With oil prices rising and not a clue in the world what to do about it, it only makes sense that politicians have started incorporating the blame game into their discourse. Actually, what they've started is blaming the most humorously-inappropriate people that they can think of for our petroleum woes. I think it's supposed to be a game, or perhaps a basic intelligence litmus test.
We begin with a scintillating McCain campaign ad:
The announcer in the ad says, "Gas prices — $4, $5, no end in sight, because some in Washington are still saying no to drilling in America. No to independence from foreign oil. Who can you thank for rising prices at the pump?"
A photograph of Obama appears on the stage as a voiceover of a crowd chants: "Obama, Obama, Obama!"
Hmm. . . all this time, I was under the delusion that oil tycoons already had permits for drilling to the tune of 44 million acres. Besides, doesn't it take something like a decade to build a refinery? Either the many sources reporting this (including many government sources) are incorrect, or McCain's counting on America's talking point-fueled ignorance to make the actual data a moot point. Hey - all of the major candidates this time around supported ethanol-based corn fuels, so Election 2008 isn't exactly a meeting of the minds.
Still, I've gotta give McCain credit for knowing his audience - a spot criticizing the free market for creating a situation where oil companies have an incentive to limit supply wouldn't have flown too well with the Sean Inanity crowd.
Then we have newly-elected Utah Representative Jason Chaffetz's prodigious utterance last week:
"There's no doubt that Democrats are the problem. We've done what they've suggested, and look at the results — since (House Speaker) Nancy Pelosi took over, gas prices have doubled," Chaffetz said. "Energy is our most pressing need — and ANWR appears to be part of the solution."
Oi! - Again with the ANWR stuff! And what's with this Nancy Pelosi business? Is she the one who's been running the country for eight years? Is there just the smallest smidgen of a chance that oil prices were increasing before Pelosi started her run as speaker? Or is this just stupid dishonest muckraking from a party team player who's going to do his damndest to continue to demonize the other side and make things even worse?
Tell me what I've won!
Hmm. . . I wrote often last year about the role of context in daily life. Only the dishonest have to lose from a lack thereof.