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Gas price blame defies reality



As if national Republicans didn’t already have enough to worry about, the economy — the issue to which they’ve clung like a drowning man to a raft — is showing signs of life.

It’s not great, of course. But unemployment is trending downward, the stock market has been gaining more often than it loses, Europe is shaky but not crumbling, and the Obama administration has taken steps to bolster the sagging housing market. And then there is the little problem for the GOP that it’s far healthier than the imploding economy that George W. Bush handed over to Barack Obama in January 2009.

So, now what? The Republicans can’t really think they’ll win by threatening women’s affordable access to contraceptives, even if they try to disguise it as some sort of religious freedom issue. Maybe the voters will think that Mitt Romney, a fellow who seems clueless about how most Americans live and who says he doesn’t care about the poor, will have their backs on economic issues. But that might be a longshot. What to do?

Oh, wait. How about blaming Obama for the recent rise in oil prices, especially the cost of gasoline? The old canard about car-hating, drillingaverse Democrats can always be trotted out again.

Well, the Republicans are doing just that. …

All of this flies in the face of reality. Oil prices tend to go up with an improving economy (more demand) — or with a potential crisis in the Middle East or other oil-producing regions — and both of these are happening now. Presidents and Congress have little ability to influence oil prices… And the insistence of Republican candidates and leaders that the U.S. wage or threaten war with Iran would drive oil prices up more than any other factor.

— The Courier-Journal, Louisville



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