Choice Snippets Of The DayAugust 4, 2008
You know, I’ve never really done a thread where I simply pull a few choice excerpts of posts and/or comments I’ve stumbled upon on any given day, but I figured that it might be interesting, and today is as good as any. And since memeorandum is buzzing about Obama’s “tire inflation” comments, and because I’ve taken a keen interest in maximizing fuel efficiency personally, I thought it’d make a good subject. Plus, maybe it’d be neat to add links to Chamber entries that are closely related. Perhaps I could make it a recurring theme. Anyway, here I go…
First, I came across a great graph penned by Jazz over at the Moderate Voice:
In past, darker times, Americans grew victory gardens, did without meat in their meals, melted down pots and pans for the war effort and tolerated fuel rationing. They were not regulated or legislated into such action – they were inspired and led to it by their governmental leaders who showed them the value of sacrifice in the face of a national crisis. Yet today, with a new crisis looming, when a candidate for office so much as suggests that we could consume a bit less energy by the simple act of monitoring our tire pressure (an action hardly amounting to any real “sacrifice”) he is not only ignored, but made a subject of derision for broaching the subject.
Exactly. Heaven forbid a presidential candidate come forward, assume a leadership role, and suggest that all Americans do something that would help everyone (almost immediately, it should be noted) and would in 99% of the cases involve almost no sacrifice. Yes, better to mock him, certainly.
Here’s what Obama said in Springfield that’s gotten so much attention:
There are things you can do individually, though, to save energy. Making sure your tires are properly inflated — simple thing. But we could save all the oil that they’re talking about getting off drilling — if everybody was just inflating their tires? And getting regular tune-ups? You’d actually save just as much!
Obama made the mistake of not using the word “like”, and providing more examples (of simple things). If he had, he probably wouldn’t have to deal with all the mockery and calculator-wielding analysts. He still has time to nip it in the bud and elaborate, but risks more mockery for simply revisiting the position (after everyone has it in their head that he deserved to be mocked). Funny, the art of politics is.
See Chamber thread: Is Conserving Gas An Act Of Patriotism?
Next, I’m going to pick on good ol’ Rush, and post the exchange between him and the last caller on today’s show.:
RUSH: John in Libertyville, Illinois. Hello, sir. We have one minute, but I wanted to get to you.
CALLER: Hi. You’ve always been a big proponent of the inefficient vehicle, the gas guzzler, the SUV, what have you, and you’ve steadfastly maintained that the only thing at work in the high gas prices is supply and demand. But if fuel-inefficient vehicles demand more fuel and therefore reduce the supply, isn’t the supply-demand argument roughly analogous to saying we’re all paying more at the pump because of the preponderance of inefficient vehicles?
RUSH: So, because I have a gas hog, and I use a lot more gas than you do, I am affecting supply and demand; therefore, supply would be much greater if I would join you in getting an efficient car and the price would come down? Is that your theory?
CALLER: Sure. I think we’re all paying more at the pump because of the preponderance —
RUSH: But then you don’t have a free market because somebody’s gotta apply pressure on me to get me to drive something I don’t want to drive. Besides, when that happens, sir, your gasoline taxes, state gasoline taxes, are going to go up, because they’re not going to be receiving as much revenue. There’s no win here, sir.
It’s really too bad that Rush didn’t reflect on the reason why he is so proud of his gas guzzlers (he thinks he’s “sticking it” to environmentalists), but it could be that Rush got saved by the proverbial bell here, because the caller didn’t get the chance to skewer him with it either (although he could have brought it up right away). In any case, does Rush’s response even make any sense? I mean, if we’re paying less at the pump, it means that we have more money to spend on discretionary things (that have sales taxes attached), so there may not be a real drop in revenue. And even if gasoline taxes were to rise, there is no reason to believe that we still can’t “win” with a drop in the end price. And even if the end price is stagnant, at least more of the revenue would go to your state and not to line some prince’s pockets abroad. It really looks like Rush was heading for the ropes here, ’cause he was whipping out the “sir” in a very defensive manner. Like I said, too bad.
See Chamber thread: Rush Limbaugh, “Sticking It” To All Of Us
(I almost got the impression that John in Libertyville had read that post when I heard him live, but maybe its just obvious to a lot more people than just myself)