Oh, so now we understand why Sarah Palin needed to quit her job as governor of Alaska: she had a higher calling to educate those of us in the Lower 48 about energy policy, beginning with her op-ed in the Washington Post today.
Jon Chait of The New Republic offers the most succinct analysis of Palin’s effort:
Her subject matter is the House bill to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Palin argues against it by ignoring the entire question of carbon dioxide emissions and instead arguing that expensive energy is bad and cheap energy is good.
That’s pretty much it. You’d never know from Palin’s piece that there’s any controversy about carbon or climate change; it’s all about domestic energy supplies, and hey, we’ve got plenty if the “bureaucrats” and “liberals” would just get out of the way! Westerners “literally sit on mountains of oil and gas.” There’s also lots of coal, which is getting mighty clean these days, and you can build a nuclear power plant most anywhere! Experts–meaning the people of Alaska–get it even if “liberals” don’t:
Particularly in Alaska, we understand the inherent link between energy and prosperity, energy and opportunity, and energy and security. Consequently, many of us in this huge, energy-rich state recognize that the president’s cap-and-trade energy tax would adversely affect every aspect of the U.S. economy.
The op-ed is a pretty good example of what Peggy Noonan was talking about the other day in her extraordinary Wall Street Journal jeremiad aimed at Palin:
She was a gifted retail politician who displayed the disadvantages of being born into a point of view (in her case a form of conservatism; elsewhere and in other circumstances, it could have been a form of liberalism) and swallowing it whole: She never learned how the other sides think, or why.
And that’s what is annoying about Palin today. On one of the premier soap-boxes in the world, on a subject she supposedly knows well, and at a time when she could really use some evidence of thoughtfulness, she pens this silly cardboard attack on people and positions that don’t actually exist, while ignoring the actual case for cap-and-trade, other than the juvenile jibe of calling it “cap-and-tax.”
I sure hope that this isn’t what Palin has in store for us in the months ahead.