by Shaun Appleby, Sat Sep 20, 2008 at 04:01:34 PM EDT
Sarah 'knows more about energy' Palin has finally unburdened herself of some expertise on the subject for our collective benefit and it's compelling stuff, in the sense it confirms a breathtaking confusion, incoherently delivered, and will no doubt instigate a flurry of debate over coming news cycles. What she is saying, or attempting to say, is so ambiguous that there is endless opportunity presented for the punditry to finish the puzzle and they can't seem to resist that kind of challenge. (h/t Jed Lewison)
What she said is this:
"Of course, it's a fungible commodity and they don't flag, you know, the molecules, where it's going and where it's not. But in the sense of the Congress today, they know that there are very, very hungry domestic markets that need that oil first. So, I believe that what Congress is going to do, also, is not to allow the export bans to such a degree that it's Americans who get stuck holding the bag without the energy source that is produced here, pumped here. It's got to flow into our domestic markets first."
hilzoy - Energy Expertise! Obsidian Wings 18 Sep 08
If you're confused, you are not alone. And if you think that was bad, try watching it:
Didn't get any better, did it? hilzoy assumes she must have meant something different:
I think, despite her saying that Congress is "not going to allow the export bans", that she is actually recommending such a ban. At any rate, what she says makes a lot more sense on the assumption that either the 'not' or the 'bans' was a slip than it does on the assumption that she thought that lifting nonexistent export bans would keep our oil here at home.
Now admittedly, I haven't done due Google diligence on any of this, but the implications of this statement are staggering. Sarah Palin sounds for all the world like a freshman college student winging an answer to an unexpected economics question. And it's not like she hasn't had days to cram for this, either.
The threads are unravelling and after McCain's rather 'broad' assertion recently that she ""knows more about energy than probably anyone else in the United States of America" this remark is likely to get the attention it warrants.
According to hilzoy, there are no such 'export bans' and one wonders where this policy notion arose as it is one not widely discussed by the campaigns to date. Did McCain previously make a statement about 'export bans' on energy? During the 'drill now' phase of his campaign when he was trying to make speeches from offshore drilling platforms in the Gulf? Helpful posters might clarify this point.
In any case this is a major fail of a widely anticipated debut for Governor Palin as 'energy Czar.' An unforced error that doesn't merely lose an inning but causes some fans to wonder if the player doesn't have a career-ending injury. We'll see, in the current mood of the media this seems like warm blood in the water. For sheer entertainment value I'm sure nothing will beat the McCain campaign's explanation of these assertions, they have plenty of scope to spin this one just about any way you like. Sarah Palin's words are like clay in the hands of a real 'spin' artist.
With apologies to Winston Churchill:
At election time, truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of spin.