Clearing the air.
Every once in a while, The Washington Monthly publishes an article that justifies the magazine's entire existence. I remember, years ago, a marvelous piece that described the stations of indignant denial, prevarication, trimming, excuse-making, and illness that public figures inevitably pass through when they're caught. With David Whitman's non-partisan analysis of the fate of Bush's Clear Skies initiative, you have done it again ("Partly Sunny," December 2004). His article should be required reading for all policy wonks, especially environmentalists. It makes clear how dangerous and self-defeating it is for pubic interest groups to succumb to dishonesty for the sake of tactical advantage, and graphically demonstrates the stupidity of demonization. I say this as a life member of the Sierra Club, a liberal Democrat, and a citizen deeply disgusted by the moral bankruptcy of the Bush presidency.
New York, N.Y.