When the history of our times is written, I bet the nomination of Sarah Palin for vice president will be seen as one of the more bizarre political aberrations in American history, which has already had plenty. One would think that the resounding repudiation she and Senator McCain suffered in the general election would have chastened both, but while the senator has been mostly dignified and supportive of the new administration, Gov. Palin rumbles along as if she should be taken seriously. I mean, what’s up with that?
I’m off on this rant because of a guest opinion piece by the governor that appeared in the Minneapolis Star Tribune (which should know better) on Feb. 1. The subject is the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The governor is unhappy that a bill has been introduced to end forever the effort to let the drillers into the coastal plain in search of crude oil.
Repeated rebuffs of "drill baby drill" in the Arctic have shown conclusively that the public wants the refuge to remain unviolated. In fact, as many people far smarter than the governor have pointed out, we shouldn’t be exploring for new oil reserves anywhere—the Arctic, offshore, anywhere. We need to stop burning fossil fuels yesterday. Increasing our supplies will only postpone the day of reckoning and make the rescue of the climate, already a longshot, even more difficult.
So, dear Gov. Palin, please go back to criticizing the McCain campaign or balancing the state budget or something benign. Remember that the Arctic refuge belongs to the federal government—that means all of us—and not the state of Alaska.