Thursday, September 4, 2008

"Country First": Honesty vs. Asshattery

I'm still a bit peeved about the RNC mantra of "Drill, baby, drill!" Here's why:

Okay, let's leave the Twin Cities for a bit and head on over to CNBC. There's a show called Mad Money starring Jim Cramer. It's a financial investment help show. The host tends to be loud and a bit too aggressive in demeanor (in an entertaining and funny way), but he knows what he's talking about (a lot of the time). I subscribe to Cramer's RSS feed, and I've learned a thing or two (or a couple hundred) about investing in the process. Anyway, Cramer supports offshore drilling because (1) technology has made it safer, (2) it's good for your portfolio, and (3) a bunch of other things that aren't one and two. In other words, he thinks its a good investment to have oil companies in your portfolio (depending on how well you do your homework, of course), and it's always a good thing to have good news for your investments. Cramer is being honest why he supports offshore drilling, and that honesty is refreshing. For fun let's call it Honesty, with a capital H.

Back to the RNC: The cries of "Drill, baby, drill!" by all the straw hats has soiled the ambiguously decent message of "Country First"* and the obligatory omnipartisan one of "U.S.A.! U.S.A.!" It conflates all of the above as patriotism. Unfortunately, "Drill, baby, drill!" is not putting one's country first; it's putting one's portfolio first! That's my problem with it. It's neither honest nor Honest (with a capital H). Instead, it's a form of assHattery, with a capital H.

Update: "Drill, baby, drill!" is Michael Steele's fault:



The delegates made it trite, and Giuliani made it contemptible.

Okay, rant over.

*Postscript rant to nowhere: "Country First" as in Nationalism beyond Patriotism? "Country First" as in Collectivism over Individualism? "Country First" as in Big Government over Limited Government? Yes, I know the original intent is to highlight John McCain's military service, especially his fortitude during his P.O.W. years, as an example of him prioritizing service to the U.S. over personal gain. It's a nice sentiment, but when you have a varying Republicans who aren't exactly McCain-like in service, the words "Country First" seem quite ambiguous and partly dangerous. I daresay it makes the modern GOP seem more commutarian/statist (the polar opposite of libertarian, in that two-dimensional political scale) than conservative in the traditional sense.

In other words, Ron Paul wouldn't approve.

Okay, postscript rant over.

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