Crucifying the EPA: What's wrong with federal enforcers enforcing?
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Politics is the realm of hyperbole, metaphor and analogy. When opponents accuse others of waging a war against something, that doesn't mean guns and bullets are involved.
Democrats say, for instance, the GOP is waging a war on women but, again, guns have no part, although vaginal probes of women seeking abortions are the weapons of choice in some states. Now the Republicans seem to have come up with the ultimate so-called war -- a war on analogies.
Two years ago, the top Environmental Protection Agency official in Texas, Al Armendariz, said in a videotaped speech that the agency should come down hard on polluters, sending a message as the Romans did, by "crucifying" offenders to make a point for the others.
Republicans, who, ironically, have been trying -- if you will pardon the expression -- to crucify the EPA for years, now have their poster bureaucrat of overzealous enforcement. Mr. Armendariz quickly fell on his sword (not to be taken literally) so that his resignation would end the administration's embarrassment.
But on both sides it is political correctness gone crazy, yet another chapter in the dumbing down of America.
What did Mr. Armendariz do wrong? Nothing. He used a figure of speech. It wasn't sacrilegious and his example was from Turkey, not Palestine.
Polluters are not going to hang from crosses. He was merely saying that enforcers should enforce the law -- and everybody who has to breathe foul air ought to agree.
First Published May 2, 2012 12:00 am