The Hundredth Meridian

Now Hear This!!!

You could say it isn't easy being a liberal in the most conservative state in the Union if it weren't for the fact that in the most conservative state in the Union, the liberals occupy all the best bully pulpits. This means that, in Wyoming as in the rest of the 5O states, Democratic liberalism is the unofficial public philosophy—in spite of Wyoming's congressional delegation being solidly conservative Republican. Though liberals in Wyoming are a small minority, that minority is very present, which is why the mood of official gloom prevailing here might suggest to the uninitiated observer that Al Gore, not George Bush, won the presidential election last fall. Lamentation comes largely from distraught environmentalists, who have not been happy campers since the attempted Democratic coup in Florida collapsed in December.

Not counting the election itself. Bush's Cabinet was the first shock. Governor Christie Whitman replacing Carol Browner at the EPA was more or less acceptable to Western environmentalists (she comes to the position from a place called the Garden State, and has no problem with using abortion as a means of population control). Gale Norton replacing St. Bruce the Babbitt, though, was another story, since Norton created a significant paper trail in defense of property rights during her years as Colorado's attorney general (and, before that, in her association with James Watt at the Western...

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