Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Leadership vs. Political Opportunists

When I heard news that the Bush administration was releasing the Strategic Petroleum Reserves I had a couple of different reactions. The first was, good. Now is the time when it is needed most. Suppy has been disrupted heavily in the Gulf and this is a prudent decision all the way around.

The other thing I thought of was how all the political opportunists in the Democrat Party have been calling for use of the Strategic Reserves since oil rose above $34 per barrel. Releasing the reserves at that point would only be strategic for their political ambitions. The security of the country is a mere afterthought to these people.

They were predicting economic catastrophe to the American consumer with $40/barrel oil. What does it say about their understanding of the economy when we have a GDP growth rate just under 4%, the best in the industrialized world? And this is during the time when oil has risen from $40 to $70 per barrel. They are either clueless, political opportunists, or both.

The Strategic Reserves are simply a political weapon to Democrats. Has been for a long time.

Flash back to the 2000 election,

Al Gore, September 21, 2000 (Cost of a barrel of oil, $34)
"We ought to start with several releases of five million barrels each, and assuming that is successful, we should continue with these swaps in an effort to stabilize the price of oil at lower levels and help consumers."

Bush's reply,
The reserve, Bush said, "is an insurance policy meant for sudden disruptions of the oil supply or for war. It should not be used for short-term political gain ... at the expense of national security."

How prescient is that? That is the difference between leadership and political opportunists.

May,2004 (Cost of a gallon of gas, $2.00)
"These out-of-control prices are burning a hole in Americans' wallets," said Senator Schumer. "They are putting at risk the economic recovery and the administration insists on throwing fuel on the fire [making the situation worse]. So what are we doing? We are calling on the president to use our one ace in the hole [perfect solution]. The one way we can stop OPEC [Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries] and big oil from raising prices through the roof and that is by releasing some oil from our Strategic Petroleum Reserve."

May 2004 (Cost of a barrel, $42)
Half a dozen Senate Democrats plan to call on Bush today to begin releasing as many as 60 million barrels of oil from the nation's Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
These people cannot be trusted to leadership positions in government. Their first priority is to achieve power. They have demonstrated time and again that they cannot make tough, unpopular decisions. They just don't have the stomach (ie: courage) to go against short-term public opinion.

Where would we be if they got their wish?


At 8/31/2005 5:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember Kerry trying this tactic, but I forgot about good ol AlGore. He hates the internal combustion engine anyway, I'm surprised he didn't tell us it was good for us.:)

At 8/31/2005 9:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

With gas passing $3, isn't this the "Earth in Balance" one earth-tone wearing, flunked out of law or divinity school, presidential canidate once wrote about.

At 8/31/2005 10:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is there any other president in US history of the United States who has had to deal with more domestic adversity in his two terms? I shudder to think how some of the other canidates, i.e. Gore, Kerry, would handle such difficulties. Weither you like Bush or not, and there's a lot not to like, I'd rather have someone who makes the wrong decision, rather than making no decision at all. BTW, maybe, just maybe, some states as well as the federal government could suspend their taxes on gasoline so that the average Joe doesn't go broke getting to work. The footage I've seen of the looters is a great metaphore for the way I feel the government treats me and my paycheck. As Tom Menino would say, "This fries my nose".

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