It may be one of the most unfair things I've ever heard: some Democrats blaming President Bush for high gas prices. That's subject of this evening's Talking Points memo.
It is spin galore as Americans are getting hammered at the gasoline pump. The Democrats are trying to blame the Bush administration saying Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney are former oil guys. Talking Points is not quite getting this.
For eight years under President Clinton, absolutely nothing was done about the energy situation -- no nuclear, no drilling, no alternative fuels. When OPEC cut oil production, Mr. Clinton did not challenge those countries in any meaningful way.
Mr. Clinton did not encourage conservation because his soccer mom base loves those SUVs. The former president did not embrace alternative energy research by issuing executive orders that would have fast-tracked fuel cell, wind, and solar R&D.
Mr. Clinton did not warn the State of California that it was botching its energy deregulation, even as the Department of Energy knew in-state capacity on the left coast would not meet demand.
The truth is that Bill Clinton had no energy policy at all. His administration blocked drilling, and no new refineries were built. It was an across-the-board energy blackout.
So how on earth can the Democratic Party pin the blame on Mr. Bush? We'll find out in a moment.
I would very much like to speak to Bill Clinton about all this, but he's too busy playing golf and giving speeches overseas. And The New York Daily News calls me a, "Clinton basher," and then quotes a Clinton pal as saying Bill C. would talk to Bill O. when hell freezes over.
But that may be sooner than later because we can't afford heating oil. I really love this Clinton-bashing stuff. You back up criticism with facts, and you're a basher. More revolting spin.
The truth is that the Clinton administration had no will to develop energy sources of any kind and played the status quo. It is also true that the American people greatly expanded their personal energy use in the boom times.
As you may know, I've been taking plenty of heat from the SUV people. But listen to Paul Krugman writing in The New York Times:
"The surge in energy demand was mainly due to the renewed enthusiasm of Americans for huge gas-guzzling vehicles. The nation ran out to buy ever-bigger SUVs and then suddenly discovered we had run out of refining capacity."
So there you have it. No energy policy by Mr. Clinton coupled with SUV mania. Presto. Three bucks a gallon. I didn't see George W. Bush's name in that analysis, did you?
And that's the memo.
Most Ridiculous Item of the Day
The internal study by the IRS found that federal employees at that tax agency spent more than half their time on the job doing personal business on their computers. Isn't that nice?
This includes porn, gambling, shopping online, and generally screwing around. Our tax dollars at work.
No wonder Jesse Jackson isn't being audited.
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