ASIDE FROM THAT, HOW WAS THE PLAY, MRS. LINCOLN?

Bill Kristol, defrocked New York Times columnist and mainstream media outcast who is still good enough for Murdoch, sayeth the following on something called Special Report with Bret Baier last week:

Look the data’s pretty clear in general that the offshore drilling of oil has become incredibly quite safe, not perfectly safe, but compared to other ways of getting energy, quite safe compared to the mining of coal for example, and very environmentally clean, except when there is a disaster like this spill, but Exxon Valdez was much bigger.

Read that five or six times. Those of you who do not jam knives into both eyes after the third reading should rejoin us for the next paragraph.

When the spill first happened I noted to anyone within earshot that the "drill, baby, drill" mouthbreathers were amusingly silent. I should have known better. That silence was actually golden and I would soon be yearning for it. And now I am. Kristol's breathtakingly stupid comment actually manages to make a slogan as asinine as "drill, baby, drill" sound like Olivier delivering the St. Crispin's Day speech from Henry V. Kristol, as usual, led the way for the right wing punditry. His comment was like the opening ceremony of the Special Olympics. Soon we would have:

  • Rush Limbaugh "noting the coincidence" of the event happening on Earth Day, thus establishing damning circumstantial evidence that "environmental wackos" blew up the rig in an act of terrorism. No follow-up word on whether the second rig that capsized on Saturday was also Ed Begley Jr.'s fault.
  • Eric "The Admiral" Bolling, who may in fact be the least intelligent Fox News contributor (akin to being the most closeted Focus on the Family staffer) helpfully suggested that our strategy moving forward should be "Drill here, drill now … drill, baby, drill." Look how well the monkey learned the catchphrase! That kind of classical conditioning could give Pavlov wood from beyond the grave.
  • The highly-paid speechwriter who writes Sarah Palin's Facebook updates enlightened us with a magnum opus entitled "Domestic Drilling: Why We Can Still Believe." Don't worry, she did learn something from her personal experience with the Exxon Valdez disaster…namely that, ya know, shit happens! We must be strong enough to accept the occasional environmental Hindenburg. Bonus point: comparing offshore drilling to the moon landing, which is to say dangerous, expensive, ultimately pointless, and a government-funded gangbang for contractors who live off the Federal teat.
  • The very appropriately named David Asman of Fox Business Channel (which, to remind you, has as many daily viewers as the website at which you are staring) helpfully notes that environmentalists need to "shut up" and that the "solution" (to…the spill?) is to "drill more." With incisive commentary like that, he won't be down in the minor leagues for long!
  • First, God made idiots. That was for practice. When He was convinced that He achieved perfection, He made Fox News contributors.

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    17 Responses to “ASIDE FROM THAT, HOW WAS THE PLAY, MRS. LINCOLN?”

    1. daphne Says:

      hah. great punchline.

    2. Wisakedjak Says:

      It's lovely how the news always refers to this as a 'spill' or 'leak', nice little words that conveniently ignore the oozing hole where oil constantly spills out into the ocean. I still enjoy the fact that the two solutions being considered are: drop a vacuum onto the hole, hope it works because it's pretty deep, and keep profiting, or drilling a reserve well, which will come about in a very quick 90 days.

      On top of this, being Canadian, the issue has come up that the arctic oil reserves, which apparently comprise a great deal of untouched oil, is very much in demand for oil companies. Considering that safety concerns with spills in a very fragile environment, not to mention a shorter working season due to conditions in the north, BP is one of companies asking for permission to drill there. Some lackey was called up to show up on the news and talk about safety programs who hemmed and hawed about relief wells being even less possible there than in the Gulf of Mexico, but because it's considered a 'last line of defense' they are 'considering preventative alternatives proposed by the oil companies before deciding who can drill'. Instead of researching and formulating proper guidelines, they're asking companies to produce some measures and then say 'eh, well it looks good enough. Drill, baby, drill!'

