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Why Scott Pruitt Still Matters in the Trump Era


Why Scott Pruitt Still Matters in the Trump Era

Kai Olson-Sawyer

Scott Pruitt is gone. In place of the erstwhile EPA administrator sits former coal lobbyist and savvy deregulatory policy hand, Andrew Wheeler. Good luck, environment.


Just like Pruitt, Trump was and continues to be “described as an outsider” by the fake news media, with FOX (faux news) and the GOP being the most prolific originators of fake news.

In the 21st century “ousider” is defined as never having held elected office or been a direct report of an elected, period.

Although a history of being part of the beltway pay to play and swamp culture for decades would have characterized Trump, Pruitt and their ilk squarely as “insiders” back in the 20th century, such is no longer the case in today’s reality TV world.


The Gorsuch to head the EPA was one of the first clear indicators that the Republicans no longer agreed with the Democrats on the need for big government. The EPA started under Nixon when both parties supported big government. But with Reagan came the idea that the problem was government. The Republicans haven’t been able to get rid of large government agencies but they have been successful in undermining their missions. The right wing radio talk show hosts have been pretty successful in convincing many listeners that all government does is waste taxpayer money leaving much of the country cynical about the federal government. And to make matters worse Bill Clinton pronounced the end of the era of big government. Bernie Sanders has set out to make big government widely acceptable again but he is not there yet. It appears it will take a lot to ever get back to general acceptance of the importance of big government.


There are difficulties with this concept big government–I do not mean to complain about your particular usage, Lrx, but the term in general.

With what units do we measure a big government? One is tempted to say that the Republicans particularly talk about this and measure it in dollars. But if so, that explains none of their enthusiasm for Ronald Reagan, who set a runaway record for deficit-side spending even if we do not count the enormous quantities of money that the Bush-Reagan administration spent off the record, through the cocaine-arms-mercenaries trade (as I am reminded looking through Robert Parry’s work again).

Clearly it is not in deregulation if that is to mean less regulation or less enforcement; that is in sharp contradiction to the “law and order” message.

What we are talking about is social programs, no? But these do not rise under Bill Clinton, who passes NAFTA, balances the budget, and “sanctions” Iraqis instead. No, it is Cheney-Bush who breaks the Reagan era spending record, for military purposes and so-called “bailouts,” and the Obama presidency that breaks it again–for another bailout and military spending, little else. Incomes, wealth, and distribution are all less equal year by year, Republicans or Democrats.

I think that most Republicans still agree with the Democrats-in-office that government is to be big military, with as little in social programs as is necessary to soft-soap the population.


Reagan was head of the screen actors guild for 7 years and a democrat. I think he sold out the actors union the last two years. He made a deal with the air traffic controllers before the election and then double crossed them afterwards. Brainwashed by Nancy ? Read " Democracy in Chains " by Nancy McLean. It is a nice time table of what has happened.