Democratic Senator Russ Feingold has won me over to his way of thinking. When John Ashcroft was nominated as Attorney General, Feingold argued that Ashcroft should be confirmed because the President has the right to get the cabinet he wants. If we give the President free rein to choose his cabinet, then we’re free to judge his administration on the actions undertaken by that cabinet. I feel the same way about the secret energy policy stuff that the GAO is suing the Vice President over. Ultimately, I don’t care what was said at those secret meetings, because we can judge the Administration on the energy policy that it enacts.
For example, the Clinton administration imposed tough new regulations on pollution-spewing coal-fired power plants. The Bush adminstration is looking at rolling back those regulations and replacing them with voluntary programs that provide incentives for polluters to clean up their act, but don’t penalize them if they don’t.
We have known from the day President Bush was elected by the Supreme Court that his administration was going to do the bidding of the energy industry. Everything that’s happened since then has borne that out. There’s no need to obsess about what’s going on behind closed doors, what’s happening right out in public is outrageous enough.