Drill Baby Drill
THIS POST HAS BEEN UPDATED:
I was resisting blogging my Friday treeware column about the resignation of Sarah Palin since (1) I had nothing more to add except perhaps some links and, anyway, (2) enough already about her.
I mean, who cares if her ex-soon-to-be-son-in-law is doing the talk show rounds claiming that the governor of Alaska is quitting for big book deals, reality shows, what not? The way I see it, the more speeches down south she makes, the more wolves won't be shot from planes.
The op-ed was clearly written by Palin herself. It has that 9th grade, five paragraph essay style along with random bits of right-wing jargon sprinkled throughout in appropriate contexts. It is best read if you imagine that some of the lines were written to be delivered with winks
Seriously, how could I resist?
Let's cut to the chase:
Unfortunately, many in the national media would rather focus on the personality-driven political gossip of the day than on the gravity of these challenges. So, at risk of disappointing the chattering class, let me make clear what is foremost on my mind and where my focus will be:
I am deeply concerned about President Obama's cap-and-trade energy plan, and I believe it is an enormous threat to our economy. It would undermine our recovery over the short term and would inflict permanent damage.
American prosperity has always been driven by the steady supply of abundant, affordable energy. Particularly in Alaska, we understand the inherent link between energy and prosperity, energy and opportunity, and energy and security. Consequently, many of us in this huge, energy-rich state recognize that the president's cap-and-trade energy tax would adversely affect every aspect of the U.S. economy.
There is no denying that as the world becomes more industrialized, we need to reform our energy policy and become less dependent on foreign energy sources. But the answer doesn't lie in making energy scarcer and more expensive! Those who understand the issue know we can meet our energy needs and environmental challenges without destroying America's economy.
We have an important choice to make. Do we want to control our energy supply and its environmental impact? Or, do we want to outsource it to China, Russia and Saudi Arabia? Make no mistake: President Obama's plan will result in the latter.
For so many reasons, we can't afford to kill responsible domestic energy production or clobber every American consumer with higher prices.
Can America produce more of its own energy through strategic investments that protect the environment, revive our economy and secure our nation?
Yes, we can. Just not with Barack Obama's energy cap-and-tax plan.
Never mind how, as Ezra Klein points out, Palin never talks about ''global warming'' or ''climate change.'' There is no discussion of energy alternatives, new technology, changing old dirty ways, or creating green jobs for the future.
And the grammar, OMG, the grammar.
Many states have abundant coal, whose technology is continuously making it into a cleaner energy source.
On second thought, don't.
Back to Klein:
You could no more argue with this op-ed than you could drive a car made out of candy. Though it looks like one thing, it's actually another. And that other is a declaration of political intent: Palin is going to spend the next couple of years trying to act as leader of the opposition. She'll start with what she knows: Drill, baby, drill. And she'll start where she knows. In the media.
Here's my Friday column, in toto:
So, in the end, there was lipstick on the pig.
Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, who could have been one melanoma away from the Oval Office, did cut and run – and did so with all the dishonesty and hypocrisy she revealed during last year's American election campaign.
Not at all.
Right from the moment she strutted on that Republican convention stage last September, to last Friday, when she gave her angry and incoherent resignation rant, she took no responsibility for her failings. Instead, it was all about the "gotcha" media.
"I'm not a member of the permanent political establishment," the Maverick Mama said to explosive cheers last fall. "I've learned quickly, these past few days, that if you're not a member in good standing of the Washington elite, then some in the media consider a candidate unqualified for that reason alone."
Never mind her foreign policy failings, her inability to string a sentence together, her demagogic calls to arms, her lies about Troopergate and the "bridge to nowhere," her refusal to condemn terrorism when it comes to abortion clinics, her denial of gay rights, the exploitation of her pregnant teenage daughter (and the soon-to-be-jettisoned sperminator), her absolutely disastrous and pitifully (mercifully?) few interviews ... Just go read this month's Vanity Fair in which author Todd Purdum not only documents Palin's narcissistic behind-the-scenes hissy fits, but just about predicts that she'd bail.
Which she did, to the sound of geese honking.
And, although she once again kicked the media, she then invited all the networks on a fishing boat where, clad in overalls, she repeated all her not-so-sweet nothings.
Still we know not why she quit – only that Palin is a born quitter. That despite her talk of legal expenses and the cost to her state. The reasons she cites as her motivation to seek "a higher calling" are also turning out to be lies.
But this is all U.S. politics. The Palinpalooza – to borrow a phrase from Salon's Joan Walsh – really has little meaning for Canadians (unless they have something to do with that pipeline she also lied about.)
Where Palin matters is in the gender divide, one that her politics widened and deepened.
In fairness, a good deal of the blame rests with the huffing and puffing right-wing blowhards who, after denigrating Senator Hillary Clinton and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in the most sexist terms possible, then attempted to appropriate feminism when Palin came along.
Then there was the Republican political machinery, which cynically believed that it could win over disaffected Clinton supporters who were disappointed when she lost the Democratic nomination to Barack Obama.
Yeah, right. One skirt or another. What's the difference?
That Palin appealed to "the base" was a natural. Recent polls show that she still has cred in the Joe the Plumber ranks, which is why they call it "base," I guess. Her support is highest with evangelical Christians, who are not exactly at the forefront of the women's (or gay) rights movements.
But here's where even they got fooled. It has always been about Palin being centre stage, centre of attraction, centre spotlight.
Her family, for all her claims otherwise, and for all her protests after David Letterman's tasteless jokes, are mere background players in her political beauty pageant.
Using Bristol's pregnancy to score political points is just one example.
I would like to believe that Sarah Palin quit because she hopes to find support for baby Trig in the lower 48.
I would like to believe she did it because she recognizes she can't stand the heat, and she really belongs in the kitchen.
But she's just gone fishing. For what, we don't yet know.
The barracuda will be back – and, when she is, there will be blood.
Now go read this hilarious blog post by my Twitter pal, @Wolfrum.
UPPITY WOMAN DATE: Interesting how many commenters on the column say that my opinion of Palin is tainted by the fact that I am a jealous female, meow, meow, meow.
Yeah right. Wink. Wink.
UP THE SEA LEVEL DATE: John Kerry blows Palin's piece away.