Thursday, April 27, 2006

Republicans Drown in Oil Crisis

If there ever was a case of poetic justice, it's the Republican quandary of having to deal with the second major gas price spike in the past year. $3.00 gasoline is trouble, especially if you are the guys who laid much of the groundwork for the problem. Yes, it's the Republicans! How, you say?

Remember Jimmy Carter? He said we had a national emergency when we bought 50% of our oil from foreign sources, since those who have the oil might hold our country hostage. Now we buy over 60% from overseas and are even more vulnerable. Has President Bush explained our vulnerability and presented a plan to deal with it? NOT, at least for the past six years. Now he's forced to explain how new technologies will come to our aid by 2020. 2020? You got to be kidding me! I guess he saw no benefit to using his bully pulpit to talk down SUV's when his pals were getting rich off the gas they were guzzling...but even the slower intellects understand that his inaction has increased our exposure to oil blackmail and price spikes.

Guilt by association! President Bush is an oil man, his friends are oil men, he comes from a big oil state. We pay $3.00, his friends get rich, the oil companies post record profits. He says it's just the law of supply and demand, nothing he can control. Control he can not, but influence he can, as the wise Yoda would say. He could have warned about supply and taken strong positions like drilling in sensitive areas for contingency purposes only. He could have warned about demand and insisted on sensible conservation measures and alternative sources of energy. Why is nuclear power suddenly a good thing in 2006, when we should have had the reactors built already if there had been any leadership! Blame a lot of it on a guy who stands by his pals.

GWB denied thinking about oil before he invaded Iraq, but he almost certainly did. He thought about all the oil his pals would get out of Iraq after we won the war. Didn't happen. Instead, the lack of WMD's convinced a lot of people that the war was about getting more oil, but that has not worked out. Instead, we're getting less oil and we have fewer friends among those who do have it. This is not good.

The bottom line is that voters are going to remember the president and the Republican congress that sold out to the oil industry and failed to "lead". Leadership is about anticipating problems and working on solutions "before" the sky falls. People are interested in leaders who stand up for solutions in advance...any random lazy guy can maintain the status quo. If oil stays up, those Republicans will go down (drown, that is) in November. It could be a real gusher!

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