Resist

Resist

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Now ask her how we should get to Mars!

On Tuesday night, FOX News provocateur, Bill O'Reilly, asked the foremost energy expert in the United States, Sarah Palin, how to stop the oil spill.
O’REILLY: Do you know how to stop it?
PALIN: Well, then what the federal government should have done was accept the assistance of foreign countries, of entrepreneurial Americans who have had solutions –
O’REILLY: Who?
PALIN: — that they wanted presented.
O’REILLY: Who?
PALIN: They can’t even get a phone call returned, Bill. The Dutch. They are known, and the Norwegians. They are known for dikes and for cleaning up water and for dealing with spills. They offered to help and, yet, no, they too, with a proverbial can’t even get a phone call back. That is what the Norwegians are telling us, and the Dutch are telling us, and then the entrepreneurial Americans.
Brilliant!  Of course, dike technology is the answer!  The Dutch should be able to stop this is no time!

All they have to do is get a small boy with a huge finger to stick his digit into the hole to plug it up.  It will be helpful if he can hold his breath for a LONG time, but beggars can't be choosers.

And don't forget those "entrepreneurial Americans".  Sarah wouldn't want anyone to think she was actually advocating that those evil foreigners could solve this problem all on their own.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yea, she sounds almost as stupid as our President who informed us that he can't "suck up the oil with a straw" shoot he is so good about sucking everything else

Ipecac said...

I think you're confusing the President with Daniel Plainview.

Do you have a cite for that "quote" and do you think that the President can suck up the oil with a straw?

Anonymous said...

Here's a citation for the "quote":

NY Post, June 11, 2010

Ipecac said...

Thanks.

In context is what he said really "stupid"? He's expressing frustration over the expectations being laid on him.

"Even though I'm president of the United States, my power is not limitless," he told residents from Grand Isle as they sat round a table together.

"So I can't dive down there and plug the hole. I can't suck it up with a straw."

"All I can do," Obama continued. "Is make sure that I put honest, hard-working smart people in place to implement this thing."

“I will do everything in my power to do right by you guys. And everybody along the coast."

That seems perfectly reasonable and understandable.

In contrast, Palin's comments aren't even expressed in a complete, coherent sentence. It's as if she can only communicate in buzzwords, semi-randomly arranged.

Anonymous said...

No offense intended, but for as informed as you seem to be, how is it that you havn't heard this quote made a week ago by the President until now?

But more the the point, you inferred that Sarah Palin's suggestion was to send a Dutch boy to the bottom of the ocean to stick his finger in the well. That wasn't taking her answer out of context? That's nothing close to what she said. I believe her passing reference to dikes was referring to their use as barrier islands to keep the oil from reaching the coasts.

All things considered, it sounds like she and President Obama are on the same page, wanting the best and brightest to get down there to clean up the spill:

Palin:
"Well, then what the federal government should have done was accept the assistance of foreign countries, of entrepreneurial Americans who have had solutions –"

President Obama:
"All I can do," Obama continued. "Is make sure that I put honest, hard-working smart people in place to implement this thing."

The difference here is, the President is saying he wants the help of other countries and people, but is leaving BP to do almost all the clean-up themselves, when others (like Sarah Palin) would have accepted any help offered to keep the spill minimized.

Ipecac said...

I guess I hadn't heard the quote because it's not particularly outrageous, goofy, or unreasonable. It's in line with many of the things he's been saying - that the government is limited in what it can do but that it will do everything it can.

The Dutch boy satire was a joke on my part. Dikes won't plug the hole.

Frankly, it's hard to take Sarah Palin seriously when she says she'd accept foreign help because that goes against most of what she says about "American exceptionalism" and she seems pretty uninterested in the rest of the world. I think her position is simply to be contrary to the President, not part of a consistent worldview.

In any event, she's also WRONG about the Administration not accepting foreign help. From the WaPo on Monday:

"In the past week, the United States submitted its second request to the European Union for any specialized equipment to contain the oil now seeping onto the Gulf of Mexico's marshes and beaches, and it accepted Canada's offer of 9,842 feet of boom. The government is soliciting additional boom and skimmers from nearly two dozen countries and international organizations.

In late May, the administration accepted Mexico's offer of two skimmers and 13,779 feet of boom; a Dutch offer of three sets of Koseq sweeping arms, which attach to the sides of ships and gather oil; and eight skimming systems offered by Norway. "

So was she uninformed or just being contrary?

Anonymous said...

Context, context, context! The title of the very article you reference is, "After delays, US begins to tap foreign aid for gulf oil spill" ( WaPo, June 14, 2010). The very first paragraph speaks directly to Sarah Palin's complaint of the delay in meeting this crisis head-on:

"Four weeks after the nation's worst environmental disaster, the Obama administration saw no need to accept offers of state-of-the-art skimmers, miles of boom or technical assistance from nations around the globe with experience fighting oil spills."

Yes, you are correct, the administration is now beginning to accept help. But Palin's was answer was not addressing what should the administration do now, but rather, what should the administration have done in the beginning. Her words were "Well, then what the federal government should have done..."

Her point is, from the beginning, the government was slow to respond because we don't have the precautionary measures in place to handle these kinds of situations. And just to show she isn't being partisan on the issue, she went on to criticize the Bush administration for its reaction to Katrina. You can read the ENTIRE interview here (since context is important to you).

So she is being neither uninformed nor contrary. She is referring to a time before aid was being accepted when a timely response could have made a big difference in the overall impact and scale of the spill.

lil1inblue said...

If she was referring to the past, then why is she speaking in the present tense?

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure where you're seeing a present tense here. Starting from your original posting quote:

Palin: "...what the federal government should have done was ..."

