Oklahoma Republican Attorney General-elect Scott Pruitt speaks at a news conference in Oklahoma City, Friday, Jan. 7, 2011. Pruitt said he plans to file a lawsuit soon after he’s sworn into office on Monday to challenge the federal government over the new federal
health care law..(AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

 

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has just announced his resignation.

This is a sad but foreseeable event. One could call it a Shakespearean tragedy in which a very competent official with a clear vision for EPA and an encyclopedic knowledge of the evil it was capable of was brought down by nothing more potent than his own hubris. But there is a farcical nature to the whole affair because the scandals that swirled about Pruitt were small, and banal, and ugly, and petit bourgeois in the extreme. They were scandals of appearance rather than scandals of import. And they were scandals of grasping for perks rather than large-scale graft or even corrupt policymaking.

Eventually, the volume of the stench became too much to bear. And here we are.

This sets up another politically charged confirmation hearing and it will probably put on hold Pruitt’s agenda of pulling the EPA back from its self-ordained role of ruler of the nation. That is too bad, because he really moved the ball forward during his tenure and it will be hard to find someone else who can do the positive things Pruitt was doing.

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