Friday, April 28, 2006

Milbank: America in Oil Denial

Dana Milbank's latest Washington Sketch gets it:

America may be addicted to oil, as President Bush puts it. But America is in the denial phase of this addiction -- as evidenced by the behavior of its lawmakers. They have proposed all kinds of solutions to high gas prices: taxes on oil companies, domestic oil drilling and releasing petroleum reserves. But they ignore the obvious: that Americans drive too much in too-big cars.

Milbanl lists the kinds of cars that politicians drive notes that most are gas guzzlers. As Milbank notes, many Americans drive gas guzzlers too and they don't intend to change any time soon.

Because, as the Financial Times noted yesterday, Americans believe cheap gas is a basic human right.

Lawmkers' inability to put some of the blame for the energy crisis on the real problem (i.e., fat-assed Americans want to drive big-assed cars and pay $1.50 a gallon for gas) means the problem will not be solved any time soon. Because as Milbank says in his column, nobody in Washington (except for Senator Mark Dayton, who's leaving anyway) wants to ask Americans to do anything drastic and behavior-changing because they're afraid they'll pay for their efforts at the ballot box.

Political pandering to the American voter is a problem in many ways. Not only do politicians not want to tell Americans that they need to drive smaller cars, drive less, or both in order to conserve energy, politicians also don't want to blame parents for their kids' problems in school (it's the teachers' faults, the school's fault, or both) and they don't want to point fingers at the people who first supported the Iraq war because it sounded kinda cool but now don't like it because it's expensive and deadly.

We get the kind of government we deserve. The reason we have bullshit politicans who pander to us, steal our money, and harm the future of the country with their short-sighted policies is because we want them there. We elected them. And we'll continue to elect them. Until Americans grow up, that is, take responsibility for their actions, and realize that sometimes the fault for a particular problem lies within.

Having managed to ruin my day with your Abu Graib insight I'm heartened that your understanding of the culture doesn't stop your attempt to show the reality.
Mind you, I would have thought it cynical in the extreme for Bush to chide the nation for its oil addition.
After all, resource waste and abuse seems to have been national policy for many decades.
Milbank said on Countdown tonight that only Richard Lugar (R-Indiana) was driving an efficient car (a Prius)

All the other politicians drove to the gas station PR conferences in gas guzzlers including Barbara Boxer, who drove one block to her presser in an SUV.

Fucking hypocrites - Dems and Republicans both.
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