      Stephen Harper, of course, stated very emphatically that 'We will not tolerate the same kind of accident in Canadian waters!' Because, you know, when it happens we'll be very angry. And we'll notify you about how unhappy we are about it. Because we're intolerant to these things. We'll be loud!

    3. waldo Says:

      It's the idiocy that children feel no compunction in utilising when they want to annoy, that sneering assault on your logic that reasoning will not placate.

    4. ladiesbane Says:

      When Kristol says offshore drilling is safe, he is comparing it to coal mining, which statistically blows them out of the water (you should pardon the phrase) in terms of loss of life. And when he talks about being environmentally clean, he might be referring to day to day operations rather than at catastrophe; again, this requires comparison to mining operations, and again it's true — if you are looking at an example like Butte, Montana, where the tailings from the copper mine were dumped straight into the creek, and arsenic, lead, and sulphur from the refinery went straight into the air. To get back to the logical fallacies I miss, I think having to compare your sample to a Superfund site in order to look good counts as special pleading.

      In terms of environmental impact, I think Kristol is not differentiating between the recent catastrophe and others limited by the remote control shut-off switch that these corporate overlords thought was too expensive to install.

      And while I don't think you were hard enough on Kristol, the bullet points were nice shooting. I'm stealing "wood from beyond the grave."

    5. Kulkuri Says:

      I like the punchline too, but prefer to think they just haven't evolved far enough to have the gray matter to be able to think things through enough to be able to pour piss out of a boot if the instructions are printed on the heel!!

    6. JohnR Says:

      Reached for comment about President Lincoln's ill-fated visit to Ford's Theater, Mr. Kristol responded that too much was being made of it. "The President was much safer at the theater than he was on the battlefield at Gettysburg. Historically, Mr. Lincoln was completely alive throughout much of the play, except after he was shot."
      Wow, and here I wasn't sure that I could write like old Bill – yet right there is a wildly inappropriate simile-sort-of-thing being used to support a point apparently unrelated to the blog post that triggered it. It doesn't even make a heck of a lot of sense, but it made me grin a really Shit-Eating Grin. At last, I have become a Man today!

    7. ts46064 Says:

      The modern Conservative:
      1) Deny the problem
      2) Once accepting that the problem is real, claim the guilty party can then fix the problem more effectively than the government.

    8. Crazy for Urban Planning Says:

      Good post ed and good comments people. I can't say anything I haven't already said. Does anyone else get tired of the same asinine things coming out of these people's pie holes?

    9. BillCinSD Says:

      JohnR, a better battle at which to compare Lincoln may be the Battle of Fort Stevens, where Lincoln became the only (or perhaps the last) sitting President to come under enemy fire

    10. JohnR Says:

      BillC, I was trying to stay in character as Mr. Kristol, I'll have you know. Fort Stevens was entirely too appropriate, while Gettysburg was more the sort of thing that Grinning Billy would use – sort of appropriate-sounding for somebody who doesn't actually know what he's talking about. But thanks for the useful criticism – I'll take it under advisement.

    11. Ben Menzies Says:

      I also like how in the last sentence of Kristol's comment, he just says in an off-handed way that Exxon-Valdez was bigger, which is just not even close to true. Tankers run dry, this could destroy the entire gulf ecosystem before it runs out of oil.

    12. beau Says:

      Does anyone else, when faced with the catchphrase "drill baby drill" alongside the names Kristol, Limbaugh and Palin, think happily of the end of Aaronofsky's "PI"?

      Drill baby, drill.

    13. HoosierPoli Says:

      I'm a little bit concerned that the earth is literally bleeding oil into the oceans and no one actually knows how much oil is there. That's understatement of course, I'm actually concerned that the entire ocean is totally fucked.

    14. Taylor Omalley Says:

      If I had a nickel for each time I came here! Great post.

    15. Johan Says:

      Rock my socks

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