Energy prices, especially gas prices, are hitting us Americans hard. So hard, in fact, energy, according to CBS News, is a huge campaign issue:
Thus far, it’s McCain who has most suffered from that irritation. On an issue that three in four registered voters believe will be “very important” in making their “decision about who to vote for this fall” – a greater portion of voters than those who cite terrorism, moral values or the war in Iraq – Pew shows Republicans lagging Democrats by 15 percentage points on who will give “greater priority” to energy. link
The enmity of the issue inspires headlines such as: “John McCain’s gas-tax holiday is back (as stupid as ever)” out of Missouri and “McCain Invested in Gas-Tax Gimick” out of the Blogoshere.
This last headline is especially damning considering the news today:
Mitch McConnell, (R) Kentucky, and Minority leader in the Senate, had this to say about a Democratic-sponsored “Consumer-First” energy bill that would have taxed windfall profits the oil companies are making off of our backs:
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said, “Hitting the gas companies might make for good campaign literature or evening news clips, but it won’t address the problem. This bill isn’t a serious response to gas prices. It is just a gimmick.” CNN link
Blocking legislation that would provide some real energy-relief in the long-term (as opposed to the ‘gas-tax holiday’ Band-Aid) is not going to help the Republicans in the long run. Note:
“Among the true independents this is just the kind of issue that cuts hard,” he said. Independents have been particularly turned off by McCain’s gas tax holiday proposal – a May Quinnipiac poll found independent voters were more likely to disapprove than approve of his gas tax holiday plan by 18 percentage points, a gap more than twice that of party-registered voters.
It’s not just independents who are concerned, though. A record 94 percent of Americans believe that the “energy situation” is “very serious” or “fairly serious,” according to the latest polling by Gallup this March. The previous high was 85 percent in February of 1979, shortly before the price of crude oil reached a then-record high of $103 per barrel in 2008 dollars in April 1980 – a record that held until earlier this year.
McConnell is up for reelection this year. He’s been a Senator since 1984. It’s time to send this hack home. Him and the rest of the Republicans who block relief for REAL Americans.