McCain, Energy Policy and The Core Principles of Conservatism

Watching McCain and Republicans put on this clownish charade over tire air pressure and we want new drilling now hissy fit (Auto Makers Deflate McCain’s Ignorant Hot Air On Value Of Proper Tire Inflation) reminded me of how we got to this point or in specific Dick Cheney’s Energy Task Force. The drill now arm waving Twittering lunacy and shrill pandering by McCain seems strange considering almost 80% of offshore leases are available for drilling anytime the lazy fat cat oil industry wants to get off their asses and start drilling. Dicks energy task force meet in 2000/01. These meetings were so teaming with sage advice from energy experts that the documentation of them was top secret. Conservatives, being the know all, see all experts on all things related to energy policy, including tie air pressure, for some reason only included members of the petroleum, coal, nuclear, natural gas, and electricity industry. Independent voices and those of the alternative energy community were given a little dog and pony show, not to mention the rest of America and our elected representatives. So we’re paying four to five dollars a gallon for gas eight years after Dick and George and their pals decided in secret what America’s energy policy was to be – tax breaks for the same energy industries. The same Dick Cheney McCain in his great wisdom wanted to be his VP in 2001,

With a little more luck, I might have been able to ask you to be my Vice-President.” — John McCain to Dick Cheney, 10/23/01

McCain says his experience and stellar judgment qualifies him to be the best pick for president. Why is it that with every passing day we find out more about McCain’s judgment and we’re not exactly coming up with pure gold. An Arizona multimillionaire whose been part of the Washington establishment since 1982 ( where’s Johnny Boy been on energy solutions for the last twenty-four years), we’re to assume knows more about energy policy and how it relates to the average American family then a guy from Illinois whose life experience is modest working class. As troubling as the Republican addiction to serial lying is, their unhinged in your face America attitude that goes along with the lies is even more troubling. Where’s the humility. Are they clowns or zealous ultra-nationalist with a rabid addiction to power or a combination of both.

This is an excerpt from The Wrecking Crew: How Conservatives Rule by Thomas Frank. Frank wrote What’s the Matter with Kansas?.

Yes, today’s conservatives have disgraced themselves, but they have not strayed from the teaching of their forefathers or the great ideas of their movement. When conservatives appoint the opponents of government agencies to head those government agencies; when they auction their official services to the purveyor of the most lavish “golf weekend”; when they mulct millions from groups with business before Congress; when they dynamite the Treasury and sabotage the regulatory process and force government shutdowns — in short, when they treat government with contempt — they are running true to form. They have not done these awful things because they are bad conservatives; they have done them because they are good conservatives, because these unsavory deeds follow naturally from the core doctrines of the conservative tradition.

And, yes, there has been greed involved in the effort — a great deal of greed. Every tax cut, every cleverly engineered regulatory snafu saves industry millions and perhaps even billions of dollars, and so naturally securing those tax cuts and engineering those snafus has become a booming business here in Washington. Conservative rule has made the capital region rich, a showplace of the new plutocratic order. But this greed cannot be dismissed as some personal failing of lobbyist or congressman, some badness-of-apple that can be easily contained. Conservatism, as we know it, is a movement that is about greed, about the “virtue of selfishness” when it acts in the marketplace. In rightwing Washington, you can be a man of principle and a boodler at the same time.

John McCain despite the “maverick” myth built upon the one or two times he objected to some pork barrel spending as much as anything else is as much, if not more a part of the “unsavory deeds follow naturally from the core doctrines of the conservative tradition”. If Johnny is such a great leader, a different kind of Republican that will get Conservatism back on track we must assume that he’s been holding back on those self proclaimed leadership skills for almost three decades.

True confessions. I like to listen to country music among other types. I have eclectic tastes. One of the things that bothers me about country music though is the few fringe idiots that give the whole country genre a bad name, Lynching Advocate Toby Keith: Obama Acts White To Win

The lyrics of Keith’s song, “Beer For My Horses,” which I transcribed, could hardly be less explicit — “Hang ’em high, for all the people to see.” In my piece, I also noted the racially tinged nature of the song’s video and the forthcoming movie that Keith’s song inspired.

[  ]…Now, Keith has trained his sights on Barack Obama, attacking him in racially tinged language that startled even the notoriously reactionary radio jock Glenn Beck. During Keith’s appearance on the July 30 broadcast of Beck’s show, he remarked, “I think the black people would say he [Obama] don’t talk, act or carry himself as a black person.”

That’s the thing about being as smart as a tree stump. Keith isn’t even smart enough to keep his racist hypocritical opinions to himself and those people that are willing to hang out with him. No, he wants the world to know that “white trash” ( a title he gave himself) is exactly that. Yet another chicken-hawk that talks up the virtue of bloody unnecessary wars that they can’t find time to fight. He’s not on my play list because he lacks for talent, but even if he could write songs or had a good voice I could never enjoy listening to a moral coward.

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