I see that our latest outburst of faux outrage has ended yet another career:
The Obama administration’s top environmental official in the oil-rich South and Southwest region has resigned after Republicans targeted him over remarks made two years ago when he used the word “crucify” to describe how he would go after companies violating environmental laws. In a letter to Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson sent Sunday, Al Armendariz says he regrets his words and stresses that they do not reflect his work as administrator of the five-state region.
Critics will go on claiming that “crucify” was something other than an analogy for making examples out of crooks. (Imagine if a district attorney had used the analogy to describe a crack-down on car thieves, or something similar.) After all, how can you expect government to work efficiently if people are allowed to make analogies that some other people find offensive?
Needless to say, no one really cared all that much about Armendariz’s comment. It was just a convenient excuse to go after a guy who had annoyed oil and gas interests in the state of Texas. And it worked. Pretending to be mortally offended by some ancient remark or another continues to be an excellent strategy for getting people fired.