At a time when American families are struggling to put food on the table, gas prices are once again on the rise. As if it isn’t enough that the nation is suffering with a crippled economy and an influx of unemployment, now we get to be squeezed at the pump as well. What is more troubling than this is the silence from the Left.
The Bush years saw a few spikes in oil prices but they were brief and he turned over to Obama a national average of $1.85 per gallon. The Obama years have shown us consistently higher prices that have been hanging closer to the $4 mark throughout both of his terms thus far.
In 2005 in a speech on the floor, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz viciously attacked the GOP using a bobblehead doll as a prop wailing against the fact that gasoline had briefly reached $3 a gallon. In 2006, Nancy Pelosi had this to say when the national average was at $3.07 per gallon:
“With Memorial Day travel and the start of summer driving only a few weeks away, drivers are paying a heavy price in the Bush administration’s failure to enact a comprehensive energy strategy. Years of Bush administration’s policies have favored big oil over the consumer–have resulted in record dependence on foreign oil leaving American families and businesses to pay even higher prices.”
In July of 2006, then-Senator Hillary Clinton referenced this as well saying [that]…this is “indicative of this administration’s failed policies.”
So where are they now? The Sunday morning quarterbacks from the Left seemed to have disappeared.
Now let’s go back to the year 2008. It was an election year and George W. Bush was serving out his last year as President. The American people saw a spike in fuel prices that reached as far as $4 a gallon for the national average. It was a big campaign issue for the Democrats as they pointed their fingers at Bush. It was Bush’s fault! Once again, the Left was relentless in their attacks, all the while pretending to be defending the American people against President Bush and his “evil rich” oil buddies. However, let’s not forget the bold move that President Bush made once those prices hit the $4 mark. On July 14, 2008, President Bush announced that he signed an executive order lifting the moratorium on offshore drilling in the eastern half of the Gulf of Mexico and off the U.S. Atlantic and Pacific coasts. “Failure to act is unacceptable,” said President Bush referring to those in Congress who had obstructed energy exploration policies and Bush asserted that Congress was “the only thing standing between the American people and these vast oil resources.”
What was to follow was even more astounding. The Left continued their attacks even going as far as Rahm Emanuel referring to this move as a “political stunt.“ Remember, this was an election year and the Democrats needed this issue in their fight for the Presidency. But almost simultaneously, as Bush was taunting Drill Baby Drill, oil prices began their decent. The following day proved that a powerful message from America’s President would be answered by a record plunge as prices fell by as much as $10 a barrel from the day’s high. The Democrats maintained that the fall in prices had little to do with the move made by President Bush since they claimed that the lift of the moratorium on off shore drilling would not produce immediate relief. However, President Bush proved them wrong.
“I readily concede it won’t produce a barrel of oil tomorrow, but it will reverse the psychology,” Bush said. And from the looks of the reaction, it appears that President Bush may have been right. He answered the call with not only the threat, but also an assertive action to a path of energy independence. Obama, on the other hand has not.
Where is the outrage from the Democrat leaders who consistently berated President Bush for this same thing? Do they no longer worry about the strain that this has caused on America’s families? Maybe it just isn’t important since it is not an election year. It seems that the only solutions from them are geared more to accepting the prices, getting used to these prices, driving more fuel efficient automobiles and yes, inflating your tires.
“There are things you can do individually, though, to save energy,” said then-candidate Obama while campaigning in Missouri in July of 2008. “Making sure your tires are properly inflated- simple thing. But we could save all the oil that they are talking about getting off drilling- if everybody was just inflating their tires.” And let’s take this one step further. Steven Chu who was later to become Obama’s Energy Secretary was quoted as saying in September of 2008, “We have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe.” The prices of gas in Europe at that time would fluctuate between $8 and $9 a gallon. It appears that their solutions would be for the American people to get used to these prices or drive more fuel-efficient vehicles. Maybe they should invest in a $40,000 Chevy Volt. But that is another subject for another day.
So in the meantime, in the middle of this economic crisis, we must once again figure out how we are going to squeeze into our already strained budgets, the extra dollars that we will need in order to fill our tanks. We can try to adjust to the prices and inflate our tires hoping that just maybe, the outrage that spewed from the left towards Bush can find it’s way back as an issue in the next election. Somehow I doubt it, but we can only hope.