But as the stories continued to pile up, week after week, often astonishingly petty and memorable, it became impossible to conclude that Pruitt wasn’t behaving selfishly and indefensibly.

It pains me to say this as someone who was a fan of Pruitt’s when he was Oklahoma attorney general, who supports his work as EPA administrator, and who waived off the initial stories — I thought he could get beyond them with an apology and a pledge to straighten up and fly right (i.e., coach).

Pruitt seems to represent a fairly common phenomenon: A talented, ambitious person works in government for a long time, makes relatively little money, especially compared with the donors and lobbyists who want his ear, and tries to boost his lifestyle by exploiting every possible perk and angle he can find.