Then today I see this article, front and center NYTIMES:
WASHINGTON — Rising gasoline prices, trumpeted in foot-tall numbers on street corners across the country, are causing concern among advisers to President Obama that a budding sense of economic optimism could be undermined just as he heads into the general election.
White House officials are preparing for Republicans to use consumer angst about the cost of oil and gas to condemn his energy programs and buttress their argument that his economic policies are not working.
In a closed-door meeting last week, Speaker John A. Boehner instructed fellow Republicans to embrace the gas-pump anger they find among their constituents when they return to their districts for the Presidents’ Day recess.
“This debate is a debate we want to have,” Mr. Boehner told his conference on Wednesday, according to a Republican aide who was present. “It was reported this week that we’ll soon see $4-a-gallon gas prices. Maybe higher. Certainly, this summer will see the highest gas prices in years. Your constituents saw those reports, and they’ll be talking about it.”
Iran’s recent warnings of a disruption in the global oil trade have pushed the price of a barrel of domestic oil to more than $103, a six-month high and up about 34 percent since September. That has helped drive the average price of a gallon of regular gasoline in the United States to $3.52, a 30-cent increase in the past two months. It is already approaching $4 in some places.
Yet, if you are a recent historian you may remember these facts:
The chart of the crucial "light sweet crude oil" futures index reads like a barometer of political tension in energy-producing hotspots. Oil, hovering around $27 a barrel in 2001, spiked to $38 when the United States went to war against Afghanistan--a potential oil pipeline route and neighbor to several large producers. It jumped from $33 to $40 in February 2003, just before the U.S. attack against Iraq. Insurgents have blown up pipelines and refineries there ever since, causing a steady climb to $76.This from a 2006 article.
Adding to the high cost of crude oil, says former Louisiana senator and oil company lobbyist Bennett Johnston, is the Bush Administration's "saber rattling" against Iran. "We'd see gasoline prices of $5 or $6; crude oil above $100 if we bomb Iran," he predicts.
Point being is: Gas Prices are STILL HIGH because of Republicans, and President Bush's need to go to war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Wars that have costed us lives, money, and credibility.
A war with Iran has only been made more difficult by the decisions Republicans made from 2002 onward.
So don't kid yourself about who is causing what, although, since Republicans do blame Obama for the economic crisis, why would I think they'd take responsibility for anything? Even the obvious...
Reality is the Republicans will beat the Iran drum in the hopes of turning the economy sour. They see it as a minor hiccup, which isn't worth them not winning the White House. There's too much money to be made for all their peoples out there not to do this.
Creating a war in Iran, or at least ratcheting up tensions hurts us in so many ways, but helps Republicans. So that's what you'll see.
And of course this issue also helps their own bullshit cause of "drilling in the US", again, to help cronies. US Drilling does not help anyone but oil companies, and doesn't reduce the cost of gas one bit.