Has there ever been a politician blogger who can create such a fuss with each posting?
On Tuesday afternoon in Wasilla (Wednesday morning in Washington), Sarah Palin did it again, posting a blog riff that has created a stir. Her subject was a recent editorial in the Wall Street Journal about a $2 billion U.S. Export-Import Bank loan to the Brazilian state-owned oil company, Petrobas, for expansion of an offshore oil field in South America. The point of the Journal piece was to highlight an irony: The Obama Administration, which has been resistant to expanding some offshore drilling spots in U.S. waters, was loaning money to expand offshore drilling in another country.
Palin concurs with the Journal critique, saying that Obama should broadly expand U.S. drilling, especially in Alaska. But then she goes a step further than the Journal, saying the ExIm bank loan shows irony, if not hypocrisy, not just in Obama’s drilling policy but in his economic stimulus policy.
Buy American is a wonderful slogan, but you can’t say in one breath that you want to strengthen our economy and stimulate it, and then in another ship our much-needed dollars to a nation desperate to drill while depriving us of the same opportunity.
Here Palin enters murkier waters. The problem with her line of argument is that it leaves out–or misrepresents–a key fact about the $2 billion ExIm loan: It would be used to help the Brazilian company purchase U.S. goods and services. Helping U.S. business is, after all, the entire purpose of the program. (See original press release here.)
Politico’s Ben Smith catches up with Phil Cogan, a spokesman for the bank, who explains the situation:
In this case, Cogan said, the proposed loan would likely finance [American] engineering services, sales of ships to service oil platforms, or drilling equipment.”This is the government doing what it’s supposed to do: Create jobs and make sure that Americans get a fair shot at selling goods and services — not the British or the French or anyone else — and to help American workers compete on a level playing field,” Cogan said, noting that most developed countries have similar credit-export agencies.
Maybe Palin will post a follow up on Facebook clarifying. (It could be argued that oil drilling expansion in U.S. waters with U.S. companies would have more long range economic benefit for the U.S. than work by U.S. companies in Brazilian waters.) Or maybe not.