Thursday, September 28, 2006

Poll: Bush controls gas prices

I generally try to avoid characterizing the American people as being idiots. When the electorate voted for Clinton twice, the left crowed that "Americans are smart enough to see through the right's rhetoric and they have spoken!"...yet these same people characterized red-state Americans in 2000 and 2004 as residents of "Dumbf#ckistan." That kind of arrogance and hypocrisy is such a turn-off and I strive to not think so low of the American public as a whole.

However, it sure is hard to find anything positive to say about my fellow Americans' intellect after reading this. From AFP via Yahoo! News:
Some Americans are suspicious that recent steep declines in gasoline prices might be the result of political manipulation, since the savings at the gas pump come just weeks before critical midterm US elections.

Earlier this year, news of record oil profits led many US consumers to believe that energy companies had deliberately kept prices artificially high to improve their bottom line.

Now gas prices have fallen for several consecutive weeks, and recent polls show that consumers have a new suspicion -- that the price break is meant to give a boost to a US president and Republican Congress who had fallen out of favor with voters.

A USA Today/Gallup poll last week found that 42 percent of the roughly 1,000 adults surveyed across the United States believed President George W. Bush's administration had "deliberately manipulated the price of gasoline so that it would decrease before this falls elections."

White House spokesman Tony Snow addressed -- and summarily dismissed -- the speculation at a press briefing earlier this week.

"I have been amused by ... the attempt by some people to say that the president has been rigging gas prices, which would give him the kind of magisterial clout unknown to any other human being," he told reporters.

"It also raises the question, if we're dropping gas prices now, why on earth did we raise them to 3.50 dollars before?" he said.
Granted, I don't know the exact wording of the poll question or the tone of voice used by the pollster or any of those variables. However, it seems absolutely ludicrous to think that a president who is perceived to be an intellectual lightweight is somehow brilliant and powerful enough to singlehandedly move the pillars of capitalism and economics enough to affect change within the entire country's (and world's) gasoline infrastructure.

Hell, I've joked here frequently that the left and the MSM (pardon the redundancy) would accuse Bush of manipulating gas prices to coincide with the election. However, it was always that...a joke. Sadly, the public missed the punch line.