Milbank: Conservatism Caused Flint Water Crisis

"This is no abstract problem."

It's the conservative, and Founding Father-approved, ideal of limiting the power of the federal government that caused the Flint water crisis, or so says The Washington Post's liberal-opinion mouthpiece Dana Milbank.

"It’s a vicious cycle," states Milbank, who just loves himself some big government. "Washington devolves power to the states. When states screw up, conservatives blame the federal government, worsening the public’s already shaky faith. Having tied the hands of the feds — in this case, the EPA — they use the failure as justification to restrict federal power further, thus giving more control to the states, which caused the problem in the first place."

"This is no abstract problem," he says confidently. 

What would a United States look like if there were no all-powerful Environmental Protection Agency? "It would look like Flint," Milbank answers.

Citing the Safe Drinking Water Act, Milbank argues that the EPA "takes a back seat to state regulators" and thus couldn't -- by law -- intervene. They knew about the lead-contaminated water for a year and did nothing. Milbank argues that it took that long to "meet the law's requirements to take action."

And though he can admit that the EPA "should have acted faster," Milbank believes the state of Michigan bears the brunt of the blame. That's fine, but in doing so, Milbank must recognize that Flint was led by Democratic Mayor Dayne Walling until losing re-election over the lead fiasco and was replaced by another Democrat, Karen Weaver. But he doesn't, of course, preferring to blame conservative values for creating the problem:

No, this problem was created by a rigid adherence to the notion that states will police themselves — and that the federal government should step aside.

It's for this reason, and many others, that Milbank rightfully earned his spot on TruthRevolt's Media Hall of Shame.

Issues

People

Organizations