Why McCain Longs for 19th Century Fuels

He's making every debate, even energy, a 'cultural wedge issue'
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 14, 2008 3:00 PM CDT
An oil well pump jack is shown working next to a stretch of road in Coalinga, Calif. More drilling just encourages Americans to consume more, Thomas Friedman argues.   (AP Photo/Gary Kazanjian, file)
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(Newser) – Why are Republicans chanting "drill, baby, drill," a call for an outdated, 19th-century technology like fossil fuels? Because they are turning every political debate into a cultural "wedge Issue," Thomas Friedman writes in the New York Times—"including even energy policy, no matter how stupid it makes the voters and no matter how much it might weaken America."

"I respected McCain’s willingness to support the troop surge in Iraq," Friedman writes, "even if it was going to cost him the Republican nomination. Now the same guy, who would not sell his soul to win his party’s nomination, is ready to sell every piece of his soul to win the presidency. Obama may be a bit professorial, but at least he is trying to unite the country to face the real issues rather than divide us over cultural differences."