Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Boom Is Bust: A New Energy Policy - If Not Now, When??? Rachel Maddow, Joe Biden & Our Energy Future

I missed The President's address Tuesday night, so had to find it online when I got home. Frankly, I was disappointed that he didn't take the opportunity to issue a call to action and lay out a plan. If he'd spelled out the things he was going to push bp to do in the speech, it would've been a home run. I kept spouting at The Hubby all the things I wished President Obama had included, and he kept arguing back that the man's got a million things on his plate right now. And while I get that, I still think it was a missed opportunity.

Ah, but then came Rachel's show Wednesday night. By God, she must have been storming around every bit as agitated as I was, because Our Gal Rachel rewrote the speech and delivered it as the fake president, from the fake Oval Office. (I'm thinking about hanging one of those backdrops in my office...) See what you think of her rewrite:

Yeah, I said the same thing: Seriously, Rachel, when will you run? Your country needs you! I know you have no interest in running, but could you at least write The President's speeches? Please???

Well, it was gratifying to see all the arguments The Hubby and I were debating show up in the speech. But then today, just when you thought the GOP couldn't look more pro-oil, just when you thought that it couldn't get any more obvious that the Rethugs had started this inevitable event in motion, along comes Joe Barton, the distinguished idiot from Texas:

Yep, you heard it right: An apology to bp for being shaken down by our government for demanding $20 million in a "slush fund," which he calls illegal. First of all, you can see exactly why Barton is the leading member of the committee on energy. It isn't even surprising, really, as he is only speaking aloud what every GOP oil-funded elected representative is thinking. In fact, he receives more oil money than any other elected official, old Barton Fink, and he's got ties to oil that stretch for miles. He's only spouting what's been said in the Rethug side of the cloakroom for ages, after all.

But then, Barton appears again today, head down,  a choke in his voice, and tail clearly between is legs, apologizing for apologizing to bp. You could hear his yelping from here, and you can practically feel how slippery his grasp is on his committee chairmanship...Boehner must've blown a few blood vessels over this one - fastest 180 in history!

My favorite comment on all of this came form My Guy Joe. Damn, I love this guy! Check out Joe's comments:

Ya gotta love Joe. Joe is a straight shooter, calls it like he sees it, and still has a passion for why he began in this business in the first place. Man, I cannot wait until he's running for president again. Sure, he speaks out at inopportune moments, and yes, he actually cursed on a hot mike, unaware it was there. But by God, with Joe, you always know where you stand, and his values never change. He handled the question well, and I am absolutely delighted with the results.

So, where does all this leave us? Well, the Administration is making up for lost time, and doing a pretty good job of it. They're regaining the momentum they lost the night before, and they can thank Barton Fink for part of that. But where do we go from here? It's time, in this humble blogger's opinion, to strike while the iron is hot, to "piss or get off the pot," as my Nana used to say. As horrible as this Deepwater Horizon bp/Halliburton/TransOcean debacle is, it should be a catalyst to move our energy policy into the modern millenium. Now is the time to focus on renewable energy sources, to point out the calamity of the path we are on, and to arm-twist Congress into action to prevent this sort of tragedy from occurring ever again. It's an opportunity to dedicate our nation to pursuing an energy policy that is not only green and renewable, but represents our collective values - the values of those of us who don't have our hands in the petroleum corporations' coffers. It's a once-in-a-lifetime chance to let government do the thing at which it is best: protecting the individual from the multinational conglomerates, protecting our natural resources and making things right on the beaches and in the wetlands (as much as it can be done...irreparable damage has occurred at bp's hands), and forcing corporations to make restitution to the people whose ways of life have been drowned in oil for obscene profits. It is my sincere hope that President Obama's team can master the art of governance quickly, or find a way to push through the exhaustion of handling a ka-jillion crises all at once. If not us, who? If not now, when?

And if a Biden/Maddow ticket happens to emerge somewhere down the road out of all of this, I'll be first in line to make a non-tax-deductible contribution. Anybody with me? Sound out, fellow Politicos! Is Barton speaking the unspoken desires of the GOP? Will The President take the lead in pushing through a meaningful energy policy? Does Joe Biden stand a chance at the Presidency down the road? Let me know what you think!