were any "secret calendars or schedules," but there were clear discrepancies between internal EPA documents and Pruitt's official calendar.  There was a real chance the EPA's inspector general could have found serious violations by Pruitt of the Federal Records Act.

He also allegedly sought a Chick-fil-A franchise for his wife and got a really good deal on a nightly rental on a D.C. apartment owned by a lobbyist.

I wish he had not done these things.  A newcomer to D.C., he may not have realized how such things could be construed by enemies.  But compared to getting half-million-dollar speaking gigs for a spouse after making a favorable regulatory move selling our uranium reserves to Russia or wiping (with BleachBit, not a cloth) a hard drive with 30,000 subpoenaed emails, Pruitt's sins are pretty small beer.

The real lesson of Pruitt's rise and fall is that the Deep State will leak to its allies in the media anything that could possibly be used against a Trump Cabinet member accomplishing goals opposed by the left.  And the media will hysterically trumpet as a scandal almost anything that is a normal way of doing business for the head of a multi-billion-dollar operation.

Pruitt's deputy, Andrew Wheeler, who will succeed him but who faces Senate confirmation, is now the target.  He already is being tarred as a coal lobbyist.  He needs to be purer than Caesar's wife.  Perfection is demanded of conservatives, while members of the Deep State and their political allies can operate in the dark with their bureaucracies protecting them.