Mined from the notebooks Tuesday, July 3, 2018. Posted Monday, July 16.
Photo of now former EPA Chief Scott Pruitt by Jonathan Ernst courtesy of Reuters via the Atlantic.
From the Department of Ideas in Search of a Post:
There’s not much that separates Main Street from Wall Street except the limits of criminal opportunity. Who’s the more American type? The Wall Street bankster or hedge fund manager making millions off his clients’ losses or the guy in the suit from Men’s Warehouse on the phone at his rented desk in the office park boiler room? Scott Pruitt is an American type. Fully in the American grain. But more Main Street than Wall Street. He has more in common with the boiler room types than with the sharpers on Wall Street. He wanted easy money he didn’t have the talent, intelligence, or competence to earn---or steal---through his own merit and effort.
What’s more American than that?
We despise him because the meanness of his ambition is so familiar. He’s even more contemptible because his dreams are so paltry. He’s dreamed and schemed like a small town small timer. Given the opportunity to rake in millions, either immediately by taking bribes from the corporate polluters he was supposed to regulate or by delaying his gratification until he left the EPA and went to work as a lobbyist for one of those corporate polluters, he chose to become a mere skimmer.
A fancy office door?
A Chick-fil-A franchise?
This would be funny if it wasn’t so pathetic. And cheesy. His idea of living like the rich and powerful is that of a small-minded, unimaginative, suburban snob who expects his neighbors to be impressed by---and envy, and covet---the trappings, toys, and status symbols of the lifestyles of the rich and famous because he saw them on TV. People like Donald Trump.
Pruitt wanted to be like Donald Trump without doing the hard work of devising and running a lifelong con game.