That’s Ramesh Ponnuru’s assessment, and I agree with it. Ponnuru writes:
EPA administrator Scott Pruitt had enemies who were out to get him because he is a Republican, a conservative, a high-ranking member of the Trump administration, and an environmental deregulator. But it wasn’t liberals, the media, or deep staters who made him get large raises for his top aides, deny that he knew about it, and then admit that he did. It wasn’t they who made him have an aide find him a discount mattress, or run sirens so he could get to a French restaurant on time.
The aides who told journalists, or congressional investigators, or both about Pruitt’s misbehavior weren’t all or even mostly liberals or deep staters. Several of them were conservative Trump supporters who were disturbed by Pruitt’s behavior and thought he was serving both the president and taxpayers poorly. Some of them had come with Pruitt from Oklahoma because they believed in him. The more they saw him in action in D.C., the less they did. Today it caught up with him.
We hear plenty about the arrogance and high-handedness “swamp” residents. Some of it, too much, is true. But that arrogance and high-handedness is usually in the service of policy, not petty privilege.
It’s a rare Washington insider who behaves the way Pruitt did. When we see a sense of entitlement of the kind Pruitt displayed, it usually comes from a Washington outsider, recently arrived.
In these cases, there may be a kind of naivety at work, but that’s no excuse.
By all accounts, Pruitt was doing a fine job at EPA. He let President Trump and conservatives down by tripping himself on pettiness.