Yet the Obama administration is openly supporting not an outright ban on offshore drilling, but Kerry and Leiberman's weak-kneed concessions. Their bill does include provisions that allow states to ban operations within 75 miles of their coastlines, as well as a sweetener that allows them to siphon off larger revenue from those operations. Brace Yourself: This Is the Tip of the Iceberg for Oil-Induced Enviro Catastrophes, Scott Thill, Alternet.org
So, O.K., I turn on my TeeVee this morning and there's New York US Senator Chuck Schumer, and usually I put him in the provisional "good guy" column, saying something like, "We are not going to get a "clean" energy bill unless we have offshore drilling."
Schumer was immediately followed by recombinant DNA human-turtle mutant Mitch McConnell saying, "If we don't have offshore drilling we'll have fourteen dollar a gallon gasoline!!!" Of course my personal reaction was, "What's wrong with that."
Next I saw some bloated Louisiana, rednecked commercial fisherman pitching a bitch about how me makes more in one day of fishing than BP paid him for three days of cleaning oil off the Gulf! Oh, poor baby.
And what fuel do you suppose that poor lard-assed Louisiana, rednecked commercial fisherman uses to power his boat to go to the fishing grounds to make more in one day of good fishing than BP pays in three days of cleaning up the area of his livelihood? I'd say diesel fuel refined from petroleum, wouldn't you.
And I'll bet you even money that when that same bloated, rednecked Louisiana fisherman sets down to slam down a few watery Bud Lights with his buddies, he'll start bitching how big gub'munt ain't doin' enuff for 'em down here. Course he and they all hate big gub'munt 'cause big gub'munt dictates to 'em what they can catch. Then he'll start moaning how the price of diesel fuel's going up because of this oil spill; how it'll cut into his profits and he jes' cain't go on like that. And all his buddies will shout their assent.
Then some other barroom sage will interject, "Mubbe that offshore drilling ain't so bad. It brings in a lotta jobs fer young folk an' them oil rigs are good fer fishin'." And our lard-assed, rednecked protagonist and all his buddies will nod in agreement.
From the corner of the bar comes a voice saying he heard tell that that Nancy Peelosee and her California tree-huggin' pals wanna stop offshore oil drillin' altogether and that'll spell the end of commercial fishin' in Louisiana! And the bar will erupt in shouts of acclamation. Why thanks to them tree huggers the gub'munt tells us fishermen what we can catch and when we can catch it, shouts another. And a round of anti-government grumbling cascades round the bar.
And so we Americans are caught in a web of our own making. We say but we don't do. We bitch but nothing changes. The ideologically pure left's wishing to improve things for what it sees as the better feeds right into the lunatic right's paranoia about loosing its pathetic jobs and ways of life.
And that paranoia is kept at a fever pitch by constant feedback from right wing talk radio and FauxNews.
Two things are clear, we will never see any significant change in this country until somebody dies. Perhaps very many somebodies.
Secondly the forces of reaction have done a better job in studing and understanding the psychology of the working middle class, especially "white" working middle class, than its counterparts on the ideologically pure left. While the ideologically pure left says it stands for the interests of working men and women, they too often look at their leftist saviors as creatures from another planet.