Occassionally, someone in politics tells the truth, and it's enlightening.
Recently, a video surfaced of regional administrator Al Armendariz of the Environmental Protection Agency making a speech two years ago in which he compared enforcement to Roman crucifixion.
"My philosophy of enforcement," he said, "was kind of like how the Romans used to conquer little villages in the Mediterranean.
"They'd go into a little Turkish town somewhere. They'd find the first five guys they saw, and they'd crucify them. And then, you know, that town was really easy to manage for the next few years."
Armendariz was trying to make the point that when the EPA finds people who are not complying with the law, it hits them as hard as possible and makes examples out of them.
Interestingly, Armendariz's comments were not one-time, off-the-cuff remarks. He pointed out in his speech in the town of Dish just outside Dallas that he first used the crucifixion analogy when speaking with his staff about his enforcement philosophy.
When the video went national, Armendariz retreated and apologized for "my poor choice of words." He also said his analogy was an "inaccurate way to portray our efforts to address potential violations of our nation's environmental laws."
He should not have apologized or issued any sort of corrective statement. His original statement is the most accurate description to date of the smug and overreaching exercise of federal power by the Obama administration's EPA.
The EPA's responsibility to enforce the country's environmental laws is not in dispute.
What is in question, however, are the attempts by this agency to bend the law to its own will.
Here are just a few examples:
* Armendariz's comments came at about the time his agency was blaming Texas-based Range Resources for contaminating water supplies through hydraulic fracturing.