Today we were treated once again to a demonstration of why the combination of technology and Sarah Palin is a dangerous thing. While trying to blame Obama for rising gas prices, Palin tweeted a link to an article on her likely 2012 GOP presidential rival Newt Gingrich’s 527 American Solutions website. Not only was this a giant political blunder, but like Palin, American Solutions is also heavily funded by Big Oil.
Here is Palin’s Tweet:
The fun really starts when you actually go to the link. It seems Sister Sarah in her infinite lack of political wisdom cited her potential 2012 rival for the GOP nomination Newt Gingrich’s 527 group American Solutions as the source for her claim that Obama’s policies have raised gas prices. The five things that American Solutions claims that Obama has done to raise prices are, cancel existing drilling permits, needlessly delay offshore leasing, pushing for more taxes on American energy, imposing a moratorium on oil and gas drilling, issuing a new offshore drilling ban.
It is not a coincidence that all of these things that American Solutions claims Obama has done to raise gas prices are also things that would harm the profits of the oil and natural gas industries. Palin, Gingrich, and American Solutions are continuing to sell the drill baby drill myth that American can drill its way to energy independence. It can’t. Americans simply use too much oil and too little of it to meet daily domestic demand.
Why would American Solutions be making this claim? One of the main sources of funding for this group is the oil and gas industry. In August 2010, Salon found that the oil and natural gas industries were some of American Solution’s biggest funders. American Electric Power, Plains Exploration and Production Co. (an oil and gas based company that operates in the Gulf), Devon Energy, and Arch Coal, were among the top 10 donors to American Solutions in the previous year. Behind the populist rhetoric of grassroots, American Solutions is another Republican billionaire and big oil supported 527 front group for the corporate conservative agenda.
Palin’s support of the claim that Obama’s oil policies have raised gas prices is completely untrue. Senior Market Analyst, PFGBEST Research Phil Flynn was on NPR’s All Things Considered yesterday, speaking about why oil prices are going up, “Well, partly because the economy is getting better, believe it or not. We’re seeing more demand, not only here in the United States, but throughout the globe, and that’s driving up the price. But I wish that was all that there was to it. To be honest with you, what we’re seeing in the price of gasoline shouldn’t be happening.”
Flynn also speculated that a global decrease in refining capacity lead to hording in Europe that could be an excuse for the spike, “Well, I think if you look over the past few weeks, you have to go back to the France strikes. A few months ago, of course, because of the France austerity package, France shut down some major refineries. And when those refineries went down, Europe was scrambling to get supplies – supplies that would normally end up here in the United States. And then after that, you had all these refinery problems. You had a refinery going down in Venezuela. You had one going down in St. Croix, one down in the East Coast. And before you knew it, we see these gasoline prices surging forward.”
It is not a shock that Sarah Palin is still living in 2008, and happily pushing drill baby drill. What Palin neglects to mention is even if America drilled and extracted every bit of resource that she had, our energy problem would remain the same, because the oil that is extracted here does not belong to the United States. It belongs to the oil companies, who sell what they drill for in the United States on the global market to the highest bidder. Drill baby drill is solution for increasing bill oil profits, not decreasing America’s energy woes.
Sarah Palin citing of Newt Gingrich’s 527 reinforces the notion that she is an intellectual lightweight. What serious presidential candidate do you know of would ever reference the ideas of her rival in order further her own political career? If Newt Gingrich is the idea man than why shouldn’t Republican primary voters skip voting for the empty Twitter vessel that is Sarah Palin, and just vote directly for Gingrich? It seems that while she was caught up in a haze of Obama attack lust, Sarah Palin made a huge political blunder.
Maybe she didn’t know that she was referencing Gingrich’s PAC, but instead of making her look more presidential and putting her on par with Obama her Tweet reinforces the notion that Sarah Palin will never be ready for prime time politics, or up to the job of being president. What looks like a small gaffe on the surface is huge inside the GOP intraparty positioning for 2012.
Sarah Palin’s loyal followers may not have noticed, but insiders and strategists within the GOP are probably shaking their heads in disbelief over her amateurish mistake.
Sarah Palin would be better served to go out and take 5 more shots at a caribou and step away from the Blackberry. She is not helping her cause.