Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Sarah Palin gave a speech a few days ago at the Oil Palace in Tyler, Texas. A clip of it made the rounds:

And, well, I have to agree with Bob Somerby of the Daily Howler, and respectfully disagree with Digby, Betty Cracker, and Bob Cesca: the speech may not have been eloquent, but it was fairly coherent. There were quite a few slips of the tongue, but it wasn't really "word salad."


I think it takes a monumental level of naivete -- approximately the amount you have to have to e-mail your Social Security and bank account numbers to a spammer, along with your ATM password -- to write what Somerby writes:

... in the main, [Palin] stated a progressive line, again and again, to a large group of Texas voters.

What does Palin say in this excerpt -- the excerpt our tribal mates derided? Again and again, Palin says that she is "in favor of strict government oversight" of the oil industry.

"Government does have a key role to play in overseeing some of our natural resource development, obviously," she says. What is "the proper role of government?" The former governor goes on at some length, expressing a rather congenial line....

"We have to make sure that BP will not...do what Exxon did to Alaskans?" Let's be honest: If we liberals saw Obama say such a thing, we'd stand up and cheer....

In our view, it's interesting -- it's promising -- to see large groups of conservative voters told about the (obvious) need for strict government oversight. In a more rational, more disciplined world, this would represent a chance for progressives to stick their foot in the door -- to form outreach to such voters. At present, the vast bulk of voters -- right, left and center -- are being savaged by the power of big corporations. Our basic interests overlap. These mutual interests oppose the interests of Power.

... Palin's comments ... open the door to progressive advance....

Really, Bob? Hey Bob, wanna buy a bridge? (To nowhere or otherwise?)

Pal;in's comments are not "promising." They do not "open the door to progressive advance." Are you really that naive? Do you really not recognize blatant hypocritical opportunism when it's staring you in the face?

Yes, Palin does call for

appropriate regulation of industries like the energy sector, because if they’re lax or if they're careless, well there are far-reaching adverse consequences for the public, for our economy, for our environment, and we're seeing that in the Gulf. Government can and must play an appropriate oversight role. Such oversight is in the best [interest] of our nation and the public and industry, because the only way the public will trust industry to develop our resources is if they can prove that they can do it safely, ethically, responsibly.

But this is the easiest, cheapest, sleaziest form of Monday-morning quarterbacking imaginable from an out-of-the-arena pol who's free to promise anything because she has no responsibilities right now. Look, it's simple: Obama's government didn't prevent this bill through adequate regulation, Palin hates Obama, so voila! Palin's now an advocate of oversight. "Appropriate" oversight. "Appropriate" regulation. Whatever the hell that means.

Actually, I know perfectly well what it means, and so does any sensible observer. It means "I, Sarah Palin, magically would have regulated away all the bad stuff and preserved FREEDOM!!! for all the good stuff, so we can DRILL, BABY, DRILL! without any negative consequences!"

And if you believe that ... well, you're Bob Somerby.

Another clip from that speech is making the rounds. It's below.

In it, Palin takes Obama to task specifically:

... you might not know that BP had more high-profile accidents than any other company in recent years, throughout the U.S. and elsewhere, and their record was so bad that an EPA lawyer referred to the company as a reoccurring environmental criminal.... And I bet you'd never guess that even with that record BP requested a categorical exemption from EPA for their Deepwater rig in March of '09, and MMS granted a month later that request, and just to be clear, that happened on President Obama's watch, as in not on Dick Cheney's watch. And you'd never guess that the last inspection of the rig took place just ten days before the blowout preventer failed, and yes, that would definitely be on President Obama's watch....

Somerby's right: the words definitely resemble an attack on Obama from the left.

There's just one problem with Somerby's theory: If you think the McCain-Palin administration would have looked at BP's safety record and refused to grant BP that categorical exemption, or if you think inspectors in a McCain-Palin administration would have looked at the tests and shut down the rig before April 20, you're smoking crack.

If Bob Somerby can really imagine McCain-Palin, or President Palin, blocking the drilling efforts of a big energy company after being swept into office on a "Drill Everywhere" platform, then he has quite a vivid imagination. Me, I live in the real world.

No comments: