Somehow, I've found myself on an email distribution list for the Republican National Committee's opposition research team. Every couple of days or so, I get something documenting how the Democrat of the moment is out to lunch on this or that issue, speaking or acting hypocritically about some matter, or is an all-around crook or ne'er-do-well. These packaged emails - intended primarily for the press - are the equivalent of political drive-by shootings with footnotes.
Today's edition, however, is exquisite. Titled "Hillary's Kerryaoke on Energy," it purports to document Hillary Clinton's crazy statements and votes on energy policy. Here's what we learn:
- Hillary Clinton is a big proponent of energy independence and calls for a big Manhattan-style project to get us there. "'If we landed a man on the moon and brought him back safely to Earth within a decade as President Kennedy had promised in 1961, we know we can do this,' said Clinton to the AP the other day in the course of promoting her $50 billion program to reduce the nation's dependence on foreign oil. The RNC's complaint? She sounds just like John Kerry did in 2004. My complaint? She sounds just like President Bush, who proposes to spend at least that much to jack-up the Strategic Petroleum Reserve - and that's before we even begin tallying up the costs associated with his ethanol madness, his clean coal, nuclear power, and renewable energy subsidies, and a plethora of related costly interventions.
- Hillary Clinton wants to impose special taxes on oil company profits to help fund this $50 billion initiative of hers. Can't complain with the RNC attack here. But someone ought to remind these young operatives that George Bush is likewise happy to levy special taxes on oil companies to fatten government coffers.
- Hillary Clinton voted 17 times against ethanol subsidies and even once dared to cast a procedural vote against an energy bill containing clean coal subsidies. The RNC is outraged - OUTRAGED! - that the New York Senator would eschew federal attempts to rig energy markets and intervene in private investment decisions.
- Hillary Clinton has voted eight times to prevent drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. I'm not sure that the "free market" position is to drill, but I am pretty sure that drilling there would have no appreciable impact on U.S. energy security.
You'll probably hear some echoes of this RNC hit-piece on right-wing talk radio shows over the next week or so. The point the RNC is trying to make is that she TALKS a good game regarding energy independence, but hasn't always voted that way. Well, if I have to choose between someone who means the crazy rhetoric he is dishing out and one who really doesn't, I'll take the latter.