Sunday, September 11, 2005
Denny Hastert's America
This is now a "good" price for gas. Good thing we're going to get to the bottom of steroid use in Major League Baseball.
Good thing there's a solution at hand for average Americans who are now getting squeezed like never before for things like gasoline and natural gas (which is projected to spike 72% for the coming winter). Thank God-a-Mighty for the U.S. auto industry, which has ignored the notion that fuel efficiency can or even should go up over the past five years of Fristy Hastert Bush.
No, don't think for a minute that the Energy Bill that Hastert shamelessly promoted in front of a D.C. gas station a few months back is going to do anything to relieve the suffering of average Americans at the pump (mine totaled $105 on two cars today... it'll happen again Thursday).
The undeniable correlation between Hastert's rise to noteriety (his ability to act like a 300-lb. rubber stamp on anything George W. Bush wants) and the hike in gas prices can be noted by looking at simple, historical data.
Put simply for those who don't care to download the file: National average price of gasoline in January 1999 was $1.079/gal. It increased roughly 25% over the next two years, then dropped in 2002 and remained around $1/gal. until... we invaded Iraq. Since the Iraq invasion, gasoline has been on a steady climb.
Of course, I'm not dumb enough to think it's all Hastert's fault. I do lay the blame at his feet, however, because he has offered no oversight, no real consideration of anything but Tom DeLay's and George W. Bush's failed policies. The leadership meetings go like this (and this comes from Hastert himself): Hastert listens to the positions of his committee chairs, then makes the decision as to what goes.
What's the one thing that holds all of these great decisions together in Republican leadership circles?
Politics. Underneath it all, it doesn't matter that energy prices are killing families; that savings accounts are being drained to pay for day-to-day expenses; that the middle class -- the backbone of American society -- is shrinking because of these policies. These "Republicans" do things like stall fuel efficiency standards until it's the right time for them to save the day; the right time to spin it so as to make Democrats look bad and Republicans look like, well, the "grown-ups."
There's family values for you.
Americans can't afford any more of Denny Hastert's brand of "leadership."