Sunday, November 2, 2008

Drill, Baby, Drill

I did go camping this weekend, but I didn't head West into the desert like  I thought I might.  As it turns out, I have a really hard time going out without being close to a river where I can fish, so I headed to Lime Creek... possibly my mostest favoritest place in the whole world.   It was kinda cold, but I fished for about 10 hours yesterday (maybe, I didn't have a watch) and didn't see another soul.

Fly fishing is a sort of active zen meditation for me.  I'm completely in the moment, but in the background, my thoughts wander to places far and wide.  With all that's happening in the country right now, I couldn't help but think about the election.  One thought that came to mind was an image from the Durango Herald's website from McCain's visit.
(I can't get it to link through, but click through to image 37/59)  A woman holding a "Drill Baby Drill!" (without commas) sign.  Here.  In the San Juans.  Why, I wonder, does she live here?  It boggles the mind to think that someone can live among the beauty we do and believe this shit without irony:

 It's painful to think that so many come here with the intention of destroying the very attributes that brought them here.  I'll take a cue from Joe Biden here.  During the vice presidential debates one of the final questions of the evening was about changing the tone of politics in Washington:

BIDEN: Well, again, I believe John McCain, were he here -- and this is a dangerous thing to say in the middle of an election -- but he would acknowledge what I'm about to say.

I have been able to work across the aisle on some of the most controversial issues and change my party's mind, as well as Republicans', because I learned a lesson from Mike Mansfield.

Mike Mansfield, a former leader of the Senate, said to me one day -- he -- I made a criticism of Jesse Helms. He said, "What would you do if I told you Jesse Helms and Dot Helms had adopted a child who had braces and was in real need?" I said, "I'd feel like a jerk."

He said, "Joe, understand one thing. Everyone's sent here for a reason, because there's something in them that their folks like. Don't question their motive."

I have never since that moment in my first year questioned the motive of another member of the Congress or Senate with whom I've disagreed. I've questioned their judgment.

I think that's why I have the respect I have and have been able to work as well as I've been able to have worked in the United States Senate. That's the fundamental change Barack Obama and I will be bring to this party, not questioning other people's motives.

This is hard to do, and I've been thinking about this statement since I heard Biden make it.  I constantly call people's motives into question.  It's easy to think of Bush, for example, as a money-hungry croney-istic moron.  Or to think of Cheney as Satan...  The truth is, they probably really do think that they're doing what's best for their country.  That doesn't mean they're not wrong, of course.  This woman holding the "Drill Baby Drill!" sign at the McCain rally obviously thinks that drilling for oil here and now would be the best thing for the country and that the land itself is less valuable.  My assumption that she probably drives a huge SUV and is probably just sick of  paying so much at the pump is, in fact, just an assumption.  My assumption that she hates trees and is glad that we're in the Middle East killing "them brown people" is, once again, just an assumption...

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