Newt Gingrich's American Solutions for Winning the Future is an astroturf group funded largely by Republican billionaires. In the short-term, it's designed to staunch Republican electoral losses in November by creating a new wedge issue: drilling for oil. In the medium term, it's taking on a range of other right-wing campaigns. In the longer term, expect to the see efforts to destroy climate legislation.
The only thing Gingrich's latest crusade has lacked up to now, in terms of becoming a full-fledged parody of modern-day economic royalism masquerading as populism, is a piss-poor country song.
Enter Aaron Tippin.
Tippin debuted in 1990 with the heartland red-meat single "You've Got to Stand for Something," which became popular among soldiers in the first Gulf War. After a few years' success, he faded.
Need more red meat! So in 2001, after the 9/11 attacks, he released "Where the Stars and Stripes and the Eagle Fly," which led to another spike in Tippin's popularity. Then, again, he faded.
So it's time for Red Meat, Round Three. I give you "Drill Here, Drill Now," Tippin's latest bid to boost record sales off faux-populist demagoguery.
While you listen, you might want to contemplate this graph from Ed Mazria:
Here are the lyrics:
Hello ... Is anybody out there listenin' in Washington D.C.
This is the suffering voice of America crying out for relief
Now I don't know what a gallon of gas costs up on Capitol Hill
But we sure know what it costs down here in Realityville
And the damage already done has been a mighty heavy toll
And if we're gonna fix it we gotta start right here at home
Drill here, drill now
How 'bout some oil from our own soil that belongs to us anyhow
No more debatin' we're tired of waitin' everybody shout out loud
Drill here, drill now
Every time a foreign tanker pulls up to our shore
They got us over a barrel while they bleed us a little more
And think how much it costs just to bring it all that way
And how many American jobs that'd make if we were drillin' in the USA
Oh and God forbid if our oily friends should decide to cut us off
We'd be standin' around with our britches down now listen to me ya'll
Well the winds of change are blowin'
Yes and we recognize that need
But tractors, trucks, cars and planes can't run on tomorrow's dreams
So while we're workin' on the future we can't ignore today
Cuz who knows how much time the alternative might take
Somethin's gotta be done right now cuz friends it won't be long
Before this great big country comes grinding to a halt
This actually shows remarkable message discipline. You get the lie that drilling would substantially lower the price of gas (it wouldn't). The lie that drilling would create lots of jobs (not nearly as many as investments in renewables). The lie that major oil suppliers like Canada, Saudi Arabia, and Mexico might "cut us off" (why would they cripple their own economies?). And the lie that drilling is a "right now" solution (it isn't) while alternatives are "tomorrow's dreams" (they aren't). I wonder if Newt is the ghostwriter.
P.S.: How can you tell the populism here is a facade covering for a corporate agenda? They misspell "y'all" in the lyrics. That's not pandering we can believe in!
Follow David Roberts on Twitter: www.twitter.com/david_h_roberts