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October 14, 2011

Perry Talks Up Energy & Jobs Plan in Pittsburg (Or Even Pittsburgh)

An "all of the above" energy plan, he says, can add 1.2 million jobs to the economy.

Honestly, I think this is about right. I'm a tangible guy. When Herman Cain talks up the supposed employment boom that would flow simply from shifting some taxation from income to consumption, I scratch my head. It's not tangible to me. Why would taking $2.3 trillion dollars from citizens, simply from a different mix of taxable events, spur the economy?

Maybe it would. To me it's arranging deck chairs on a ship, not turning the ship around.

Energy production is, however, tangible. It's a valuable commodity. People will pay for it. And with more in-country energy production, that's more jobs and more tax revenue and lower energy prices besides, as OPEC's ability to set prices is diminished.

Speaking here at U.S. Steel's Irvin plant, Perry said that his proposal -- which would open protected land for oil and natural gas production as well as lift federal regulations on the energy sector -- will create 1.2 million jobs. "Today, I offer a plan that will create more than a million good American jobs across every sector of the economy and enhance our national security. And the best news is it can be set in motion in my first 100 days," he told a crowd of hard-hat-wearing steelworkers.

The lands opened for new energy exploration under Perry's plan would include the Gulf of Mexico and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, although the governor noted that states should have input in which parts of their land are preserved from new drilling. His proposal would also undo the Environmental Protection Agency's "draconian" authority to regulate carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, and it would eliminate federal subsidies for industry sectors such as ethanol and oil and gas production.

Those changes, he said, would "revitalize American manufacturing" and have ripple effects throughout the rest of the US economy as well.

The slogan of the rollout: "Make what Americans buy. Buy what Americans make. And sell it to the world."

I'm not sure how that revitalizes American manufacturing. Forget it, he's rolling.

Do I detect a Palin Strategy at work here-- an attempt to co-opt her themes to grab some of her supporters?

I think I do, because his wife, Anita, was out on the trail striking another Palin theme. One I like a whole lot less, but it is a frequent Palin theme -- victimization by Party Insiders.

“It’s been a rough month. We have been brutalized and beaten up and chewed up in the press to where I need this today,” she said. “We are being brutalized by our opponents, and our own party. So much of that is, I think they look at him, because of his faith. He is the only true conservative – well, there are some conservatives. And they’re there for good reasons. And they may feel like God called them too. But I truly feel like we are here for that purpose.”

Smart? Maybe. But Palin's fans spent two months beating up on Perry as unnacceptable (because, of course, as the True Conservative who raced to the top of the polls, he most directly threatened a hypothetical Palin candidacy) that I think they've convinced themselves by now that he's just terrible (and seem to be flocking to Cain, who benefits by not having been at the top of Palin Threateners before she bowed out).

BTW: I continue to hold out hope that Perry will get his shit together, and fast.

When the Bachmann and Palin supporters were tossing every charge they could think of at Perry, I said, "You know, I'm trying to find someone who'd be a viable alternative to Romney. Keep attacking the conservative, guys, and you're going to find out, to your chagrin, that Romney is now the nominee. And then I'll laugh and laugh and laugh and laugh..."

I can halfway live with a Romney candidacy. He does something I respect: homework. Preparation. Planning.

I am so tired of this idea that your "principles" and intuitions and feelings alone are enough to get one through a minefield of thorny questions and abstract issues.

This only works in Star Wars and/or Bill Murray movies.

In the real world, luck is the product of good design. And people who do their homework have this weird proclivity to keep getting "lucky" over and over and over and over again, and then we curse them for their good "luck."

It's not luck. They're working hard to make it look so easy.

Who knows, maybe Perry has learned his lesson and is doing some homework now.

But anyway, my point is that many "True Conservatives" constantly attack anyone who is pretty conservative but not super conservative while giving a pass to Romney, who, at least in perception, isn't conservative at all.

You know who this benefits? Mitt Romney, that's who.

So, while the purity police beat the living hell out of Perry for each heresy, Romney rises in the polls.

Oh, and of course Romney is doing this think I respect because it's so crafty: During the debate, Romney was given a chance to question another candidate. He directed his question at Michele Bachmann -- and served her up a fat hanging curveball which she knocked out of the park. (It wasn't a gotcha question-- he invited her to give her stump speech on job creation.)


Because Romney wants to keep all three or four more-base-friendly, more-Tea-Party candidates viable. So they all split the vote.

Romney, while gathering support, is doing so slowly, and is unable to get much more than 26% of the vote. Recently a poll had him at 30%, a new high.

Can you win with 30%? Sure. If you can keep the 70% split between multiple candidates.

Romney's cunning. He's smart. He does his homework. I respect these things, so while I'm not super-keen on Romney's principles (I think he is in fact a fairly malleable man who will go to where the votes are, which is likely the center), there are a few things about him I like.

I can live with him, I guess.

But a lot of the True-r Conservatives can't, which is why I think it's kind of darkly, bitterly funny these same people spend so much energy tearing down conservative challengers to Romney.

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posted by Ace at 01:17 PM

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