Detroit — Gas prices hit $4 a gallon here this week. And it’s the president’s fault. How do we know? Because that’s what Democrats have been telling us since 2008.
In May of Election Year 2008, with prices near $4 a gallon, Michigan senator Debbie Stabenow was handpicked by Democrats to deliver the party’s weekly radio address in which she slammed then-President Bush for the pain at the pump. “When President Bush took office in 2001, Stabenow said, gas cost $1.50 a gallon, a price which has shot up to more than $3.70 for regular gas and $4 for premium in her home state,” reported The Hill.
In Election Year 2012, the shoe is on the other political party with Barack Obama now the focus of gas-price fury. But given his anti-energy record, the damage is likely to be deeper.
Calling Bush’s prices “a crisis for every American family,” Stabenow in 2008 pushed the Democrats’ broken record of more spending for alternatives and higher-fuel-economy mandates, claiming that “Republicans want more drilling, more consumption, and more tax giveaways for the big oil companies.”
Four years later, the “I can feel global warming when I fly” senator is still holding press conferences about high gas prices — but White House blame has curiously disappeared from her song sheet. The Blame Bush refrain had become as reliable a Midwest spring phenomenon as red robins, with gas prices heading sharply north as refineries shut down to change to (federally mandated) seasonal blends amidst growing spring demand. From 2006-2008, Gov. Jennifer Granholm — a green boondoggle-subsidizing Obama clone — routinely drafted national petitions demanding that Bush impose a windfall profits tax on “greedy” oil companies (the same oil companies that make up a substantial percentage of state pension portfolios because of their steady profits, it should be noted).
Now another White House resident is facing $4 a gallon gas. But this time it is the most-anti-carbon president in U.S. history.
Where George Bush had a record of encouraging oil exploration (even as his presidency hit its nadir with his 2006 “addicted to oil” speech to counter his oilman image), Obama is on record supporting higher oil prices — and in hiring the likes of Secretary of Solyndra Stephen Chu, who apparently believes his agency should be called the Department of Unaffordable Energy.
The result is that this spring’s predictable gas jump has hit Obama’s popularity hard. “Gas prices are a main culprit,” reports the Washington Post of Obama’s negative numbers. “Nearly two-thirds of Americans say they disapprove of the way the president is handling the situation at the pump. (The Post) survey . . . finds 59 percent of Americans giving Obama negative ratings on the economy.”
Data from America’s 2008 flirtation with $4 a gas suggests Obama is particularly vulnerable on the issue. Why? Because even as Bush was suffering from $4 gas, opinion polls showed the public agreed with his solutions, primarily: drill, baby, drill.
“Seven in 10 voters said soaring fuel costs — at $4.09 a gallon for regular this week — are having a significant or major impact on their lives and are swaying two-thirds of residents to back offshore drilling in Florida, California and other states with ocean shorelines,” found a July, 2008 Detroit News/WXYZ-Action News poll. “Nearly half said they’d even favor drilling for oil and gas along the Great Lakes.”
While Bush reacted to such polls by demanding more production, Obama has aligned himself with green extremists against the Keystone pipeline, drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, and so on. Oil and gas companies have beat a path to the Detroit News’s offices the last two years complaining of the Obama EPA’s hostility to energy exploration.
In the purple states of the Midwest, Obama’s green extremism has drivers seeing red.