$4.11 Changed Everything!

2 comments July 14th, 2008at 08:08pm Posted by Eli

Well, it looks like the Republican “Lease Drill Everywhere!” plan is gaining some traction:

Now, polling is beginning to show that a rising share of the public is ready to drill, drill, drill — threatening to destroy precious and unique wildlife areas like the Arctic refuge and create more oil spills along the Gulf coasts. Worse, drilling is a distraction from real changes like massive investments in wind and solar power.

In February, Pew asked the public in a poll whether they favor drilling in the Arctic refuge. At that time 42 percent favored and 50 percent opposed. Now, in July, 50 percent favor drilling and only 43 percent oppose. That’s a 12-point change since the February survey and a 28-point swing since a March 2002 Gallup poll (where 35 percent favored and 56 percent opposed).

The shift is something to be concerned about — progressives are losing ground with the public on drilling. These are alarming gains in sympathy for the plans of Big Oil.

This change isn’t because the idea has gotten better — Arctic drilling might cut gas prices by a mere 4 cents a decade from now. It is because of a sophisticated communications campaign by the oil companies and the Republican Party that is mostly met with silence by the other side — by our side.

I think it’s not just the communications campaign – it’s the fear and desperation of the American public as gas prices cross the $4 threshold and keep climbing with no relief in sight.

This reminds me of nothing so much as the way Republicans have exploited (and fomented) fear and hysteria about terrorism to sell a series of terrible policies (warrantless wiretapping, invasion of Iraq, torture, suspension of habeas corpus, etc.) on the grounds that they would keep us safe from the Scary Terrorists.  Of course, none of these policies did any such thing, and most of them made the underlying problem even worse.  But they sure did make Bush and his cronies a lot more powerful and a lot more rich.

And now, here we are again, with an American people up in arms about gas prices and begging for someone to do something, anything.  And that’s exactly what the Republicans are offering: Bold, decisive action.  So what if it won’t provide any actual relief – it’s better than no action at all, right?  And conservation and alternative energy strategies are sooo boring and lame.  Real red-blooded Americans drill and exploit and take, just like real red-blooded Americans kill and torture and spy and… detain indefinitely without recourse to legal counsel.

I expect the “Drill Everywhere” strategy will work out about as well as the Iraqupation – maybe even worse, since it’s our own country we’ll be destroying.

Entry Filed under: Bush,Corruption/Cronyism,Energy,McCain,Politics,Republicans,Terrorism,Torture

2 Comments

  • 1. Ruth  |  July 15th, 2008 at 11:02 am

    Now where have we encountered the Big Lie technique before??

  • 2. Eli  |  July 15th, 2008 at 11:37 am

    Jeez, where *haven’t* we?


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