28 May 2008

Cornball "Gas Giveaway" Campaign Stunt Results in Anger, Malaise

Sleazy politicians often try to portray "Big Oil" as a bunch of waspy old geezers in wingtips, who are living large in their golden castles, while the rest of us schmoes shell out our hard-earned cash on gas to pay for their snotty kid's trust fund. Politicians employ this "Scrooge McDuck" narrative to win populist support amongst the rubes who think the government should provide them with dollar-a-gallon gas, tighter abs, and endless hours of reality TV to consume their vapid lives. Unfortunately, reckless government spending is most likely the culprit for our high oil prices due to the Bush Administration cranking out the funny money at the Fed. PJs explains:

With all this in mind, I’d like to propose what I believe is the correct answer — the real culprit lurking in the shadows — of today’s high and rising energy prices. The Bush White House did it, in the Cabinet Room with 1) the printing press from the Treasury Department that printed far too much money to cover out-of-control government spending after 9/11 and 2) a pair of Federal Reserve scissors that started cutting interest rates from 6% down to 1% in a little less than a year back in 2002, under the tutelage of Alan Greenspan. Together these two weapons — a printing press and pair of scissors — acted like a double-barrel sawed-off shotgun in annihilating the value of our dollar in short order.

While America doesn't have some sort of right to cheap energy, the reckless spending that the federal government (both Dems and Repubs) has wrought sure isn't helping matters any. That's why I took sadistic pleasure when Dan Seals, a Democrat running for Congress, made an jackass out of himself trying to have some gas giveaway stunt to give the appearance that congressmen are modern-day Robin Hoods. Chicago Tribune explains (h/t Politico):

"We're not asking people to vote for me," said Seals, who had campaign workers passing out campaign bumper stickers to motorists as they waited for fill ups. "We're holding this open to anyone who wants to come."

Come they did, causing a lunchtime traffic nightmare that left Lincolnshire Police Chief Randy Melvin fuming. He had almost half of his 25-officer staff directing traffic, which nearly came to a standstill."We have cars trying to come in from every direction," Melvin said during the event. "We've probably had fist fights. Cars are lined up for at least 1.5 miles. I'd say there's a couple hundred easy."Melvin said that what particularly irked him was no one from the Seals campaign alerted him about the event until just before it started. By that time, traffic was a mess, and it remained snarled even after the scheduled 1 p.m. finishing time.

The only things Dan Seals was able to provide was a wretched mess of traffic during the lunch-hour rush and some very pissed-off local policemen. What a man of the people! Lucky for Dan, this type of sheer incompetence is what the standard has become for Congress, and I'm sure he'll get elected to make dunderheaded decisions about how to waste money from the largest tax base in civilization.

Dems Attempting to Revive Long Gas Lines from the "Golden Age" of the Carter Administration