Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Alaska: Battery of the Nation

The McCain campaign's mistake, hopefully the decisive one, was to launch a new set of attack ads at the same time they were cutting loose with a separate torrent of mostly insubstantial, but easily disproven, lies. Case in point:

Sarah Palin, during her interview with Charlie Gibson said that Akaska producers “nearly 20 percent of the U.S. domestic supply of energy.”

That was a lie. And people in the press pointed out that it was a lie. So Palin changed her line. And she told a rally in Colorado yesterday that “My job has been to oversee nearly 20 percent of the U.S. domestic supply of oil and gas.” But this is also a lie!

What freaks me out a little about this particular whopper is that it suggests that Governor Palin fundamentally mis-understands the relationship between Alaska and the lower 48. If we really got 20% of our energy (or even oil and gas) from Alaska, the relationship between Alaska and the rest of us would be like the relationship between an electrical outlet and a lamp. The rest of the US would be an example of the kind of prosperity that can be achieved in a relatively barren and deprived land thanks to the tapping of the limitless bounty of Alaska.

What would happen if someone with an Alaska-centric view of the world suddenly ascended to the presidency is anyone's guess.

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