How low can George “Felix Macacawitz” Allen go? Based on this abysmal new website, the answer is clearly “as low as it takes to get elected.” First, though, here’s what Allen has to say on his “Too Much at the Pump” website:
It’s been 3 years since President Obama took office and appointed Tim Kaine Chairman of the DNC, in those three years gas prices have skyrocketed for families across the country. While they profess to be for an “all-of-the-above” energy strategy the White House has prevented Virginia from exploring for natural gas and oil off our coasts. Sign up today if you believe it’s time to unleash our American energy resources and put an end to President Obama and Chairman Tim Kaine’s counterproductive energy policies.
Where do we even begin to delve into the ignorance, idiocy, and demagoguery embodied in this paragraph, and in this line of attack generally speaking? A few points.
1. This is rotten cherry picking at its rotten worst. Want to play this demagogic game? Sure, we can do that (tongue firmly in cheek of course, as this is all utter malarkey): according to EIA, gasoline prices in the United States hit a high point of $4.165/gallon in early July 2008, when George W. Bush was president. The latest weekly average was $3.923/gallon, which is below what we were paying when Bush was president. Ergo, President Obama has lowered gasoline prices since Bush was president. Yipee! Happy days are here again! Whatever.
2. By the time President Obama took office, gasoline prices had plummeted to about $1.84 per gallon. Why? One reason, and one reason only: the world economy was in free fall, panic gripping markets of all kinds, expectations of Great Depression Part II rampant. Is George Allen calling for a return to those days? Well, if he seriously wants gasoline prices back to those levels, that’s about the only way to do it – destroy huge amounts of demand, as economists say, by inducing a massive economic collapse. Of course, given that it was Allen’s party that presided over the meltdown on Wall Street in the fall of 2008, and the acceleration of the nation’s worst economic downturn since Herbert Hoover (also a Republican) was president, perhaps we shouldn’t be particularly surprised?
3. The Associated Press has conducted an extensive analysis and come to a conclusion that people who understand oil markets have known for years: there is absolutely “no statistical correlation between how much oil comes out of U.S. wells and the price at the pump.” So much for Allen’s “reasoning” on this subject.
4. The hypocrisy here is mind boggling. Click here for a flashback to 2008, when Faux “News” and other Republican mouthpieces were busy arguing that “‘no President has the power to increase or to lower gas prices‘ and the only way to reduce our vulnerability to gas price spikes is to use less oil.”
Bottom line: the Allen campaign is being wildly, pants-on-fire dishonest with this website, and with this entire line of attack. Do they really have so little respect for voters’ intelligence that they think we’ll fall for this? Or are they so utterly ignorant that they don’t realize that oil prices are determined on a world market, one in which U.S. production and reserves make up only a tiny fraction; in which demand is skyrocketing in China, India, and many other places not anywhere near Virginia; and in which fears of war with Iran – fears that have been heavily stoked, I’d point out, by Republicans like George Allen – are adding a significant “premium” to gasoline prices? My guess is the former (cynicism) possibility, but the latter (ignorance) is certainly not out of the question either. Either way, it’s yet another low point for a guy who you’d think couldn’t get any lower after the 2006 campaign.