How The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Has Turned The Right Wing Into Socialists (and Hypocrites)

Ken AshfordDisasters, Energy and Conservation, Environment & Global Warming & Energy, Obama OppositionLeave a Comment

Crazy Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), like many of her fellow Republicans, isn't satisfied with the federal response to the BP oil spill disaster because — get this — she wanted to see the federal government seize control and ownership of more private property. Seriously.

"Where were the boats that could have been commandeered by the government to be sent into this region to deal with that oil plume as it was coming up to the water and destroying marine life? Nowhere to be found. Why? The administration was hands off on this policy."

I don't get it.  If bailing out Wall Street and the car companies is government-engineered socialism, why isn't taking ownership of BP's private assets?  Why, here is what Bachmann said only last April on Larry King:

BACHMANN: The story in our country has been the federal government takeover of private industry. The federal government literally, in 18 months’ time, has taken either direct ownership or control of 51 percent of the private economy. Eighteen months ago, 100 percent of the private economy was private. But today, the federal government literally owns banks., the largest insurance company in the United States. The federal government owns over half of all home mortgages today in the United States — Chrysler, G.M. the student loan industry and now health care.

The point for Bachmann and her brethren, obviously, is to lash out hysterically and attack the president. Whether it makes sense or is consistent with her so-called principles is irrelevant.  (And I'm sure when she finds out that some little lefty liberals are arguing the same thing, she'll do a complete 180).

I should also note, in passing, that the assertion that the Obama administration has been "hands off" on the oil spill is patently absurd.  I understand the frustration that, as yet, there has been no cessation of the leak.  But that's not because the government is sitting idly by.  It's because nobody — including the government — knows exactly how to stop the damned thing.  We're in uncharted (and oily) waters.

RELATED:  Sarah Palin weighs in with this hilarious tweet…


Yup.  You're reading that right.  Sarah is taking the Gulf oil spill and doing an "I told you so", as if to say "When I was chanting 'drill baby drill', I didn't mean there.  If only you people had listened to me!"

Unfortunately, Sarah has never taken the position that "drill baby drill" was limited to just onshore places.  In fact, the opposite.  She was the one to convince McCain into supporting offshore drilling!  Here's a Q&A from CNBC's “Kudlow & Company” Interview – Jul 31, 2008:

Q: When we talked about a month ago, you told me you were going to persuade Senator McCain to drill in ANWR. Now actually, McCain’s come a long way on drilling Outer Continental Shelf. Have you yet talked him in to ANWR?

A: I have not talked him in to ANWR yet. But yeah, he has evolved into being open enough to say yes to that offshore. Obama certainly hasn’t gone there. We certainly need this. We need it for American security, & for energy independence.

And during the 2008 Vice Presidential debate against Joe Biden, she chastized Obama's position on offshore drilling, calling offshore drilling "safe" and "environmentally-friendly":

BIDEN: We have 3% of the world’s oil reserves. We consume 25% of the oil. John has voted 20 times in the last decade-and-a-half against funding alternative energy sources, clean energy sources, wind, solar, biofuels. McCain thinks, I guess, the only answer is drill, drill, drill. Drill we must, but it’ll take ten years before any [new drilling delivers oil].

PALIN: The chant is “drill, baby, drill.” That’s what we hear across this country in our rallies because people are hungry for those domestic sources of energy to be tapped into. They know that even in my own energy-producing state we have billions of barrels of oil and hundreds of trillions of cubic feet of clean, green natural gas. Barack Obama and Sen. Biden, you’ve said no to everything in trying to find a domestic solution to the energy crisis. You even called drilling — safe, environmentally-friendly drilling offshore as raping the outer continental shelf.

"Well, that's all from the 2008 campaign," you say.  Maybe she had a change of heart since then on the subject of offshore drilling.  Nope.  There's this from March, 2009:

Salazar went to Alaska this week as part of the process of developing this administration's offshore energy plan. He has called a time out on new leasing, for more public input, and he got plenty Tuesday.

Whaling captain and mayor of the North Slope Borough Edward Itta advised slowing down: "Mr. Secretary, like all Alaskans, the people of the North Slope depend on the economic engine of oil and gas development. We have supported onshore for well over 30 years now. But, Mr. Secretary, offshore is a different matter."

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin advised speeding up: "Delays or major restrictions in accessing our needed resources for environmentally responsible development are not in the nation's or our state's best interest." 

And just two months ago, in a widely circulated missive, Palin attacked President Obama's plan to open up large swaths of the U.S. coastline to potential drilling for being too little, too late. "[L]et's not forget," she wrote, "that while Interior Department bureaucrats continue to hold up actual offshore drilling from taking place, Russia is moving full steam ahead on Arctic drilling, and China, Russia, and Venezuela are buying leases off the coast of Cuba."

And just eight days ago, despite the BP spill, Sarah said she remains a "big supporter of offshore drilling." 

Now, with her tweet, she would like you to forget she said all that.  When she led the chants of "drill baby drill", she was only talking about onshore drilling, you stupid "greenies" (despite the fact that she wasn't).

For any other politician, members of the news media would confront them about this obvious hypocrisy.  But Sarah avoids those kind of questions (prefering the softball questions of Fox News), so she'll never have to account for her obvious political chicanery and flip-flopping.

What particularly annoys me about this Palin tweet isn't that she's blatently fabricating her own record regarding offshore drilling.  It's that she's doing it in an unctious condescending tone, as if we have failed to understand all along that she was warning us about the dangers of offshore drilling ("Now do you get it"?).  And yet, we DO get it.  We get what she said in the past.  And no matter how belittling her tone, it doesn't change what has come out of her mouth.  She supported offshore drilling.  Period.

P.S.  And it's not like onshore drilling can't hurt the environment.  If an oil well in ANWR had blown up, the oil would just kind of pool all over the tundra, and it would be much easier to just nuke it, like the Russians did.  This, apparently, is desireable, in the Palin world-view.