Matt Dernoga exemplifies my charge of "shallow and misleading" when he writes:
Ehrlich … appointed inexperienced industry insiders […] An auto-industry lawyer was head of the state Department of the Environment!First, Lynn Buhl (the “auto-industry lawyer”) was never confirmed as head of MDE. Second, Buhl spent years working for both the US EPA and Michigan’s version of MDE. But green Democrats like Dernoga didn’t seem to consider her job description or accomplishments at Chrysler. They just clobbered her because she worked there.
When progressives take career paths like Buhl’s, they are often lionized by fellow Democrats as noble “sector switchers.” But conservatives with long records of public service are commonly demonized by the left as evil corporate tools.
My experience contradicts this stereotype. I’ve worked in all three sectors, and know that you can find good, ethical people in all of them. But when I think about the most talented and ethical people I’ve worked with, the list is dominated by folks from the private sector.
Many of them have worked at places like Chrysler.
John McPhee illustrates this in his environmental classic Encounters with the Archdruid. In it, the most competent, likable and ethical person was not the environmentalist David Brower but the corporate mineral engineer Charles Park. As I remember the book, Park had logged more time in the wilderness and understood it better. He revered nature as much or more than Brower, and was meticulous about protecting it.
Brower, on the other hand, was abrasive and admittedly dishonest.
I think it’s about time green Democrats like Matt Dernoga stop auto-dumping on people just because they’ve worked in private industry.