It’s official: Paris Hilton > John McCain

You’ve probably already seen this video but in case you haven’t, well there it is.

Paris Hilton’s energy policy is actually better than McCain’s. It’s probably not intended to be taken seriously, but it’s worth noting that the two things it adds to Obama’s policy comprise an environmentally friendly version of McCain’s offshore drilling proposal which, itself, will not yield significant results in the short term, and an electorally attractive but pointless and perhaps expensive proposal to give US automakers tax incentives to do what they should have been doing all along, and are now scrambling to do without incentives — i.e. build fuel efficient cars.

US car makers spent the last twenty years bribing congress to block improvements to the CAFE fuel economy standards which would have helped make them ready for the current crunch and possibly averted it in the first place, and bailing them out of the mess they’ve gotten themselves into is just a waste of time and money since all they’ve achieved in this period is to become almost economically irrelevant.

There’s been discussion lately of removing GM from the Dow Jones index since it is by far the lowest market cap member (5.8B as of writing; compare this to Caterpillar (makers of tracked earth moving equipment, among other things) with a market cap of 42.7B) and — some argue — technically insolvent. It might be replaced by Toyota (131.6B) and/or Honda (57.4B), both of which are solvent, profitable, and currently manufacture and sell reliable, fuel efficient cars in the US without special tax incentives or subsidies.

So, Paris’s energy policy is better than McCain’s since it’s essentially McCain’s existing policy (which achieves almost nothing in the short term) tempered by environmental considerations (which will prevent it from achieving much good or damage in the long term) plus Obama’s policy (which is what we should have been doing all along) plus an electorally attractive, but vague, bad idea (giving more money to failed US automakers). If she were a real candidate, I’d read this as (a) triangulating McCain’s offshore drilling proposal by saying “sure we’ll do it, but in an eco-friendly way” either turning it into a non-issue or forcing McCain to differentiate himself by saying he’d do it in an eco-hostile way, (b) co-opting Obama’s policies which are basically good, and (c) proposing a vague, but probably popular, “US worker-friendly” policy that can be disposed of after the election because it’s “no longer necessary”. I’d actually say this is better packaging than Obama’s campaign has managed for, essentially, identical policies, but Obama can’t afford to pull stunts like (c) because he’s taken more seriously than Paris Hilton (or McCain) and he’s likely to be required to put dollar amounts on it. Still, not bad for a bimbo.