GOP bait and switch — offshore drilling edition

It’s a little tricky being a Republican politician these days: given that the public disagrees with just about everything your party stands for, you’re forced to bounce from one subterfuge to another, always keeping your true motives hidden in the shadows.

What this means is that to be successful, a Republican politician, in addition to the usual political skills, must also be a grand master in the art of bait and switch.

– Concerned that the public won’t go along with starting a war in Iraq for the purpose of testing the latest neoconservative dreams of glory? No problem — just say those four magical little words: weapons of mass destruction.

– Worried the electorate won’t be tickled pink by the thought of massive tax cuts for the wealthy? Don’t give it another thought: we’ll simply package it as “middle class tax relief,” forgetting to mention that 80 percent of the benefits go to the super wealthy.

– Your poor little head is troubled by opposition to a legislative attempt to help polluters get away with polluting? Worry not even a single hair on your precious little head, my love: all we need to do is to give it a name like “Clear Skies Initiative” and everything will be alright.

Bait and switch — we do love you so!

The latest dish in the GOP bait and switch banquet comes in the form of renewed calls for increased offshore drilling. We know that under even the most optimistic of projections there simply isn’t enough oil in protected offshore locations to make a spit in the ocean’s worth of difference to the nation’s energy needs. So how can a political platform calling for a drilling rig off of every pristine beach possibly be a winner politically?

Ah, but once again you’ve underestimated the power of the almighty bait and switch! You see, Bush and McCain aren’t calling for renewed drilling per se: they’re calling for letting each state decide on its own. This isn’t about offshore drilling at all. It’s a matter of respecting states’ rights.

(Is it just me, or did you just hear the faint rumble of laughter coming from the graves of Lester Maddox, George Wallace and the other “states’ rights” racists of an earlier age?)

The idea of letting each state set its own policy on offshore drilling is, of course, absurd. To borrow from John Donne, “No state is an island, entire of itself.” Oil leaks from drilling sites off of the coast of, say, South Carolina won’t discriminate on which state’s beaches they foul. As North Carolina Gov. Mike Easley well stated:

It doesn’t work for states to decide. If the state above or below you has a problem it affects your shores as well,” he said. “It’s too much squeeze for the juice when you look at real estate on the coast, recreational fishing and tourism that could be adversely affected by some problem.”

But then that’s the glorious thing about bait and switch: it doesn’t have to actually make sense, it just has to sound like it does. 

4 Responses to “GOP bait and switch — offshore drilling edition”

  1. juliinjax Says:

    The confirmed Bachelor governor of my State of Florida ran as a RINO, especially on matters of ecology and conservation, but as his VEEP aspirations have been Pricked by POWerhouse John McInsane, Charlie Crist has seen the (b)light. He now realizes that the consumers’ pocketbook concerns must take precedent over the illogic of drilling for oil off of Florida’s coastline. Ne’er mind the oil will not affect pricing for another 7-10 years, ne’er mind the pollutants accompanying the oil rigs, never you mind. “Cuz fear and desperation are the coin of the GOP realm, the only currency they’ve got left. November can’t come soon enough.

  2. Larkrise Says:

    The Repugs have their eye trained on all those SUV drivers, many of them Soccer Moms, who think they cannot live without their gas guzzlers. Realizing the depth of human selfishness, the Repugnants want to offer up the pretence that they must solve the oil shortage. At the moment, there is no oil shortage. The price of gasoline is being driven by speculators. Big Oil is in Hog Heaven. There once were regulations against the kind of speculation that is driving up the price of oil. Alas, the Ass Phil Graham, managed, along with a Republican-controlled Congress, to demolish the regulations. Now, our good ole’ boy, Phil, is helping to run John-Boys campaign. Sad to say, all those SUV-driving Yahoos and air-heads wont bother to look up the facts. So, they are quickly chanting the mantra of “Drill,Drill,Drill.” Never mind the environment; never mind the tourism trade; never mind that storms are predicted to get worse, and oil rigs are risky. The Wannabees and Cowboys must have their big cars to show the world they are tough and trendy! Those who dont drive SUVs still dream of cheap gas, so they go along with the farce, as well. The Repugs love the saying: “Greed is Good.” It appeals to the worst in human nature; the basest impulses; the me, myself and I mentality. Big Oil cheers them on. Bush/Cheney /McCain dont give an diddly damn about the common good. They equate that with pinko-commie-liberal-tree-huggers. Their god is money, power, oil, money, power, oil and may the wealthy rule the world.

  3. Again Says:

    reminds me of two famous quotes ;-)

    “The world is enough for everyone’s needs, but not ever enough for one man’s greed.” - Mahatma Gandhi

    “Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the the universe.” - Albert Einstein

  4. Larkrise Says:

    Dear Again,
    Somehow, I had never read that quote from Einstein. It is classic!

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.