Wow. Sarah Palin was on Bill O’Reilly to comment on Obama’s address tonight, and it’s every bit as crazy-stupid as you’d expect – even BillO seemed amazed by her performance. Just so you know what to expect, this post is kind of a belated DVR-aided liveblog of her appearance, with some additional commentary thrown in. The line between quotes and paraphrase is pretty thin – stuff in quotes is definitely verbatim, stuff not in quotes may or may not be. Onwards!
She starts off by saying that Obama is wrong not to acknowledge that we lean on a “three-legged stool” of conventional energy sources here in the US, otherwise we are gonna be “dropped to our knees and bowing to the Sowdis and Venezuela and Russia” and have to ask them to produce for us (um, don’t we have to do that already?), says something grudging about of course shifting towards renewables, and that the other leg of the stool is conservation. Wait, are we talking about an oil-gas-coal stool, or an extraction-renewables-conservation stool? Then she talks about the link between conventional energy and our security, prosperity and freedom – because that’s worked out really well for us.
Then BillO asks her what was the most difficult aspect of dealing with oil companies as governor. After listing a bunch of topics of contention, she says that it’s “believing what they were telling me and my administration in terms of their perspective on, um, uh, what the facts were.” This apparently means that they can’t be trusted, which is true, but considering the original question, it kind of implies that she was trying really hard to. Then she says Obama is a terrible CEO for letting BP, which has so much at stake here, control the facts, which is probably the only sane thing she says in the entire interview.
So first she says Obama is wrong and horrible for not acknowledging how important the energy companies are to our security, prosperity and freedom, and then says that he’s wrong and horrible for trusting BP too much. Perhaps she’s hoping that if she blinks her crazy eyes enough, we won’t notice the contradiction. Of course, it’s Fox News, so most of its viewers have already accommodated themselves to this particular cognitive dissonance.
Next BillO cites a poll saying that 49% of the American people want BP to “run the show,” and 45% want the government to run it (Sarah is concentrating really really hard), then asks Palin what she would have said in this address if she were president, what her main point would be: “Stop- stopping the gusher!” Even BillO doesn’t buy this: “No one knows how to do it!” “We haven’t the assurance by the president that that has been his top priority, Bill! Instead, what his top priority is, Bill, is cap & tax!” BillO doesn’t buy this either, and is openly incredulous that she can possibly think this. She gets flustered and excited, which causes her to go completely off the rails of the English language. Like so:
What I- What I’m telling you is that is not what I am hearing, and what the American public is hearing from the top official in our government. And that’s why those poll numbers [presumably the one BillO cited?] show that no, the public, we don’t know where to turn, if we can’t trust BP to be able to fix this leak, we know we can’t trust the government because they’ve had eight weeks of overseeing, of regulating, and um, kind of, ah, um, coaching this whole process, this whole issue of stopping the leak, and they haven’t succeeded in doing it. So the people are very, very frustrated.
BillO talks up her experience with oil companies, notes that Obama doesn’t know how to stop the leak, then asks Palin how she would stop the leak. She doesn’t even attempt to answer the question and instead starts blathering on about how Obama should have accepted help from all the foreign companies and American entrepreneurs who offered to assist in the cleanup: “The Dutch, they are known and the Norwegian, they are known for, um, for dikes, and for cleaning up water and dealing with spills…” Yes, that is all exactly the same as stopping an oil gusher a mile underwater.
Then Palin brings up Katrina ‘cuz she’s not a partisan fingerpointer, says it’s all part of the inherent problem of government and its Wrong Priorities, and her voice goes strangely high-pitched on the word “private,” don’t ask me why: “National security – safety of the people – needs to be the top priority, that’s where we need to be funding instead of funding these other things on the periphery that really just get in the way of the PRIvate sector’s progress, their ability to produce and to thrive and to prosper.” So apparently it’s more important to be prepared to deal with manmade disasters than to waste any effort on trying to prevent them. Or maybe not, since she immediately starts bragging about setting up “Petroleum Systems Integrity Office” to act as watchdog/regulator over those dodgy oil companies.
BillO then tries to get her off, but she has to get in one last word to implore us not to demonize the energy companies so that they go under, we have to work with them but verify and hold them accountable. I guess that pretty well covers all the bases, and ensures that conservatives can continue criticizing Obama from both the right and the left. Mission accomplished! Also.