Befuddled by Our Oil Dependence

In a different context, this might be funny:

Lawmakers being forced to give up gas-guzzling cars

WASHINGTON — Rep. Elton Gallegly of Simi Valley likes his taxpayer-funded Ford Expedition. He isn’t worried that it’s not the most fuel-efficient car. It’s reliable, suits his mountainous district and is cheaper to lease than many other vehicles.

“It’s not a Cadillac. It’s not a Lincoln. It’s a Ford,” the Republican congressman said with exasperation.

But like it or not, Gallegly and other lawmakers will have to give up gas-hungry SUVs and luxury sedans for leased vehicles that are more eco-correct, such as Toyota’s Prius.

And some are in a high-octane fit about it.

That this is even a contentious issue is a sad commentary on our elected officials. Don’t these people work for us? Haven’t we heard endless speeches about the need to reduce our dependence on oil? Sure, that’s all fine and good until God forbid our politicians are asked to make “sacrifices” like this.

The requirement was sought by Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II (D-Mo.), who figured that if his colleagues were serious about reducing greenhouse gas emissions and U.S. dependence on foreign oil, they ought to put their foot where their mouth is.

Cleaver does. His taxpayer-funded Ford Econoline, a recycled airport shuttle he uses as a mobile office, runs on cooking grease. But he’s heard grumbling from colleagues.

“They want their Lexuses and their Cadillacs,” he said. “I just think it’s a poor example for us to spend so much time talking about energy independence and global warming and presenting to the people an image of fat cats living the fat life.”

Hear, hear! But they still don’t get it:

A number of lawmakers scoffed at the requirement, saying that forcing them into less-polluting vehicles would do almost nothing to affect climate change, and suggested that Congress could take more significant action to reduce oil imports.

Poor things. Congress has been asked to make this little sacrifice (can you even call this a sacrifice?), but they don’t think it will have any impact. The thing is – THAT’S WHAT EVERYONE THINKS! That’s a big reason we have a problem. Nobody wants to sacrifice, nobody wants to accept responsibility, nobody is willing to lead. Far better to blame an enemy – oil companies, OPEC, environmentalists, illegal immigrants – anyone but the consumer for the present situation. That way, politicians don’t have to sacrifice (after all, one explained that she is 6 feet tall and thus needs her Lincoln Town Car), and can take “more significant action” like sueing OPEC, declaring a gas tax holiday, and slapping windfall profits on the oil companies.

They may scoff, but they are our political leaders. They need to set an example and stop acting like the rules don’t apply to them.

9 thoughts on “Befuddled by Our Oil Dependence”

  1. yea, and maybe we can get them all to give up their privately run retirement fund, and force them into the ponzi scheme called SSI like the rest of us saps.

  2. haven’t you heard?

    the POLS are members of a strong new union–THE ELECTED POLITICAL CLASS[TEPOC].


    haven’t you heard?–
    the constituency provides supporting tax dues annually. it reelects every two years.

    haven’t you heard?–
    any one giving TEPOC a difficulty[“earmark” termination, political contribution control, etc] is quickly “snuffed” in subtle ways.

    TEPOC is managed by a strangely named group called GERRYMANDERING–very dark, mischievous,devious group– “BAD STUFF” I’M TOLD.

    but the people apparently enjoy the whole thing.


  3. The lack of will and integrity of federal elected officials is just enervating sometimes.
    Hillary calls for lifting the federal gas tax, and rides in a truck to a gasoline station to show she is tune. Congressman don’t want to drive efficient cars.
    A bit OT, but have you noticed the way Obama has raised tons of money. The Internet has changed the money playing field.
    So…a third party is feasible. I thnk, on the national level, someone or group will figure this out in a few more cycles. RR could run! Get a little traction, and suddenly the donations pour in.
    Remember that guy back in 1996, Ross Perot? Was a medocre candidate. Picked a looney for veep. Quit running for a while, in the middle of the campaign. And won nearly one out of five votes.

  4. “nobody is willing to lead.”

    The problem is that we have a bunch of career politicians who have been spoiled by the perks of high office, and whose main concern is getting re-elected. And you don’t get re-elected by telling people unpleasant truths, you do so by telling them what they want to hear.

    I was an enthusiastic Republican back in the day when Gingrich was talking about term limits – when they were in the minority. Oddly, after they gained control of Congress, I didn’t hear any more talk about term limits. If you were looking to serve just a term or two and then go back to your business/farm/whatever, you might have the courage to speak the truth. I think this is what the Founders had in mind – “part-time” legislators, who had a real life back home. But this is most certainly not what we have today, and without term limits we won’t ever have it. Now the Pubs have lost Congress and deservedly so, but the Dems have offered nothing better really. Neither is going to shoot straight or lead.

  5. “A Prius isn’t made in the United States,” complained Rep. Elton Gallegly of Simi Valley.
    I wonder if this idiot would rather buy American and then send regular payments to the Oil Thugs, or send one payment to Japan and minimize his investment in the Oil Thugs? Which is more American?

  6. And won nearly one out of five votes.
    That would be great in a democracy. Unfortunately, the US is not what would commonly be called a democracy. Remember that thing called the electoral college? Well that is a great way of distorting the will of the American people, and it has bipartisan support.

    Here’s how the electoral college prevents a third party from getting its due representation, from the 1924 election: Erstwhile Republican Robert M. La Follette ran as a Progressive. After the Democrats nominated conservative John W. Davis, many liberal Democrats turned to La Follette. He received 4,831,706 votes for 16.6% of the popular vote and won his home state of Wisconsin receiving 13 electoral votes.

    See how the electoral college skewed things? From 16.6% of the popular vote to 13 electoral college votes, just 2.4% of the electoral college votes!

    Who knows? Maybe someday we’ll have democracy in America?

  7. See how the electoral college skewed things? From 16.6% of the popular vote to 13 electoral college votes, just 2.4% of the electoral college votes!

    But we can’t trust the “unwashed masses”…

  8. But we can’t trust the “unwashed masses”…
    Unless, of course, they are sitting in a jury, deciding whether somebody deserves the death penalty. Strange country…

  9. “A Prius isn’t made in the United States,” complained Rep. Elton Gallegly of Simi Valley.

    Yes, but, you can buy a US built GM SUV with their new two mode hybrid system. It gets 20 mpg, which is not prius territory, but it is 40% better than the Expedition.

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