Despite popular opinion why Obama will have a hard time being reelected.
Part two A bad weather forecast
I am going to get away from the demographics that I concentrated on in part one for a bit, though I will come back to them. I would like to touch on the issues. There are many issues where Obama is acting contrary to the views and wishes of a majority of the American people. Truth be told there are far too many issues where Obama is acting against the people many of which the Americans people are not even really aware of, but we will focus on some big ones. Let's start with one that is current and if it remains a to[pic going into fall will be devastating for Obama.
Gas is important. Fuel for our cars is like the weather report, everybody pays attention to it because it always has the potential of affecting your day, or in some cases to dramatically disrupt your life.
Currently gasoline prices are only like a heavy thunderstorm or snowfall, a real inconvenience and a slight disruption in peoples lives but everyone can see a potential tornado or blizzard forming. If gas prices just remain as they are now, hovering around the $4 a gallon mark, two things will happen.
First people will remain and probably grow more pessimistic about their economic circumstances. Irregardless of the unemployment numbers the price of gas is both personal and immediate. You can tell people it is not snowing or that the economy is getting better but if you're shoveling to get out your door or spending $50+ a fill up, all the weatherman's sunny forecasts are nothing more than proof of why you need to turn the channel.
The second thing that will happen and will suck the life out of any rosy economic narrative the Obama campaign may wish to spin is that high energy prices will at minimum slow any real economic growth. As we so often hear, unemployment is a "lagging indicator" in the economy. Simply what this means is that going into a recession increased unemployment is one of the last things to happen and coming out of one during a recovery it is too.
A Gallup poll released this week showed 17% of Americans were already making cut backs in other areas of their life in order to accommodate higher gas prices, This is based on the current gas prices of below $4 a gallon if prices go above that, 28% say they will make "significant" cutbacks. Not only do these types of adjustments hurt one's personal attitude, they dramatically slow down the economy in general. The more money you are putting in your tank the less movies you are going to, the less vacations you take, the less televisions you buy and the ripple affect throughout the economy can be devastating.
Some people make the argument with some evidence and justification that the high gas prices beginning in the winter of 2007 and spiking in the summer of 2008 was the straw that broke the camels back setting off the "great recession".
Obviously the slower the recovery the slower it will be for unemployment figures to go down. High gas prices in the summer besides drawing attention to Obama's insane energy policies will also hinder economic growth and keep unemployment high
Of course the media will try everything in their power to downplay Obama's responsibility for gas prices, but the reality of the gas prices themselves, will if continued, have a very negative affect on Obama's reelection prospects.
Yesterday the President actively lobbied US Senators to defeat a Republican amendment which would have allowed for the construction of the Keystone Pipeline. Eleven Democratic Senators voted with all the Republicans but could not reach the 60 vote threshold. Obama's continued opposition to this project which nearly 70% of the American public support just adds to the belief that Obama is totally out of touch with America when it comes to energy policy. Which he is.
Once the Republicans pick a candidate the message is going to be more focused on all policy fronts. As far as gas prices go the argument is as simple as it always has been. If, as liberals claim, speculators are driving gas prices, the question is what are the speculators speculating on? Why the future supply of gas/oil- right?
An argument as the President is making lately that the only way to solve high gas prices is to reduce demand rather than increase supply. "We need to invest in the technology that will help us use less oil in our cars and our trucks, and our buildings, and our factories,t hat's the only solution to the challenge. Because as we start using less, that lowers the demand, prices come down." Besides being intellectually dishonest, it fails the common sense which the vast majority of American's still use to make decisions.
Despite the demagogic platitudes most Americans know that you can both chew gum and walk at the same time or invest in new technologies while increasing supplies of needed fuels. In fact most people recognize that you can not have the former without the latter, new technologies require investments which only a strong economy can generate, and a strong economy is virtually impossible without cheap energy.
To show how absolutely stupid the argument against increasing domestic drilling is, let me offer up that right wing radical Barney Frank who just the other day while talking about high gas prices stated "..one of the things we should do is release oil from the strategic petroleum reserve..." Now consider that statement, in order to bring down prices we should, in essence, provide more gas to the market place.
Barney is not alone in realizing that, wow, to keep prices down you increase supply, :
Congressional Democrats are ramping up pressure on President Obama to tap the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) to prevent rising gas prices from threatening the economy and their election-year prospects.Now if "drill baby drill" won't help gas prices why will releasing the same commodity from the SPR do it? Everyone knows it takes five to ten years to bring oil to the market but two points. One if we had started an aggressive drilling policy four years ago, last time we went through this wouldn't we be close to extracting far more than we can ever take from the SPR? The second point is even more ironic, what do those evil speculators speculate on? Why it's future supplies of oil now isn't it ?
This whole issue of a disastrous self-defeating national energy policy which has squandered billions of taxpayer dollars on pipe dream green energy projects while refusing to expand domestic supplies of energy will be a focal point of the 2012 election regardless of gas prices. If however gas prices remain above $3.50 going into the election season,it will be like a hurricane battering the coast day after day as eleven Democratic Senators recognized yesterday.