Be Kind to Liberals Month

Today, the White House unveiled a sweeping new proposed regulation governing diesel-fuel emissions. Yesterday, the White House unveiled a sweeping new final regulation governing the privacy of medical records. In the next few days, the president will probably OK five new national monuments in the West. He may even go crazy and give Leonard Peltier clemency! What the heck is going on? It’s Be Kind To Liberals Month! Clinton has one month to do something that conservatives always accused him of doing–pandering to liberal constituencies. In fact, Clinton did very little of this during his eight years in office, as any left-of-center interest group would be happy to tell you. But now, with his term about to end and a moderate but mindlessly pro-business Republican set to succeed him in office, Clinton has decided to play Santa Claus. Indeed, largely (though not exclusively) through the Clinton administration’s initiative, 2000 turned out to be the best year for land protection since 1980, according to  a new report  from the Wilderness Society. One million acres were added to the Wilderness System, 11 national monuments were created (not counting the five Clinton is still pondering), etc., etc. It’s very unlikely, of course, that 2001 will be another banner year for conservation, given the incoming administration’s ties to the oil industry.