Thought Piece

For the record, the Clean Power Plan is a great example of undemocratic regulation, environmental extremism, faulty constitutional thinking, media manipulation, extensive use of executive orders, moral rectitude, name-calling, populist rhetoric, ideological purity, demonization of the opposition, total inability to  negotiate with the loyal opposition, and poor understanding of basic global economic development. Steve

Liberal Commentator: Death Threats Against EPA Director Make Sense

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Mark Morford, a long-time commentary for SFGATE, devoted an entire column this past week to explaining why Scott Pruitt, President Trump’s director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), has received a record number of death threats.

“This is but a simple acknowledgment: when you send threats to the world and all who live on her, the world will, quite naturally, send them right back,” Morford concluded.

Not that Morford is actually advocating “for violence,” he wrote. “Only the smallest of minds and most unstable of souls would mis-read my words in such a way.” CNN has reported that there have been “at least four to five times the number of [death] threats against Mr. Pruitt than we had against [Obama’s EPA chief Gina] McCarthy.”

Who is making all these death threats? Morford concedes, “They are, perhaps, coming from scientists,” but he offers that a man as horrible as he claims Pruitt is would understandably have many enemies capable of making death threats. After all, according to Morford, “Scott Pruitt [is] the pallid, oily-environment corporate shill beloved by the least palatable humans in the corporate world.” He adds that Pruitt is a “banally evil, milquetoast, science-denying government administrator,” who has “systematically gutted, disempowered and anti-scienced [the EPA] under sneering orders of the most acidic president in modern history.”

And these remarks are after a Bernie Sanders activist targeted Republican members of Congress while they were practicing to play a softball game.

Besides scientists, Morford mentions others who might be willing to threaten to murder an EPA director, simply because they do not like his policies. “They are, perhaps, coming from environmental advocates, or teachers, or peace activists, or lovers of life and humanity and nature, or distraught mothers, worried that Pruitt’s actions will, quite correctly, endanger the lives of their children.”

Morford even said Pruitt wanted “to block out the screams of all the children, poor and elderly he is harming and even (eventually) killing, more or less directly, as he whispers dreamy deregulation porn into the withered, cauliflower ears of coal barons, oil magnates and leathery brothers Koch.”

And if you think such hot rhetoric might be an incitement to violence, then Morford dismisses you as a person whose “critical thinking skills” are on the level of a “neo-Nazi.”

Among the charges that Morford levels at Pruitt is that he withdrew from “the Clean Power Plan, the landmark Obama law regulating greenhouse gasses.” (Emphasis added).

This demonstrates quite powerfully the lack of “critical thinking skills” possessed by Morford. Calling President Obama’s Clean Power Plan an “Obama law” is illustrative of either Morford’s misunderstanding of the separation of powers found in the Constitution, or that he simply does not care what the Constitution states. In Article I, all legislative powers granted to the federal government by the Constitution are delegated to Congress, not the president and certainly not some bureaucrat in the EPA. Obama has no more authority to make law through an executive order than the average shopper at Walmart. And neither does a director of the EPA.

What Pruitt did was overturn a decision of a previous holder of his office. In short, Pruitt just restored the situation to what it was before the executive branch took it upon itself to make law, in contradiction to the Constitution. For that, Pruitt deserves to die?

Pruitt explained why he scuttled the rule. “When you think about what that rule meant,” Pruitt explained, “it was about picking winners and losers. Regulatory power should not be used by any regulatory body to pick winners and losers. The past administration was using every bit of power and authority to use the EPA to pick winners and losers and how we generate electricity in this country. That’s wrong.”

The proposal to repeal Obama’s Clean Power Plan states, “Under the interpretation proposed in this notice, the CPP exceeds the EPA’s statutory authority and would be repealed. The EPA welcomes comment on the legal interpretation addressed in this proposed rulemaking.”

The EPA’s power to make rules must be made within the bounds of statutes, Pruitt argued. “As much as we want to see progress made with clean air and clean water, with an understanding that we can also grow jobs, we have to do so within the framework of what Congress has passed,” Pruitt explained.

Sadly, Morford’s heated rhetoric is not unique to him. Even some Democrat members of Congress, instead of expressing alarm that Pruitt’s life has been threatened, were more incensed that the protection of Pruitt is going to cost more money, dismissing such spending as “lavish.”

Too bad the Left is not as energized to cut back on other federal spending.