Conservatives often complain that they don't get a "fair shake," in the mainstream media. I don't completely buy that argument in light of numerous conservative websites like "Breitbart," a TV network - FOX NEWS - that is so partisan it has its anchors (e.g. Hannity) out campaigning for conservative political figures, conservative radio hosts with huge audiences like RUSH LIMBAUGH and MARK LEVINE and plenty of newspapers both local (like the Chicago Tribune) and national (like the Wall Street Journal) that often cover all things CONSERVATIVE.
So how did it happen that a great conservative and great American like William Ruckelshaus, who passed away last week, got SO LITTLE COVERAGE from many of the outlets noted above?
Might it be because Bill Ruckelshaus chose COUNTRY FIRST/PARTY SECOND. If you don't know your contemporary history of the last 50 or so years then you can't appreciate why this man was an AMERICAN HERO.
William Ruckelshaus was the FIRST head of the EPA and was instrumental in executing THE CLEAN WATER ACT (CWA)- the primary federal law in the United States governing water pollution. Its objective is to restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the nation's waters; recognizing the responsibilities of the states in addressing pollution and providing assistance to states to do so, including funding for publicly owned treatment works for the improvement of wastewater treatment; and maintaining the integrity of wetlands.
That accomplishment alone (an act signed into law by Richard Nixon) might be enough of a legacy for Bill Ruckelshaus but he did so much more for this country and the rule of law.
It was William Ruckelshaus who would not execute an order from, Nixon, then president of the United States to fire Archibald Cox the Special Prosecutor in the WATERGATE scandal. Rather than follow an order he found unethical, Ruckelshaus QUIT in what later became known as "The Saturday Night Massacre." Nixon called upon the Deputy AG (Ruckelshaus) to fire COX when the Attorney General Elliot Richardson refused to follow Nixon's order. In keeping with Richardson, Ruckelshaus QUIT rather than execute Nixon's directive.
Both Richardson and Ruckelshaus decided to GO DO GOOD rather than follow the order of a boss who had to quit his position when it became clear that he had participated illegally in a cover-up payment for the bumbling burglars of The Watergate Scandal. WATERGATE showed the public that Nixon was not to be trusted, and had to be held accountable to the rule of law even if he was POTUS...an act of courage by Ruckelshaus as relative today as it was then.
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