Who Exactly Joined the Swamp in This Example?

Joni Ernst campaigned as a stalwart conservative, loudly embracing the smaller government message of the tea party movement. She differentiated herself from her opponent by declaring she does not “believe the government should pick winners and losers in our economy” and that she is “philosophically opposed to those mandates or those subsidies that are coming from the government.” Those comments were specifically in reference to ethanol subsidies and mandates like the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Yet today, Senator Ernst sings a different tune. Instead of working to get rid of all subsidies, she has decided to dive head first into the Washington swamp, vociferously objecting to even the slightest tweaks to the disaster that is the RFS. Which is why it is the height of hypocrisy for the Senator to make the comments she made today about EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt.

Earlier today, Senator Ernst described Scott Pruitt as “about as swampy as you get.” Pruitt’s apparent transgression was that he signed an extortion letter she demanded last year and now it appears that President Trump may announce a deal that supersedes that letter. Senator Ernst held EPA nominees hostage demanding a promise of protection for her special interest backers in the ethanol industry, and is now calling someone else swampy because he is trying to do his job.

Administrator Pruitt has enforced the RFS law as written, despite what whatever personal reservations he may have. Now his boss, the President, has ordered him to come up with a compromise to address some of the manifest shortcomings of the RFS, and so he is attempting to do so. There is nothing swampy about that; it is just trying to do the job he was appointed to do.

Ernst, on the other hand, is demanding not only that Pruitt ignore the direction from his boss to find a compromise, she is demanding that Pruitt stop enforcing the law as written, disregard the plain text of the RFS, and instead creatively interpret it to favor her preferred special interests in the ethanol industry.

Which of these people sounds like the swamp monster in this tiff?

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