September 29, 2020

Gas prices: a winning issue for Republicans

Gas Prices: A Winning Issue for Republicans
by Michael Spencer

You can hear Republicans trembling in their cars, scared to death that gas prices are about to sink the Republican congress and the Bush Presidency. With prices reaching a new high this week, and undoubtedly headed for higher prices this summer, Republicans are terrified of what Democrats will do with an (gasp) oil man in the White House, a multi-millionaire (gasp) oil man as energy point man, and angry consumers looking around for someone to blame. The attack ads are cooking already, and a fickle electorate will turn out the GOP and bring in the Democrats to fight these nasty oil interests. It gives me the chills in warm weather. Only problem is, its baloney.

If Republicans want to be paralyzed by these fears, they will lose in 2002, and deservedly so. The Democrats will attack with all the venom their class envying hearts can muster. They will portray conservatives as the party of oil interests and blame the Republicans for backing oil interests over the working family. In actual fact, the Democrats have never been more vulnerable, and Republicans need to strike hard and fast with their own response to the energy crisis. The Democrats are serving themselves up for a crushing defeat in 2002, something they are not counting on. The opportunity is right in front of us.

Here’s how it works.

The average Joe gets this one. Not much helped needed with this issue. It is taking a major bite out of the income of working people. Guys who bought the jet ski last summer are parking it this summer. That SUV is costing a fortune. The summer vacation is going to take another week of work just to pay for the gas. People feel it. So talk to them. Show the middle class voter that Republicans are not do nothings, but do somethings. Speak with understanding, compassion and patriotism. And show them the most obvious part of the problem: taxes.

Taxes are a huge part of inflated gas prices. Cut them now. You want a tax cutting issue that flies? That will blow up like dynamite on the liberals who raised those taxes and refuse to cut them? Want an issue that will motivate state candidates and local candidates? CUT GAS TAXES. I cannot understand why Republicans are not beating this drum loudly. It is simple. It is immediate and it helps. People understand it and it is conservative. The Democrats wouldn’t dare oppose a gas tax cut. Go for it!

The Democrats did nothing for eight years. Hang it around their neck where it belongs. Eight years to get OPEC to a reasonable place. Eight years to make vehicles more efficient. Eight years to cut taxes. Eight years to increase domestic production. Tell people the truth. The Democrats watched this tidal wave approaching and did nothing. Why? O, this is a beauty. The liberals prefer foreign oil over American oil. The liberals prefer the environmentalists over the working family. The liberals want high gas prices because they are anti-automobile. It rarely gets this easy top portray liberals as uncompassionate and downright unAmerican.

Democrats are the party of environmentalists who oppose domestic production and want high prices to reduce automobile use. Its the truth and there are a couple of billion quotes to prove it, starting with Al Gore’s book. Ask the liberals where in America they propose drilling for oil. Where? They will stall and look blankly into the camera. Its a beautiful thing. They really believe the average working guy in our country would prefer to not drill in Alaska and pay $3.00 (or more) a gallon next year. The really believe this folks. And while there may be some sympathy for this position among hard core environmentalists and the ignorant young, anyone trying to run a business or raise a family is going to think it is NUTS to be more dependent on OPEC and leave oil unexplored and undrilled because its in the wilderness. Every time I see a liberal defend this, I can’t believe conservatives don’t flatten them with it. Spike!

American Oil Companies are preferable to OPEC. Get out of their way and let them develop and drill. I can’t understand why we don’t play this straight up line as PATRIOTISM. We either buy it from the Arabs or we buy from our own companies, hiring our own people, putting the money into America. If I have to pay $3.00 a gallon, I’d rather pay a guy in Texas that the Sheik of whatever.

Conservatives have a do something now, long term energy policy. Democrats have a short term, blame somebody and do nothing policy. Which will solve the problem? If Republicans do nothing, then the Democrats attempt at blame will seem like something. If we put out a comprehensive, tax-cutting, oil drilling, America-promoting energy plan, we look like winners to me.

The President and VP need to call the Democrats out on this issue and say support something that helps America, or stand in the way. Choose environmentalists or working families. The media may call Bush the Toxic Texan, but the guy who can’t take the family to Disney because he can’t afford the gas knows how is in his corner. Mr. Bush shouldn’t promise quick fixes, but he should promise and deliver a plan that puts the Democrats in the corner.

With this issue, we can have a message that works all the way to a strong GOP majority in 2002. Don’t let America down!