As Americans, we live today in a car-dominated society; one in which we are perpetually at the mercy of the rise and fall of fossil fuel energy prices. With nearly a quarter of a billion domestic vehicles on our roads, even the slightest rise of gas prices can cause an economic shock for hundreds of millions of people.
And as of this post, the average price-per-gallon is hovering over the $4 mark in many areas of the country, sparking a fearful frenzy that is no doubt susceptible to both opportunistic politicians and pundits alike.
During the partisan campaigns of the last presidential election, the anti-Obama misinformation machine known as Fox News attempted to fend off “attacks” from the Left that implicated the Bush administration’s failure to curb the then skyrocketing price of gas across the country as a means to hurt the Republican party’s chances of retaining the White House.
Democrats – in a fervor to oust the Republican regime – wrongfully hammered away at the former President’s reluctance to support and pursue alternative energies as well as his lacklustre performance on energy security with regard to oil imports as being the main cause for high gas prices.
While adept energy policy would certainly benefit the long-term vision of energy security, the facts remain that the former and current Presidents’ actions have little-to-no effect on the short-term price of gas. Instead, the argument itself – that a President holds sway over the fuel prices during his own term – is a veiled attempt at partisan shenanigans.
What does affect gas prices mainly are global supply and demand, instability in oil-producing regions and financial speculation – all factors out of the president’s jurisdiction.
In 2008, Fox News got that – fending off the Democrats’ “blame game” by insisted that the current President had no control over costs at the pump (video below).
Back then, select Fox pundits called for less consumption, reduced oil dependence and more mass transit-spending – .all good stuff that actually makes sense – while criticizing the notion that a President can affect the price of gas in the short term.
“The next time you hear a politician say that he or she will bring down oil prices, understand it’s complete B.S. If Americans want lower gas prices, cut back. Sell those SUVs, ride a bike if you can. If every one of us bought ten percent less gasoline, prices would fall fast. That’s what the candidates should be saying.” – Bill O’Reilly in 2008, Fox News.
Sounds…reasonable. So where did all the “good fight” momentum go?
Well, as it turns out, the Democrats won that election. And in the four years since, a one Barack Obama has taken it all on the chin – mostly from the one “news” network that has been rooting against him.
And Fox News – which is famously more of a Right wing activist group than a news organization – only uses facts when they support its narrative.
Otherwise, you get the very same talking heads “flip flopping” on their very own stance; now ridiculously claiming that Obama’s tree-hugging “over-regulation” and free market hatred are the root causes for our nation’s energy woes and that a Republican president would effectively lower gas prices immediately following his/her election in 2012.
As the economy recovers, unemployment decreases and overseas wars find resolutions, Fox is struggling to convince the legions of conservative true believers that the Republican party – despite being blatantly wrong on nearly every facet from which it benefited from during the 2010 midterm elections – still has the nation’s best interests at heart.