Wednesday, September 17, 2008

RedState: The Borg Blog

I really think that one of the best cures to America's drug problem would be to get more junkies addicted to reading RedState. If having one's brain fried on a regular basis is the goal, there really isn't a much better stream of mindblowing goodness than a healthy dose of rightwing nuttery. And after it's over, rather than dealing with a big downer, you finish with the smug satisfaction of knowing that none of your problems could be as bad as being stuck with a modern conservative's thought processes.

For today's fun, I'll highlight two RedState posts railing against the Energy Compromise bill that is apparently being debated in Congress (Full Disclosure: I don't actually follow policy debates very closely and know very little about this bill).

The first post is by The Directors (an ominous sounding cabal if there ever was one), in a post titled John McCain Would Undermine His Credibility And Election If He Endorsed the Energy Compromise. Yeah, because John McCain still has credibility left to be undermined. I'm sure he's keeping it in an undisclosed location to be saved for a rainy day.

According to The Directors, McCain's pro-drilling energy policy is the main reason he's at the top of the polls. Some people would suggest that it was Palin's celebrity bounce that did the trick, or possibly McCain's relentlessly vile attacks against Obama, but they would clearly be mistaken. It's the energy policy. And the argument goes that McCain will lose the election if he backtracks and allows Congress to limit drilling in any way. Who knew that his lead was so precarious?

The second post is written by Congressman Mike Pence (R-Crazytown) in A Call To Arms regarding this same energy bill. In it, Congressman Pence rails against "Drill-Nothing Democrats" because they won't allow oil companies to drill everywhere. Seriously, he writes "The drill-nothing Democrat (sic) Congress has brought a bill that actually includes basically “drill-almost-nothing” provisions," as if we're supposed to be oblivious to the obvious contradiction that is that sentence. On a sidenote, will Republicans ever learn that funny nicknames should only be used when they're actually funny? I doubt it. Humor never was there strong suit.

Highlighting Redundancies

And it's obvious that these two posts were written by the same brain. Let's look at the similarities.

I'll start with the funniest notion of them all: The Democrats are "playing politics" with this bill. It's like these doofs are so accustomed to tossing out nonsense phrases that they can't even remember what they mean anymore. Typically, "playing politics" means that you're using a policy debate primarily as a way of hurting your opponents politically. But in this case, Democrats don't think we should drill offshore but have proposed a compromise bill that allows limited drilling.

So exactly where are the politics here? They never say. I guess it could be argued that Dems are playing politics by giving Republicans some of what they want as a means of defanging their attacks. But that's a fairly weak charge, especially coming from a side that's already acknowledged that McCain's strongest political asset is his pro-drilling policy. If anything, it sounds like the "playing politics" line is really just a cheap attempt to bring politics into a policy debate.

Another laughable argument found in both posts is the derision they make towards the idea of allowing states to determine if oil companies can drill off of their shores. As the good Congressman says "I guess states are just going to allow drilling out of the goodness of their hearts." Or they'd do it if the people of those states actually wanted it to happen, which they don't. And so it looks like Democrats are allowing communistic democracy decide what happens in this country. States Rights who?

And a final similarity I'll mention is what wasn't mentioned in either post: The effect offshore drilling will have on current oil prices. Or more importantly, the fact that this issue has NOTHING to do with current oil prices. Or that it'd be at least ten years before we saw any of this oil and much longer before it actually had an effect on oil prices. None of this is even discussed. The merits of their policy are never mentioned. Not once.

In fact, a quickie search of RedState really didn't turn up much discussion of impact at all. They were all convinced of how necessary this policy is, but most of the specifics amounted to insults of environmentalists and weak-kneed politicians who oppose drilling. And then there was this post by a former offshore oil worker named "Snakebite" (whose name is as original as it is tough), who argued that we should lift the ban immediately in case there might still be working fields from before the moratorium that might allow us to get lots of oil on the markets within one year. And if you think we can't, then you are a doom & gloom ex-hippy who underestimates the American Spirit. And yeah, those are the sort of feelgood vagaries I want to base our energy policies on.

But really, the reasons don't matter for these people. It's all about principle. About getting big government out of the way, even if big government is basing its decisions on what individual citizens want. As Snakebite says, the oil in the ground doesn't belong to all Americans. It belongs to the Americans who pump it out. And anyone who doesn't do so "needs to keep their nose out of our business and get out of our way!" Because "Mind Your Beeswax" has always been a successful government model throughout history.

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