Derek Hunter

We’re Gonna Tap That Thing!

The White House is concerned with gas prices. I’ll give you a second to think up your understatement joke, but while you do that realize President Obama doesn’t really care about gas prices insofar so your ability to afford them goes, otherwise we’d be drilling for the giant untold amounts of oil we have in this country. No, he cares that high prices might cause some people not to vote for him next year. So he’s decided to tap the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

How do I know President Obama doesn’t care about gas prices? He’s said as much. In 2008, while running for office he said he didn’t really have a problem with high gas prices, he just wished they’d gone up more “gradually” than they had. He wants the economy to be able to absorb the hit. Awfully nice of him, don’t you think? Unfortunately for him, a funny thing happened on the way to Utopia. All the government spending in the world (well, not quite all, but it sure seems damn close) couldn’t put the economy back together again, so high gas prices hurt people in their wallets. And people vote first and foremost based on their wallets.

After months of complaining and demonizing “speculators” and “big oil” companies, and not much else, someone in the White House realized that wasn’t working. After all, if “speculators” were able to raise the price of oil at will they’d be called something else, wouldn’t they? So we get this - 30 million barrels to be released from the reserve created to help the country in times of national emergency. It would seem sagging poll numbers now qualifies as a “national emergency.” I would say we should rename the “Strategic Petroleum Reserve” the “Desperate Political Distraction Reserve,” but the cost of printing new letterhead would just be a waste.

By the way, 30 million barrels is what the country uses in about 2 days. But Obama is doing something, and in a tough election fight, being seen doing something, even though it’s really nothing, is better than nothing. So to speak.

Derek Hunter

Derek Hunter is Washington, DC based writer, radio host and political strategist. You can also stalk his thoughts 140 characters at a time on Twitter.