Tuesday, September 09, 2008

The White Princess speaks to a reporter: "in many [ways] the reasons for war are fights over energy sources"

Some of the most relevant analysis of Sarah Palin's world view is being done at the Talk to Action blog, which follows the Christian nationalist movement. She is the darling of the Christian Right, and Rush Limbaugh was one of the main promoters of her candidacy for the Republican VP pick. If we had a functioning national political press, they would be looking carefully at her Christianist connections and asking her about her involvement with the Pentecostalist "Third Wave" movement and Christian Zionism. Even her own understanding of herself as a female leader, and how her far right base perceive that role, surely relate to her Pentecostal religious milieu, where women (like the famous minister Aimee Semple McPherson) have played a more prominent leadership role than in most Protestant denominations.

But this post is about the faith that the Maverick's White Princess puts in Big Oil. The McCain campaign is now allowing her to do an interview with ABC's Charlie Gibson toward the end of this week. Gibson was the one who jammed Democratic candidates at one of the debates he moderated over the issue of capital gains taxes, an issue of immediate concern only to highly-compensated types like Charlie Gibson.

TPM has been looking at the reasons why we should expect a puff-piece interview in Charlie Gibson: McCain's Favorite Network Anchor? 09/08/08 and Slow Slide Into Oblivion 09/08/08.

But the Christian Princess of the Tundra was interviewed by Business Week's Maria Bartiromo just before the Maverick picked her and started hiding her from the press at the proverbial undisclosed location: Bartiromo Talks with Sarah Palin 08/29/08. The questions in bold are from Bartiromo.


Among other things, the White Princess said:

After eight years of a Republican in the White House, the economy is the top concern of voters across the country. Why should Americans trust the GOP to get this economy and the markets back on track?

Because capitalism still works. The free marketplace and competition still work. I believe, though, we need to get more of the special interests and the undue influence out of the policy making that perhaps we've seen in the past. I say that based on my own experience here in the state of Alaska, where the oil industry had some corrupting influence on our lawmakers. And a few of our lawmakers are serving federal prison time right now for being bought with oil service company dollars and bribes. And it's been a great learning ground for me here to see what can happen when that undue influence is allowed to set policy and affect votes. It's unacceptable, it's atrocious, and on a federal level, we got to get that out of there, too.
She is using rhetoric against "the oil industry" here. But it's focused on a overt violations of the law by some Republicans who got caught.

Not to make too much out of boilerplate answers. But it doesn't exactly give me a warm and fuzzy feeling that her opening response to what the GOP can do for the economy is, "Because capitalism still works. The free marketplace and competition still work." Followed by a meaningless statement that it's bad to take bribes.

But promoting the interests of the oil companies in other ways is very much on her mind:

Clearly the two candidates are very different on economic issues. If perhaps you were in the [McCain] Administration…what would your agenda be in terms of top economic priorities?

Well, energy is so entwined with our economy and our security and our future that energy issues are going to be my top priority wherever I am. [my emphasis underlined]
Carrying on that Dick Cheney tradition, I suppose. Maybe when she's hiding from the press in undisclosed locations, she's meeting with oil lobbyists to find out what countries they should plan to invade next.

How important is drilling in Alaska to ease the burden of high oil prices on Americans?

Not only to ease the high prices of energy in America but also for national security reasons. Drilling in Alaska is going to be a matter of life and death. Up here in Alaska, we're bursting with billions of barrels of oil that are warehoused underground. We have to pump [this oil] and feed our hungry markets instead of relying on the foreign sources of energy.
She goes on to say that we're only drilling on a small portion of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge [ANWR] and we really give a lot of thought to the environment, honest to Pete!

I'm sure that's true. Why, in California, I see ads all the time that say how much the big oil multinationals love the environment. In fact, it sounds like their mostly in business to protect the environment, not to drill, baby, drill.

Some people might say: "Look, even though opening up ANWR has been a symbolic issue for Republicans, the oil there may only have a marginal effect on reducing overseas dependence. Why is ANWR so important and how do we know that there's actually enough oil there to really make a difference?

Because just that swath of land in that refuge alone is estimated to hold about 11 billion barrels of oil and 9 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. And those are just the areas that have been explored. That's about a year and a half worth of U.S. oil consumption and many months of natural gas. It's about a trillion dollars worth of energy. And that's—again—just that sliver of ANWR. So when we hear, "Well, maybe there isn't enough," or "Well, it's too late to drill now anyway, we should have done this five, 10 years ago," hey, I can't argue that. I say yeah, we should have done that years ago. But better to start that drilling today than wait and continue relying on foreign sources of energy. We are a nation at war and in many [ways] the reasons for war are fights over energy sources, which is nonsensical when you consider that domestically we have the supplies ready to go.

How can the Republicans convince the country that four years from now our dependence on foreign oil will have been radically diminished?

Well, we have to prove that Alaska is ready, willing, and able to allow this opportunity for the lands to be unlocked by Congress, and also we have to protect Americans and protect Alaskans, who own the resources underground, from big-oil-industry interests that may have in the past taken advantage of a state like Alaska and been allowed to warehouse reserves. We've got a battle on two fronts - not only with an oil industry that is making mind-boggling, world-record profits ... [but with a] Congress that has said no to unlocking Alaskan lands. So as soon as we can convince more Americans to put pressure on their congressmen, their congresswomen to allow the development and the mutually beneficial partnering with the oil industry ... we'll become less dependent on foreign sources.[my emphasis underlined]
"

"We are a nation at war", so we should give the oil companies access to any place they want to drill. And I'm very sure that McCain and the White Princess intend to make sure that we continue to be "a nation at war". That's their fundamental argument for having a Cheneyist Unilateral Executive administering the federal government on behalf of the energy industry.

Did she say that "in many [ways] the reasons for war are fights over energy sources"? Yes, I believe she did.

But, it's the second half of an election year. So even Republicans have to say a critical word or two about the naughty oil companies, as the White Princess did there, grumping about fighting "an oil industry that is making mind-boggling, world-record profits".

But there's no mention here of restricting those profits. Or, more to the point of her immediate argument that this would free us from dependence on "foreign oil", there's no mention of restrictions that would require the oil to be sold in the US rather than abroad.

And it seems from this interview that "energy" to her is primarily oil, i.e., "drill, baby, drill".

Bartiromo asked her some other softball questions. So she could talk about "reform" and standing up to "special interests" and lobbyists without having to get specific about what she though needed to be changed.

But her main goal seems to be similar to that of Dick Cheney, "mutually beneficial partnering with the oil industry". The mutual beneficiaries being, of course, the oil industry and the Republican Party.

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