Saturday, June 21, 2008

Obama Wants $7 Gallon Gasoline

If you like the idea of $7 a gallon gasoline, you're going to love Barack Obama . . . On my Hillary Supporters for McCain site tonight (Saturday) I talk the gloves off on the Obama Campaign's playing of racial politics. Also, will the congressional candidate pictured below be not only the first Black President but also the first female President? Many people think so. . Today (Sunday) on my Pennsylvania blog I've started what will be several columns about the woman below, Dr. Deborah Honeycutt, and how her campaign should serve as a model for GOP candidates around the nation. I believe today's PA blog column gives some fresh insights into how the "money game" really works in politics.

This is Deborah Travis Honeycutt, M.D., Republican candidate for Congress in GA's 13th district. She's one of the most exciting candidates in the country, and she's already raised $2 million-plus dollars. I'll be writing about her Saturday evening and Sunday morning on my Pennsylvania blog. Could you be America's first Black, female President? I hope so.
Recently, a friend -- national security expert and syndicated columnist Jack Kelly -- told me that John McCain lacked "shrewdness."

That comment bothered me so much -- at least partly because I believe Jack is right -- that I got up early Saturday to write about it. I'd also like to solicit your views on the subject. (Don't get me wrong on this; Jack Kelly and I bow to no one in our desire to help John McCain get elected.)
The lack of shrewdness criticism is scary. It's like saying a basketball player is great at running up and down the court -- but he or she can't shoot worth a lick. If "the readiness is all" in Hamlet, then shrewdness is all in politics.

Jack Kelly was talking mainly about John McCain's position on ANWR. I was wrong to oppose (mildly) drilling in ANWR. Bill Clinton was wrong to veto legislation authorizing such drilling. The Democrats have been wrong for 20-plus years to oppose drilling just about anywhere in the U.S., including ANWR.

Most to the point, John McCain has been wrong to oppose it. If we had huge amounts of oil coming in now from Alaska, we could at least dampen the upward pressure on prices.

In our world, anyone who opposes drilling in the U.S. -- onshore, offshore, or in Alaska -- has no real grasp of what we face. That is gasoline not at $4-plus per gallon, but gasoline at perhaps $6 or $7 a gallon. When it costs $150-$200 to fill up your tank, what exactly will you do?

What would gas prices at those levels do to our economy and what we call "The American Way of Life?" It would wreck them. Many people could not afford to drive back and forth to work. The price of everything that's transported -- and that indeed is all the things we eat, drink, or wear -- will skyrocket. In the dead of winter, many people will be turning down their thermostats to about 60 degrees.

Will the price of anything go down? Yes, the value of your home will decline sharply unless you live very close to public transportation.

The oil-producing nations will get richer, and we will get poorer. Of course, Middle Eastern nations (and Venezuela) will have a lot more money to funnel to terrorists.
What's Barack Obama's solution? He has none. He likes $4 gasoline and probably will love $7 gasoline.

He believes -- rightly -- that gasoline priced like champagne will cause people to "conserve." Obama apparently has the U.S. confused with, say, Monaco, where you can take a round trip on foot border-to-border in an afternoon.

Obama, the supposed "candidate of hope," offers only hopelessness on our nation's single most pressing issue. Apparently, he sees a great day for America as the one when people have to walk from Austin to San Antonio. Audacious, yes. Smart -- not really.

Barack Obama -- and almost every other Democrat in Congress -- have offered McCain a nice slow pitch down the middle of the plate. A shrewd McCain would hit it right out of the park. He would call for a "Manhattan Project-type" effort directed at achieving energy independence within a decade. He would advocate every feasible step to hold the line on gas prices.

And perhaps most of all, he would give the green light to exploration and production in ANWR. What on our Creator's Green Earth is he hesitating for? We are approaching a national emergency.

Yet John McCain is playing Prince Hamlet when he should be emulating Teddy Roosevelt, Harry Truman, and John F. Kennedy. Where is McCain's energy version of JFK's "man on the moon in 10 years" speech?

I have news for John McCain, whom I've always admired: you don't have a "choice" anymore about ANWR.

If you truly want to win the presidency, advocate immediate efforts to discover and produce the oil there. Contrast yourself with Obama,, who apparently smiles every time he goes past a gas station.

Ask what Obama and the Democrats in Congress have done to anticipate or deal with the current situation. Explain that having all of us motor about in something half the size of a VW Beetle is not a "solution."

Point out that Obama, as a multi-millionaire, really doesn't have to worry about gasoline prices. Discuss how completely out of touch he is with Middle America. (Obama loves to pretend that he and Michelle, who made $300,000 a year, are just "plain folks" pricing the veggies at Whole Foods.)

John McCain, please be shrewd. Prove Jack Kelly wrong. Prove me wrong. Take the great opportunity Obama, the elitist who probably never saw an SUV he didn't abhor, has given you.

In short, blow this election wide open. Don't let it fade away while you meditate week-after-week on the merits of drilling on a tiny portion of a national wildlife reserve.

Senator McCain: Be honest, be forthright, and, above all, be shrewd.


Jim Fryar said...

McCain is renowned for his sense of honor, which tends in my opinion to blindside him to the deviousness of Obama.

Stephen R. Maloney said...

Jim, you are 100% correct. It's a strange thing for me to say, perhaps, but it's partly a question of whether McCain wants the presidency enough to do what is necessary to get the office. I believe it's there for the taking.


Jim Fryar said...

I read sometime last year a theory that if McCain did what he needed to do to become president he would feel unworthy of the position. i can't remember where.

At the time I thought that it referred to sinking into the mire of mud slinging, and populist politics which is fair enough, but I am starting to worry that it goes beyond that.

McCain has taken strong positions on oil drilling in the past which have come back to haunt him, he seriously has to reverse those positions, they were wrong.

He then needs to go seriously on the offensive over the supply aspects as well as the massive economic benefits.

I really mean an attack not just a defense of the new position.

Stephen R. Maloney said...

Jim, it's a fascinating idea. Obama gives him openings -- and yet John hesitates to exploit them. An important point is that getting elected involved giving people reasons to vote for you -- but also reasons not to vote for the other guy. The latter does not have to involve personal attacks.