Pointless in Seattle

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer caps off a silly editorial about Rep. Richard Pombo's plans to strengthen/weaken (depending on whom you ask) the Endangered Species Act with this concluding paragraph:

As critics point out, the act hasn't restored many threatened species to robust health. If consensus can be found, it's possible that Congress could craft better ways of restoring endangered species. But the starting point must be to prevent extinction. On that basic responsibility, Congress must not mess with the Endangered Species Act's great success.

In other words, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer simultaneously is putting forth the following self-contradictory theses:

  • The Endangered Species Act is not working very well.
  • Congress may be able to craft an Endangered Species Act that would do a better job.
  • The Endangered Species Act is a great success.
  • Congress should not mess with the Endangered Species Act.
  • The Seattle Post-Intelligencer's editorial staff is entitled to express its opinion, no matter how self-contradictory, but it is hard to avoid the impression that its staff in this case is motivated more by a bias against Congressional Republicans amending the ESA in any way -- simply because they are Republicans -- than in the actual content of Rep. Pombo's bill.

    As Richard Nixon, who signed the original ESA into law, among other Republicans, has proved, people with "R" next to their name are quite capable of expanding the federal government's regulatory power on environmental issues. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer might do its readers a better service if it read proposed laws before opining on them.