A Picture’s Worth A Buck Or Two


Take a gander at the picture at right.

This is then-Congressman Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.), Congressman Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and then-House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in July of 2006. The three were joined by Senator Chuck Shumer (D-N.Y.). The lawmakers gave a press conference at Congressional Exxon, a gas station located a short stroll from Capitol Hill. At the time, the price of a gallon of regular gasoline hovered just above $3.

Pelosi, Emanuel, Markey and Schumer spent that hot summer day six years ago railing against the excesses of President George W. Bush and his evil cronies in the oil industry.

Always a woman of the people, Pelosi roared:

The Republicans’ failed energy policy has taken us in the wrong direction, leading to record gas prices that exceed $3 a gallon… Bush… proposes 46 percent less for renewable energy research than the level promised in the Republican energy law, and cuts funding for energy efficiency and conservation programs…

Markey jumped in as well:

The Bush Administration’s energy policies have proven to be a miserable failure… The reality is that the Bush Administration has fully blown it when it comes to gas prices and the economy…

Pelosi and Markey were joined in their indignation by Emanuel and Schumer (although Schumer may simply have dropped by when he saw the cameras). They claimed outrage at the cronyism shown by Bush and his Republican Congressional allies to presumably evil oil companies at the expense of the poor working people of America. They shouted promises of rescue from the clutches of Bush and his Big Oil backers, presuming the voters in that fall’s Congressional elections send the Republican majority packing.

That fall, the “Exxon Four” got their wish. The electorate gave the GOP the bum’s rush nationwide, leaving Bush politically isolated and sending the Big Oil bad guys scurrying for their offshore tax havens. The Democrats rolled onward to even greater triumph in 2008, ushering in an era of peace, love and fiscal comfort for all Americans. The poor, liberated from the jack-booted Republican oppressors and their sinister allies, emerged into the light of prosperity. American industry, its shackles removed by liberal knights in shining armor, roared back to life under the heroic guidance of the Democrats’ union brethren. And the scientific community, finally free to pursue fuel-independent enlightenment, developed spectacular “green” technologies that produced an America far greater for all than it had ever before been. Gas prices plummeted, unemployment disappeared and the jobs lost to a reduction in oil-exploitation returned dozen-fold in the form of solar, wind and renewable energy industry work. America became a happier, smarter and sounder Nation.

All right, none of that actually happened. But it made for some catchy Democratic campaign sound bites.

Take a gander at the picture below.

That’s the Democrats’ favorite Exxon station, as seen within the past year. There’s nary a member of Congress, formerly poor person or “green” job in sight.

–Ben Crystal

Personal Liberty

Ben Crystal

is a 1993 graduate of Davidson College and has burned the better part of the last two decades getting over the damage done by modern-day higher education. He now lives in Savannah, Ga., where he has hosted an award-winning radio talk show and been featured as a political analyst for television. Currently a principal at Saltymoss Productions—a media company specializing in concept television and campaign production, speechwriting and media strategy—Ben has written numerous articles on the subjects of municipal authoritarianism, the economic fallacy of sin taxes and analyses of congressional abuses of power.

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