According to some new polls, President Obama's approval rating has dropped in March due to rising gas prices. This must really please the GOP as this has been their game plan.
I was listening to the Right wing radio host in New England, Howie Carr yesterday who was jawboning about high gas. He conducted a poll if people now consider high oil prices a bigger problem than the economy? Not surprisingly most agreed with that. It's a Right wing show.
But for Americans as a whole to turn this quickly is disappointing. Think about it: Carr's question makes no sense. Why would you be more concerned about gas prices than the economy? Gas prices are a factor of the economy.
The answer is it depends. If gas is going up but this is do to rising growth and employment then as much as we don't like higher gas prices it's in the context of a recovery and so it's preferable to how things were when the President came into office, gas was $1.87 but we were losing jobs at 750,000 per month and NGDP had collapsed.
I must say I want to believe that my fellow Americans can understand a little nuance and not feel like electing Mitt Romney because gas prices are rising. Do they really believe Newt Gingrich's absurd pledge for $2.50 gas if he's elected?
The words of a commentator named Candace at the above link sums up what I'm thinking too:
"This goes to show how fickle we as Americans are. I still support my
President. Who does these polls anyway? I have never gotten a call
from these pollsters. Guess, I am not considered an American by some.
God bless, America!"
This one by Anne Koza is even more pointed and to the point:
"The American public is very dumb. I lived through two gas shortages, where I had to get up at the crack of dawn to get in line for gas -- for my VW Bug. Not a gas hog SUV or pickup truck, that is the norm for spoiled Americans these days. I economize by NOT DRIVING. It's my way of protesting the greed of the oil producers, etc. What a freaking bunch of cry babies we have in America these days. If you blame Obama, you are a liar and a traitor."
Strong words to be sure. Not all of them would I choose. But I understand her impatience. Are we really this fickle and easy to manipulate? Lauree then comments this way:
"I've never gotten a call either. I know it's not Obama's fault; the Republicans like to spread fear, fear about everything except global warming. I'm not a Democrate, I'm just anti-Republican. They start out as if they have values then they veer waaaaayyy off track and sometimes into outerspace as in Newt's case. I try to conserve on gas so I don't give the greedy any more of my money than I have to. I realize some of the greedy are the speculators and I wish they'd do away with them. Best of luck to all and God bless."
Indeed, to read these it to see that many readers beg to differ with this GOP con job to blame the President for high gas prices. Most of the comments were in this vein. Of the first 10 I looked at most were like this. No doubt this is not a scientific poll. Still, there was one guy who wanted to blame Obama because of Iran-the run up to Iran is what's doing it and that's Obama's fault. Trouble with this is the Republicans can't run against that as they are more hawkish on Iran than Obama.
Finally Vallabhi writes an interesting letter:
"I am an Indian, but would vouch anyday for the President Mr. Obama. I am glad that Americans are reading this newspaper and commenting. Looks like he is very much on his way back to become the President again."
Let's hope you are right Vallabhi!