What a difference a “D” makes…
…and that would be “D” as in “D”emocrat, not “d” as in “d”ay.
Remember back a couple of years when oil prices went over a hundred dollars a barrel and gas prices broached $4 a gallon. You will also remember the screeching from Democrats and their media slaves about how George W Bush and Dick Cheney were profiting from the suffering of American families who were paying big prices at the pump. In March of 2008 the Washington Post ran a story – one of thousands, so yes, I’m cherry-picking but it’s not much different than of the ilk they published on this subject – where they made the following note…
Democrats seized on the price increases to hammer President Bush for his threat to veto an energy tax bill that would eliminate a tax break for the five biggest oil companies and extend tax breaks for solar and wind projects.
“How many records does the price of oil have to set and surpass before President Bush stands up for hardworking American families and stops taxpayer giveaways to Big Oil?” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) asked in a statement.
Analysts blamed the relentless increase in petroleum prices on an influx of investors fleeing sinking and unsteady financial markets and those searching for hedges against inflation.
Unsteady financial markets? Inflation? Sound familiar? Well, sounds to me a whole lot like 2011 but you won’t be reading that scenario in the WaPo. There is another difference as well. Screecher Pelosi linked GWB to “BigOil” In today’s market, no one will be linking Obama to those nasty guys, nope, not BigOil. Obama is in the pocket of BigGreen™ He won’t come out an say it, but $4 – or $5 or $6 – gas has been on his agenda all along. The difference between the parties on the subject of oil is clear. Republicans – most of them anyway – want to drill in proven US oil reserves, expand refinery capacity and build nuclear reactors. Democrats want to tap unproven and expensive technology – see the Chevy Volt – and build wind farms. Well, as long as they don’t spoil John Kerry’s view of the ocean. Republicans favor proven technology and known resources. Democrats favor spending money on stuff that has no return on investment – just ask the Spaniards about the cost of “green jobs”.
So, what portends for the 2012 election cycle with respect to gas prices? Well, we can’t be sure, but it’s a fair guess that the WaPo, The New York Times and their ilk in both print and broadcast media will give President Obama a pass on oil prices even if they have to manufacture it. After all, he IS OurSavior isn’t he. We’ll be once again respected in the World. The oceans will stop rising. There won’t be any more homeless or hungry. Etc, etc, etc. We do have a hint at what the next year will look like, thanks to The Caucus at The New York Times.
Nearly three years later and with a new presidential campaign looming, oil prices are surging again on fears of instability in the Middle East and uncertainty about the future of drilling off the United States coast. The prospect of a return to $4 gas — and the angst that could create in an electorate already frustrated about the economy — has the potential to become a new headache for the president as he gears up for his re-election.
But the political dynamics surrounding oil exploration are very different in 2011 than they were in 2008, making it less obvious that Mr. Obama’s Republican challengers can use the issue to their advantage.
And despite the consumer pain, most economists from across the political spectrum say that they do not yet expect the price of oil to do significant damage to the economic recovery in the coming months.
Just a couple of notes. Recovery? What recovery? The Administration is cooking the books on unemployment numbers. The housing market is in a continuing downward spiral despite the best efforts of both the Administration and the National Association of Realtors to spin it otherwise. The federal deficit is a time bomb with a long fuse only because the Feds can print money (shhhh [inflation] shhhhh) and the state budgets are a short term time bomb – like over the next couple of years – because they can’t print money. There may well be a civil war brewing between the entitled class – public employees – and the taxpayers who pay for their castles.
And then there’s the “political dynamics” of oil exploration. The difference is that the people attempting to define the news cycle are in Obama’s pocket. The other difference is a real question about whether Republican challengers will have the spine to actually challenge this President on the failure of his energy policies. That is an open question and I’m not comfortable that they will be.
As the Gulf oil slick recedes from memories, some coastal politicians have urged a return to increased drilling as part of an effort to help the Gulf economy recover.
That message has not yet become part of the larger national conversation about the economy.
“[S]ome coastal politicians…” That’s a small slice of life in Republican circles. They tend to be a group the Republican leadership doesn’t pay much attention to. And people like the WaPo and NYT will do their darnedest to make sure that “[t]hat message” never becomes a part of the national conversation.
Folks, in case you might have missed it, we’re in a war for the soul of the nation. You are beginning to see the skirmishes break out all over. It’s time that we demand that the leadership of our Party recognize that we ARE at war and start acting like it. It looks like there may be a bright spot or two in the states, specifically Ohio, Wisconsin, New Jersey and Florida. Let’s hope those sparks of liberty, freedom, a reduction in scope of government and basic sanity will grow to a wildfire.