"...they (Dutch and Norwegians) offered to help...

"...those companies that are waiting for the Obama administration eight weeks later for the regulators to come in and say, OK, we'll purchase from you now. We'll do all that we can."

When addressing the situation of the spill directly, she is speaking in the past tense, of what should or could have happened. She is speaking from her perspective and, I admit limited, experience in dealing with oil companies.

My whole point here is, we can all misspeak and we can all be misquoted. But the responsibility of those of us who are listening from the outside needs to be to make sure we are informed of the entire story before making judgement calls.

Ipecac said...

I blogged about this because I find Palin's statements ludicrous for two reasons (aside from the atrocious grammar).

One, The govt doesn't have expertise in containing or stopping oil spills, especially of deep water breeches; the oil companies have that expertise. It was perfectly reasonable in the first weeks for the administration to have put the focus on BP solving this problem because (1) they caused it and (2) they have the expertise to stop it. I would agree that Administration should have put greater pressure on BP from the beginning rather than deferring to them, but their approach was not "delay" as if they were dithering.

And two, it's completely disingenuous for Palin to claim that the Administration should have sought out immediate foreign assistance. Do you think that if she were President, she would immediately have sought foreign aid? No way. The foreign affairs mantra of the Right at the moment is "America is #1", "We're always right," and "We don't need the outside world." If Obama had immediately gone to the Dutch, Palin would now be complaining that he was projecting weakness by his unAmerican acts.

I found her comments disingenuous and hypocritical, and so I commented.

I agree with you that the responsibility of those of us who are listening from the outside needs to be to make sure we are informed of the entire story before making judgement calls. In this case, I think the judgment call I made was completely appropriate and accurate.

Anonymous said...

You're correct that the Right believes that America is #1, because we are. I don't say that in an arrogant way, but as a statement of our being the most innovative, freedom-loving, wealthy, and generous country on the planet through the hard work, sacrifice, and persistance of the American people. I believe there are many on the Left who feel the same way. The political Right doesn't hold the corner on the patriot market.

Unfortunately, there are those, Sarah Palin perhaps being one, who can attribute no good to anyone on the opposite side of the fence. It is very possible that she would have reacted the way you describe had the President sought foreign aid immediately. It's a sorry state of affairs when we cannot see past our own ideology to the heart and intentions of those with whom we don't see eye-to-eye. And as with patriotism, the polital Right doesn't hold the corner on this market either.

But here we are, regardless of what should, could, or may have been done. What the administation needs to do now is exactly what President Obama has pledged to do, to "...put honest, hard-working smart people in place..." for the good of the people. This is a difficult crisis to navigate and he needs to be careful not to use this situation as an excuse to push through his energy policies or politcal agendas. But that's a debate for a different time.

Thanks for your views, it's been a while since I've had a good debate with someone from the political flip-side.

Ipecac said...

"But here we are, regardless of what should, could, or may have been done. What the administation needs to do now is exactly what President Obama has pledged to do, to "...put honest, hard-working smart people in place..." for the good of the people."

Completely agree.

Thank you as well.

Marc said...

Anonymous,

You make a lot of good points. The problem is the political culture has devolved to the point where it's like an athletic event--hurray for our team and boo your team. I think both the left and the right have responsibility for this; I certainly think the left went overboard with respect to certain things about Bush.

I don't know if you consider yourself a conservative or not. However, at this point, it is the right--or at least portions of the right--that has poisoned the atmosphere. You say that neither side has a monopoly on truth and I agree, but, today, there are not many on the right that would give liberals credit for being human beings.

This is the context, I think, in which you have to judge the reaction to Palin's comments. She, like many other conservative pundits, has spent the majority of the last two years exaggerating, in my view, the flaws of the Obama Administration but, worse, impugning the character and patriotism of Obama supporters and, in many cases, trying to suppress any disagreement. I agree with you that it's unfair to take comments out of context, especially someone speaking extemporaneously. But Palin has shown herself to be grossly uninformed about public policy; in fact, this seems to be one of the secrets of her popularity, that she doesn't bother herself with facts. So, as Ipecac points out, Palin's reference to the Dutch and dikes is an incredibly unsophisticated analysis. There was a time when people of either party or ideology were expected to be smart, knowledgeable, and informed. But, today, many on the right seem to trumpet ignorance as a sign of being a populist.


Frankly, if you are going to match up Sarah Palin's intelligence with Barack Obama's, it's going to be a mismatch on the order of Germany invading Poland. Even if Obama did misspeak on this occasion(and I don't particulary see any problem with what he said), it simply does not compare to what Palin says almost every day.

Let me make it clear, I am not so partisan that I see conservatives as a dirty word. I would much rather have a Republican and conservative opposition that I can at least respect, if not agree with. In fact, I nearly voted for GW in 2000. But I don't see that today and I don't have any respect for Sarah Palin. She is simply looking for any way to bash Obama and to appeal to her supporters.

Marc said...

"You're correct that the Right believes that America is #1, because we are. I don't say that in an arrogant way, but as a statement of our being the most innovative, freedom-loving, wealthy, and generous country on the planet through the hard work, sacrifice, and persistance of the American people."

I have to say, this is an arrogant comment. It's chauvinistic and, to say the least, ahistorical.

America is a great country. But to say that we got this way only through hard work is simply a distortion of the facts, unless you think stealing the land from the Indians and slavery had nothing to do with it. And I fail to see any great generosity of the American people. I think Americans are among the least generous people in terms of actually having to sacrifice for others. People aren't even willing to pay higher gasoline prices to reduce dependency of foreign oil.

No doubt that Americans have worked hard; we have a dynamic, innovative system and lots of ambitious, hard working people. But to ignore the other side of things is simply to ignore reality.