Groucho Marx once observed, “Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.” And with that he perfectly described the modern Democratic Party’s approach to solving Americaâ€˜s problems.
You name the issue, and the party led by Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi has diagnosed it incorrectly and applied the wrong remedy. Let’s consider just a few of today’s ills: oil prices, Iraq, and obesity.
First, the price of oil. Simply put, oil is so expensive because worldwide demand is rising faster than supply. The answer is to increase supply and, if possible, trim demand. Yet the Democratic leadership in Congress has proposed three methods for reducing the price of oil: 1) regulate speculators; 2) force oil companies to drill on land they already lease; 3) tax oil producers.
Not one of these ideas would increase supply or reduce demand. And the Democrats in Congress know this because experts testifying before their committees have told them. The chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission testified last week that there was no evidence speculators were significantly driving up the price of oil. They ignored him.
Economists have filled the pages of the Wall Street Journal and other financial publications with commentary explaining that drilling for more oil will reduce current oil prices even if not a drop is pumped for a decade. It’s basic supply and demand. The value of a barrel of oil today will drop if investors think it will be worth less in the future. Democrats in Congress stare blankly and demand the heads of “Wall Street speculators.”
As for the 68 million acres Democrats accuse oil companies of deliberately leaving undrilled so they can keep prices high, there isn’t a single shred of evidence to support the theory. On the contrary, oil companies don’t drill in those leases for three main reasons: 1) the oil underneath is already being tapped from a nearby lease; 2) the land was leased to protect a tapped well from competitors; 3) there’s no oil there. Democrats literally would force oil companies to drill where there is no oil. And meanwhile they continue to forbid drilling in areas known to contain vast reserves.
And, of course, slapping a “windfall profits tax” on oil companies will not produce a single additional drop of oil. Nor will it reduce demand. It will reduce the profits of pension funds and other oil company shareholders and leave less money to be invested in oil exploration, though.
When it comes to oil prices, the Democratic Party’s response is to attack Wall Street and Big Oil. There’s a good reason for this. Any step that would actually increase the supply of oil would negate the party’s claims that Republicans are the paid lapdogs of evil oil companies. The moment Democrats allow offshore drilling, for example, they will be forced to concede, if only by their actions, that the Republicans and the oil companies were right all along: drilling really is the answer. And, yes, it’s actually environmentally safe, too.
Unwilling to do that, they just scream even more loudly that Big Oil is to blame.
NOW, TAKE IRAQ. The Democratic Party in general and Barack Obama in particular have been proven completely wrong on Iraq. Obama opposed Gen. David Petraeus’s surge strategy from the moment it was offered. He not only said it wouldn’t work, he said it would make the situation worse.
Now that the surge has led to the realization of almost all of the benchmark goals the United States set for Iraq, does Obama change his tune? No, he continues to call for retreat. He continues to say we must withdraw all combat troops within 16 months of his inauguration, regardless of conditions on the ground.
What makes this even more interesting is that commanders in Iraq have made perfectly clear that Obama’s plan is insane. Gen. Petraeus told Congress that premature withdrawal would make the situation much worse. And this month the Washington Post interviewed numerous commanders in Iraq. When told of Obama’s plan, each commander, from captains to generals, opposed it. They all said any withdrawal would have to be based on ground conditions, not a preset timetable.
But just as Congress ignored the oil and financial experts who testified before their committees, they have ignored the commanders in Iraq, too.
Instead of winning this winnable war, Obama wants to pull out our combat forces and move them to Afghanistan. Why? Because that’s the position he took in the beginning. As with Congress and oil prices, Obama cannot change his position without acknowledging that he was wrong and John McCain was right.
FINALLY, LET’S LOOK at the alleged obesity epidemic. Supposedly, Americans are dangerously fat, and growing. What to do? Well, blame McDonald’s, naturally.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
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It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
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H/T to National Review Online