“Drill, Baby, Drill,” chanted conservatives at the 2008 Republican convention and at rallies across the country ever since. Now, they claim President Barack Obama’s embrace of the idea doesn’t quite meet their standards.
Republicans have reacted largely with derision to Obama’s announcement to expand offshore drilling Wednesday, declaring that his move — which adopts a key plank in their energy platform — is flawed and insufficient.
Among the first to lay into him was none other then House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH), who alleged in a statement that the president “continues to defy the will of the American people” by permitting drilling in most — but not all — coastal areas.
“It’s long past time for this Administration to stop delaying American energy production off all our shores and start listening to the American people who want an ‘all of the above’ strategy to produce more American energy and create more jobs,” added the leading Republican in the House.
Sarah Palin, who took the GOP slogan “Drill, Baby, Drill” to a new prominence, dubbed Obama’s decision “Stall, Baby, Stall” in a guest blog for The National Review.
She accused the president of engaging in “all talk and no real action,” assailing his intention to implement the proposal methodically while studying the environmental impacts of coastal oil exploration.
The former Alaska governor didn’t praise him in the slightest for his partial embrace of an idea she has vigorously promoted since being named the GOP’s vice presidential candidate in 2008.
Boehner and Palin took a swipe at Obama’s cap and trade proposal, each calling it job-killing legislation.
Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN), the chairman of the House Republican Conference and the American Energy Solutions Group, chimed in by claiming Obama’s announcement was a “smokescreen” and a “feeble attempt” to win GOP votes for his energy bill.
The cold reception from his adversaries can hardly be surprising for Obama and Democrats, given how elusive Republican support has been for all of his major initiatives since taking office.
But his move was largely designed as an overture to conservatives, as the New York Times reported that it was part of an effort to “help win political support for comprehensive energy and climate legislation.”
Environmental groups and progressives are livid at the move, warning that this gamble will not lower gas prices anytime soon and is unlikely to win GOP support. The latter prediction, at least, has so far proven accurate.