May
18
2009

White House’s ‘Blame Bush’ reflex embarrasses them, EPA.

More than usual, that is.

It goes like this (H/T & links via Ed Driscoll and OpenMarket.org).

A memo from the EPA surfaced a while back that mentioned in passing that regulating greenhouse gasses to the extent desired by the most fervent global warming believers might have an adverse effect on the impious, too:

In contrast, an endangerment finding under section 202 may not be not the most appropriate approach for regulating GHGs. Making the decision to regulate CO2 under the CAA for the first time is likely to have serious economic consequences for regulated entities throughout the U.S. economy, including small businesses and small communities. Should EPA later extend this finding to stationary sources, small businesses and institutions would be subject to costly regulatory programs such as New Source Review.

As this was somewhat alarming, once you translated it into Standard English, the White House eventually started a little pushback that no, they wouldn’t be junking the entire American economy just quite yet.  So far, so good: after all, you don’t need to be a conservative to know that the government produces a lot of unfortunately relevant documents that later have to be eliminated and/or repudiated*.

But then somebody in the administration just couldn’t help themselves:

An administration official said the comment that the EPA finding would hurt small business came from the head of the office of advocacy at the Small Business Administration, “a Bush holdover because the Obama folks haven’t begun to staff” the agency. He didn’t say where the other comments originated.

Because, as all here reading this know, blaming every little thing on the previous administration is the signature chronic condition of this one; it’s like their own personal Tourette Syndrome.  One wonders whether they even notice by now.

They probably should have, because Rep. Darrell Issa has been paying attention to this particular issue; and apparently, more attention than the aforementioned administration official.

Moreover, in an apparent attempt to discredit the internal memorandum, an unnamed Administration official dismissed the warning that an endangerment finding would “hurt small business” because it came from, “a Bush holdover.” However the so-called “holdover” is a career civil servant who was originally hired during the Clinton Administration and worked at one time for a Democratic Member of Congress. Shawne Carter McGibbon is now Acting-Chief Counsel, keeping the office running until a Chief Counsel for Advocacy is confirmed by the Senate. There are hundreds of civil servants serving in a similar capacity throughout the Federal Government, who could also be characterized as “Bush holdovers.” I sincerely hope that their professional advice and decisions will not be discounted merely because they also worked for the Federal Government under President George W. Bush.

Meet Shawne Carter McGibbon, by the way: on behalf of the entire Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy I would like to welcome her to our ranks, and may I note in passing that it was a shame what happened to Al Wynn last year?

If this was an isolated incident, that’d be one thing: but as I noted before, the current administration defaults to blaming the previous one.  For everything bad that happens: it’s annoying.  Worse, it’s lazy.  Worst of all, it’s sloppy. ‘Sloppy’ is the point where habits that may be tolerable in a person or group become intolerable in a country, particularly one in which I am living.

So I’d like the White House to stop, please.

Moe Lane

*Apparently, though, you have to be a conservative in order to actually want to change that situation in any meaningful way.  But I digress.

Crossposted to RedState.

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