Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Newest Republican Bag Of Gas

Ken O’Brien

The price of gasoline could hit $5 a gallon by Memorial Day.

And it’s all President Obama’s fault.

That’s the latest canard emanating from the Republican talking points broadcaster, Fox News.

 After all, they lost the initiative on the economic issue when there became a clear trend that the economy was improving. It became even more obvious when the fact emerged that the U.S. economy was outpacing European economies that had embraced the kind of austerity policies that Republicans had been advocating.

Then they sought to return to the tried and true refuge of the right in social issues. They pounced upon the Obama administration’s mandate that religiously affiliated institutions provide contraceptive coverage to their female employees. When the administration announced a compromise that provided that insurance companies would offer and pay for the coverage so that such institutions would not have to offer or pay for the benefit, any reasonable person could see that there was no violation of conscience involved. Nevertheless, Republicans doubled down on the issue. And we now have the spectacle of the current front runner in the Republican primary soap opera extending his objections to pre-natal screenings.

Seeking to extricate themselves from this downward spiral, Republican strategists have seized upon the issue of gasoline prices as an economic issue that could refocus the debate in their favor.

On last night’s Hannity no less a pseudo-luminary than Dick Morris observed that, with his veto of the Keystone pipeline project, Barack Obama owned the consequences of soaring gas prices. This is, of course the latest prediction from the omniscient sage who, in 2005, wrote a book titled “Condi vs. Hillary : The Next Great Presidential Race”. You can get a hardcover copy on Amazon for as little as 1¢.

After all, he pointed out, gasoline prices have increased by 90% since Obama took office.

Indeed, the last statement is true.

However, it fails to consider where the price of oil and gasoline stood prior to the worldwide economic meltdown of 2008 that preceded by a few months President Obama’s inauguration.

If you look at this and consider what that economic disruption did to the demand for energy, then it is clear that the pre-existing trend has merely reasserted itself.

Further, if the current increase in gasoline prices is a direct result of the delay in approving the Keystone pipeline project, then certainly Canada, the source of that oil, would be experiencing a far better situation in terms of gasoline prices.

But, oh my oh my, such is not the case.

But, if you want to try to find someone to blame, why not try American oil companies. In 2011, for the first time in over twenty years,
gasoline, diesel and airline fuels were the number one U.S. export. Why? Because they could get better prices for those products in overseas markets.

Oh, the joys of unfettered capitalism.


  1. Has anyone noticed how deflated, how chaos stricken, how, just, confused the republican machine has gotten, ever since the Current Crooner in Chief dropped a few rhymes, courtesy of the Reverend Al Green?

    Unless one of the two plain Janes the republicans are down to (Romney, Santorum) can sing like that, then the incumbent might as well start writing his inauguration speech.

    I tell you this, if the Prez can drop another lyrical bomb, it will be fatal. It will be like our own version of American Idol - Presidential Style, and it will be a winner.

    If this election was the Miss America Pageant, then as far as I'm concerned this is the talent show portion, and Romney or Santorum better start dancing, or playing the oboe, or rhymin' like John Denver, or something, to prove they deserve the crown.

    BTW, I seen Al Green in concert, and he worked it hard and was brilliant for two hours straight, even for an old guy. What a voice.

  2. Actually, fuel was only the #1 INDUSTRIAL export; agricultural products accounted for $136.3 billion of last year's $1.3 trillion total [Source: USDA (see the top chart)]
    Yes, the oil companies are making gigantic profits by export, but that's partly b/c the economy here is still a total mess; US fuel use is still falling b/c people can't afford it. The high fuel prices are heavily responsible for driving up the cost of almost everything else (food, tech, etc) b/c almost everything our society depends on is oil-based and oil is priced largely due to GLOBAL demand & production, not US demand. That demand is rising fast in China & India even as it's falling here and in Europe, while global production has been nearly flat-line overall for several years now.

    @ peeps: I hope you're being sarcastic b/c there's nothing "plain Jane" about either of those two GOP candidates. Romney's a corporate stooge and Santorum's ultra-religious rhetoric is scary, playing on the worst motives of his fundamentalist base. Either of them would likely get us into another MidEast war, with no positive outcome for anyone.

    The LAST thing we need is another "pageant" election; it's long overdue time that we started having ADULTS make decisions based on real policy and long-term impact, rather than rhetoric and corruption.

  3. You mean adults, like Bill Clinton?

  4. If Romney is the best that the Republican party has, then nothing will save the Republican Party of " No'...No'...No', and at any cost We will continue to Not make a better World, Yes We will start a War', cause it's good Population Control, and Yes We have and We will continue to Screw the Working Class, and praise be to Our Beloved Adolph Hitler Ronald Reagan, and to all Our Corporations' and to Our Super Wealthy Rich class !! ". Unless Satan himself helps them win the election, He just may make it happen because Mitt Romney makes Satan and his Demon's look like the good guys !!!


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