Slow Joe’s Oil and Gas Code Red - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Slow Joe’s Oil and Gas Code Red
Joe Biden in presidential debate Thursday night (YouTube screenshot)

There’s a great climactic scene at the end of the famous Tom Cruise movie A Few Good Men in which Cruise, the Navy Judge Advocate defense attorney for a pair of Marines accused of abusing a comrade while stationed in Cuba, asks the Marine colonel in charge, played by Jack Nicholson, whether he’s the one actually responsible.

“Colonel Jessup! Did you order the Code Red?” Cruise asks.

The judge at the trial intervenes and tells Nicholson he doesn’t have to answer the question.

If every oil company doing business in swing states isn’t on the air by the weekend outing Biden for declaring war on them and the jobs they produce, hundreds of thousands of them, then something is very, very wrong.

“I’ll answer the question,” Nicholson says. “You want answers?”

“I think I’m entitled to them,” says Cruise.

Nicholson repeats himself: “You want answers?”

“I want the truth,” says Cruise.

That enrages Nicholson. “You can’t handle the truth!” he says. He then launches into a tirade attacking Cruise for his comfort and weakness, and it becomes very clear that he wants very badly to say what he cannot say.

“I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide and then questions the manner in which I provide it,” he snarls. “I would rather that you just said ‘thank you’ and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon and stand a post.”

And then the flourish: “Either way, I don’t give a damn what you think you’re entitled to!”

“Did you order the Code Red?” Cruise baits him again.

“I did the job … ”

“Did you order the Code Red?”

And then the big finish: “You’re goddamned right I did!”

Why bring this up? Because if you watched to the end of Thursday’s debate, you saw a remake of that scene. In a discussion that began with a dumb question by moderator Kristen Welker, who actually made Chris Wallace and Susan Page not look so bad with her never-ending interruptions of Donald Trump (she never interrupted Biden once, from our notes), about poor people who live next to oil refineries, Biden turned into Nicholson’s Col. Jessup.

And Trump managed to turn into Cruise, minus the diminutive stature and Scientology.

Biden seized upon the question to wax eloquent about growing up in Delaware next to an oil refinery in Claymont.

“When my mom got in the car with the first frost, there would be an oil slick on the window,” he said. “That’s why so many people in my state were dying and getting cancer. The fact is the front-line communities, it doesn’t matter what you’re paying them. It matters how you’re keeping them safe.”

Then Trump asked him if he wanted to get rid of the oil and gas industry.

And Biden, channeling Nicholson in his fatal bout of enthusiasm, said yes.

“Would he close down the oil industry?” Trump asked. “Would you close down the oil industry?”

“I would transition from the oil industry, yes,” Biden responded.

That built upon a mountain of Green New Deal rhetoric he had spent much of the debate climbing by extolling the virtues of solar and wind energy and spinning yarns about all the great new jobs renewable energy would provide. Biden has had a problem for the length of his campaign due to his inability to give the country a straight answer on hydraulic fracturing. Thursday night he said he wouldn’t allow it on federal land and also said he wouldn’t allow any oil drilling at all on federal land, which wipes out the entire offshore drilling industry, but he’s been all over the map on that question, and depending on his audience he’s said whatever he thought they wanted to hear.

But prompted by Trump, he went full You Can’t Handle the Truth.

“That’s a big statement,” Trump said, and then rhetorically asked the voters in oil and gas states like Texas, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, and Ohio if they were listening.

Biden, at the end of a 90-minute session in which whatever pharmaceutical additives he’d been given had begun to wear off, then doubled down on his Code Red.

“It is a big statement, because … the oil industry pollutes, significantly,” he stammered. And then he wasn’t done.

“It has to be replaced by renewable energy over time,” he continued. “And I’d stop giving to the oil industry — I’d stop giving them federal subsidies. He [Trump] won’t give federal subsidies to solar and wind. Why are we giving it to the oil industry?”

This ends Joe Biden’s awkward dance around the question whether he, as president, would declare war on the oil and gas industry. The mask is off.

And as Trump says, voters in those oil and gas-producing states have to notice.

This isn’t just about Texas, Pennsylvania, and Ohio, you know. In the last 10 years perhaps no state in America has seen a bigger economic growth engine come out of the ground than New Mexico, as the Permian Basin play has turned the southeastern part of that state, along with the far western part of Texas, into a Saudi Arabia of domestic oil.

New Mexico usually votes Democrat. How about now, guys? Are you willing to literally throw away your economic future so that Joe Biden’s Chinese pals can come and install solar panels out in the desert? Maybe he’ll give you a squeegee bottle and a rag and you can make his new $15 an hour minimum wage wiping the dust off them while said Chinese pals rake in the filthy lucre.

If every oil company doing business in swing states isn’t on the air by the weekend outing Biden for declaring war on them and the jobs they produce, hundreds of thousands of them, then something is very, very wrong.

Nicholson’s Col. Jessup didn’t fare so well after his ire got the best of him. One wonders whether Biden, whose other problems are probably more dispositive in this election, didn’t stage a Code Red on his own electoral hopes by telling America he’s for unicorn farts and pixie dust as a means of powering America’s economic future.

Scott McKay
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Scott McKay is a contributing editor at The American Spectator  and publisher of the Hayride, which offers news and commentary on Louisiana and national politics, and, a national political news aggregation and opinion site. Additionally, he's the author of the new book The Revivalist Manifesto: How Patriots Can Win The Next American Era, available at He’s also a writer of fiction — check out his three Tales of Ardenia novels Animus, Perdition and Retribution at Amazon. Scott's other project is The Speakeasy, a free-speech social and news app with benefits - check it out here.
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