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REPUBLICANS AND GAS PRICES

July 29, 2015

REPUBLICANS AND GAS PRICES

There is much brouhaha these days in the Congress as the Republicans beat up on our Secretary of State and his efforts in a proposed agreement with Iran having to do with a variety of understandings, chief of which (from our point of view) is to stop, slow or otherwise impede Iran’s pursuit of atomic weapons.

Much of the beating is, of course, political theater for the folks back home, who having been softened up by Fox News and real or pretended hysterical politicians and other purveyors of half-truths, are always ready to believe that there is some plot afoot to undermine America. Many of these otherwise perhaps good Americans are the same ones who swallow the lines that Obama is a Muslim, Netanyahu’s views of our foreign policy are always right and other such idiocies their propaganda masters pump out daily for their ingestion. They are addicted to their daily manna from those who may be destroying America while pretending to save it.

Their collective mindset is protected by the further view that if anyone disagrees with such revealed truths, then that person is part of the plot, a sure buffer to compromise and a mindset we are seeing played out today with a gridlocked Congress that cannot agree on much of anything substantive while we continue to pay such members’ salaries and expenses (over 2 billion dollars annually) as though they were working on the job – they aren’t, or at least on the Constitutionally-mandated tasks they were elected to perform.

Their “jobs” are to vilify and undercut their political opposition, not build America. While wage inequality continues to tear at aggregate demand in our economy and while our infrastructure is beginning to resemble ancient Greek and Roman ruins tourists visit today, we are arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic with manufactured spats by the right wing designed to (you guessed it) vilify the opposition. What no one talks about (especially Republicans who are presumably profiting politically in their fierce opposition to approval of the proposed pact with Iran) is that this is about the United States of America and not politicians the likes of Obama and Kerry.

Before women came aboard politically, I am reminded of my old World Politics professor who defined a diplomat as “an honest man, sent abroad to lie for his country.” That same diplomat upon return from the diplomatic wars with a proposed agreement is required to tell the truth to congressional committees in re the meaning and significance of the proposed agreement if adopted. Whether he or she is a Democrat or a Republican is immaterial to the process, and the current hearings conducted by Republicans who are scoring political points with America’s security based upon the political leanings of those giving testimony is more than ill-advised; it is disgusting. What or who gives them the right to play party politics with America’s (and even the world’s) security from atomic catastrophe?

Since every move we make or fail to make is part of some sinister plot to destroy America per the right wing and their captive audience, I am going to take this opportunity to set forth a plot which occurred to me in hearing this political noise from the Congress. If right wingers can go off into the wild blue yonder in concocting Democratic schemes to end our republic, then it’s only fair that I set forth my version of the pretense and shallow thinking that is accompanying their opposition to the proposed pact with Iran.

Here’s my plot-line. First, the facts: Iraq, Saudi Arabia and the U.S. are involved in record pumping of oil. We have a glut on the world market. Prices are down and you and I (but not Big Oil) are the beneficiaries with much lower prices for gasoline. If currently-sanctioned Iran’s oil were to come on to the world market with our proposed agreement, then the glut would be enhanced and presumably gasoline prices would go down even more. You and I win; Big Oil loses in this supply-demand exercise. Furthermore, Iran has almost 10 percent of global oil reserves, and could compete in the future with Russia and Saudi Arabia. We are therefore talking long-term over-supply and presumably the potential for long term low gas prices (while awaiting alternative energy sources to make the whole operation obsolete).

Now, the plot: Republicans who are owned by Big Oil are making up objections to the proposed pact with Iran based not on what we are hearing at their committee meetings but rather on protecting the market for Big Oil. Netanyahu’s rantings (and even his hitherto unknown invitation to speak on American domestic issues before the Congress not long ago) provide a cover for what is basically a profit before people economic matter. Republicans are thus voting for higher gas prices for Americans and the rest of the world. It is not the mullahs but their oil and its potential disruption of world oil prices which motivates Republicans in Congress to bloviate against the pact. Republicans are voting for profits before people, even their own people, in favor of campaign contributions, but then, what else is new?

There! That is my counter-plot line which will not be heard on Fox News nor discussed by Republican politicians whose main goals are vilification of their political opposition and provision of services to their big campaign contributors.

I think my “plot” is based on fact and my conclusions are plausible and based on experience. I think as a WASP that Obama’s alleged association with a non-Christian religion is based neither on fact, rational conclusions nor experience. I think it is pure hokum, politically motivated, and unworthy of note.

I have other “plots” in mind to write about in the future. Stay tuned.   GERALD     E

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