Those tire gauges:Dick Polman
Last Thursday, Barack Obama made the rather mild observation that Americans could actually conserve a lot of oil by "inflating their tires and getting regular tuneups." Yet in a matter of hours, and over the weekend and beyond, all the moving parts within the conservative/Republican message machine were humming with fact-free synchronicity. ...
[McCain's] aides merrily distributed little tire gauges emblazoned with the words "Obama Energy Plan," and while the credulous talk-show callers stormed the switchboards to fume about Obama's alleged naivete. ...
... the GOP's manufactured mockery of Obama trivializes a legitimate point - endorsed by Bush's own bureaucracy - about energy conservation, seeks to reduce Obama's energy plan to cartoonish shorthand, and cleverly exploits the belief (held by millions of Americans) that we should never be asked to take responsibility for anything, even the simple task of filling our tires and tuning our cars. Even now, any form of sacrifice, no matter how common sensical, is widely disdained as a Jimmy Carter concept.
The McCain ridicule of tire gauges is 21st century anti-intellectualism. It's also resentment of any notion that people should conserve energy, or those who advocate conservation. But as Bob Herbert points out
Two political leaders who are no longer very fashionable were on to this long ago — former Gov. Jerry Brown of California (derided as “Governor Moonbeam”) and former President Jimmy Carter, who presciently said of the energy crisis in 1977: “With the exception of preventing war, this is the greatest challenge our country will face during our lifetime.”
It may be hard to believe, but largely because of far-reaching efficiency and conservation measures imposed by Mr. Brown’s administration, California is now among the lowest of all the states in the per capita consumption of energy. If you could take automobiles out of the picture, it would have the lowest per capita consumption of any state.
Republicans are all for personal responsibility when it comes to things like welfare, drugs, and crime but are against it when it has anything to do with energy or the environment. Moral relativism anyone?
Obama is calling for 10% of our energy from renewables by the end of his first term, 2012. Jimmy Carter was calling for 20% of our energy from renewables by the year 2000. If we had done that, we would have avoided most of the climate change we have now forced.
Reagan killed us.
Go inflate your tires and see if the cost of gasoline goes down.