They think our foreign policy and our economy is "held hostage" by foreign oil and the likes of Qaddafi and Ahmedinejad. Joe Scarborough repeated "held hostage" several times throughout his show today. I'm still not quite sure what he means by "held hostage".
I categorize the hosts on Morning Joe as conservatives. On today's show, which included Jim Cramer (the stock guy) and Steven Rattner (a private equity investor), they discussed Thomas Friedman's article "If Not Now, When?". Mika read part of Friedman's article and said "I just wish we would...get off our dependence, so that we can not be in this situation." What situation, Mika? Please elaborate.
The implication is that we're in bed with dictators, and conservative Americans like Mika and Joe don't like that. Steven Rattner said we have no choice, we have no influence with the Saudis because we are so dependent on them. I agree with Rattner that nothing we will do in the foreseeable future will change our dependence on middle east oil. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't reduce our dependence on foreign oil. Also it doesn't mean that we shouldn't (or can't) influence what happens inside KSA and other oil-rich states.
If the US can get the Saudis to do business (ARAMCO being the significant one in history) with us, if we can get them to be nice with Israel, if we can get them to match dollar for dollar in funding the fight against communism in Afghanistan, if we can get them to invite American soldiers (half a million of them) onto their soil and fight a war with them (against another Muslim country), then we should be able to influence them on their human rights and democracy record.
Joe emphasized the need to develop alternative forms of energy, not because it might help reduce greenhouse gases, but because it would reduce our dependence on foreign oil. And we gotta keep up with China. Those are the factors that drive conservative Americans towards energy independence.
They didn't even mention Israel, except the part in which Mika read Friedman's reference to Israel.
At least conservative Americans are beginning to realize the importance of clean energy. In this clip Joe deserves kudos for giving credit to Jimmy Carter, who started talking about a sensible energy policy in 1977. Why doesn't the US spend more to develop clean sources of energy? Joe asks the question, but there are no answers, not on his show. Jeffrey Sachs, a Columbia University professor, answered that question on The Last Word today, and explains how billionaires are influencing politics in America. If we are being held hostage, we are being held hostage by the Koch brothers.