Returning to the theme of an earlier post on the supposed stupidity of the electorate in the eyes of the media, I notice that today’s Washington Post has President Obama telling us that there are “no quick fixes” for high gas prices. Likewise “no silver bullet.” It is now ten years since the Senate rejected the request of President Bush and the House of Representatives to drill for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, at least partly on the grounds that, so we were told at the time, it would take ten years for the oil to come on line. So, then. How about a slow fix? How about any fix? The “no quick fix” meme is both true and irrelevant, yet another of the straw men that the rhetorical President is so skilled at building up only to tear down. This is just how he chooses to tell us, in the words of the Post’s helpful gloss that it is “the White House’s belief that gasoline prices are subject to cyclical spikes due to forces largely outside its control, including the rise in Chinese and Indian oil demand.”
Of course, that is itself a straw-man argument. The fact that oil price rises are partly or even “largely” outside our control makes no case at all for inaction on those things that are in our control. The Post, like the President, must think we’re stupid. Indeed, according to the account of the same speech in Politico the latter thinks we are so stupid that we will believe him when he tells us that it is the advocates of drilling who think we are stupid. “The American people aren’t stupid,” he said, because they will understand that Republican pleas to drill for more domestic oil are “a bumper sticker” and “not a strategy to solve our energy challenges.” As David Burge’s iowahawk pointed out in a Tweet, that’s a bit rich coming from the guy who got himself elected on the bumper-sticker slogan of “hope and change.” At least “drill, baby, drill” has a precise and well-understood meaning.