Sierra Club exec. director Carl Pope writes an alternate history of the last two weeks — what could have been. But it wasn’t:

Incompetence? Oh yes.

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But this was not garden-variety incompetence — good intentions gone awry. This was the toxic harvest of a strategically and intentionally planted seed — a set of reactionary beliefs to which our nation’s leaders have become addicted. Namely: Prudence is for wimps, protecting our communities is morally corrosive, after-the-fact spin can substitute for planning, and the poor and powerless deserve whatever the fates — or our bureaucracies — hand to them. It has turned out that when you try, as conservative-activist Grover Norquist said, “to reduce government to the size that you can drown it in a bathtub,” it is not just government that drowns. It is the people.

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