Monday, September 15, 2008

Patriotism and "Drill, Baby, Drill"

I'm not a big fan of Thomas Friedman, but he has this exactly right:

Imagine for a minute that attending the Republican convention in St. Paul, sitting in a skybox overlooking the convention floor, were observers from Russia, Iran and Venezuela. And imagine for a minute what these observers would have been doing when Rudy Giuliani led the delegates in a chant of “drill, baby, drill!”

I’ll tell you what they would have been doing: the Russian, Iranian and Venezuelan observers would have been up out of their seats, exchanging high-fives and joining in the chant louder than anyone in the hall — “Yes! Yes! Drill, America, drill!” — because an America that is focused first and foremost on drilling for oil is an America more focused on feeding its oil habit than kicking it.
Giuliani, it should be noted, was just picking up and continuing the "drill, baby, drill" chant that had been started by party hack Michael Steele earlier the same evening. That by no means excuses Giuliani but illustrates the fact that "drill, baby, drill" is central to the GOP's proposals on energy.

Because both Michael Steele and Rudy Giuliani have the cognitive capacity to feed themselves with a spoon, it's safe to assume they knew, even as they were leading this reprehensible chant, that "drill, baby, drill" is deeply and perversely maladaptive: it won't reduce the retail price of gas, it won't lead to "energy independence," it will perpetuate the USA's dependence on fossil fuels, and it will give succor to Russia, Iran, and Venezuela, not to mention Saudi Arabia.

But as is so often the case with GOP politics, they willingly pressed the lie on the hopes that they can beguile well-meaning but misinformed voters.

Palin spoke shortly after Giuliani and did not repudidate "drill, baby, drill." McCain did not repudiate it when he spoke the next night.

Barack Obama has pledged not to question McCain-Palin's patriotism, but I haven't. Anyone concerned with patriotism should take an unstinting look at these cynical antics and observe that McCain-Palin and their party would rather peddle easy, false answers than lose an election. That is not "country first." It is deeply unpatriotic if anything is.

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