Guest Post on Dems, Big Oil, and a Deficit of Ideas

By Too Conservative

Democrats are one-trick-ponies this fall – all they do is attack, attack, attack – while offering no solutions or original ideas. It’s pathetic and I think bound to backfire. Virginia constituents crave vision and leadership, not canned, negative sound-bite rhetoric.

The Democrat/MoveOn “energy debate” is a great example. Instead of looking at root causes for high gas prices last year or offering solutions, Democrats and their henchmen went on offense early this year, attacking oil companies and anybody they could “tar” with their “Red Hand” campaign—whether Thelma Drake in Virginia Beach or Frank Wolf in Loudoun. Never mind that Wolf is the “conscience of the Congress” or that Drake is a first termer—I guess anything makes them targets for the screaming Deaniacs.Â

And what was the result of all the noise? Not much. Gas prices came down on their own (it’s called supply and demand folks) and the knee-jerk Democratic effort to vilify everyone they could has quieted…well, kind of.

Here in Virginia though, groups are still running issue ads and waiving “Grand Oil Party” signs, trying to tie elected officials to “big oil.”Â

But did they have a point? Are oil companies to blame for energy pricing? Falling prices would seem to say no, yet the Dems press on, yelling “record profits” all the way.

Here’s what I understand: at the end of the day, oil companies aren’t very different from the rest of corporate America. No industry is perfect, nor do I agree with everything corporate America does, but it’s interesting how most people don’t consider the basics – how company profits compare to tax payments and other economic benefits, how much money they reinvest in infrastructure and research, how many people they employ, etc. – when attacking Big Business. The Democrat’s “case” against Wal-Mart comes to mind here too. Maybe it’s natural to cherry-pick facts when criticizing, but it’s pretty lazy.

Folks have the right to attack whoever they want, but they owe it to people they are trying to influence to do it responsibly and at least be in the vicinity of the truth. But I guess that might be “Inconvenient.” I know, lame Al Gore joke…I couldn’t help myself.

When all is said and done, supply and demand (News Alert: It’s NOT a good thing that countries like Iran and Venezuela—can you say “devil”?—play a key role in the energy market! Talk about a good argument for more domestic production and drilling in Alaska…) and our homegrown hefty gas taxes are still the heaviest hands in gas prices. Does anybody notice the state and local government thumb on those scale stickers at the pump?Â

Kudos to Senator Allen and Congresswoman Drake for being leaders on energy issues in the face of relentless attacks. Senator Allen has recently released a real energy plan (great commercial too) and Thelma Drake is very vocal and specific about her positions. Both leaders call for more efficiency, maximizing domestic resources and using alternative fuels…prudent steps that with a strong foreign policy could create long-term results for America.Â

So where do the critics stand? Where are their plans? Ask those questions and you’ll only hear crickets.

Let’s hope that leaders and candidates put more thoughtful proposals on the table before November. We’re overdue for an honest debate on the facts. The attacks, empty rhetoric, and endless search for scapegoats instead of actual solutions should stop. We deserve better.

Please leave your comments.


  • anonEmous says:

    I agree with the posting and believe all this will eventually come to bit Kellam in the butt

  • IntruderAlert says:

    I just don’t think this interbreeding of national liberal blog-types and Virginia Democrats (still a fairly conservative bunch all in all) will play very well in November. The sheer hatred and nastiness of the far left is all the clearer when compared to a public servant like Frank Wolf, and for a man running on his “good” family name like Kellam to allow this crap in his race is simply unacceptable. What happened to a civil election cycle? What are Feder’s and Kellam’s positions on how they would fix the energy crunch? Turn every old tobacco field in VA into a subsidized ethanol supplier? Chirp chirp people…

  • Andy says:

    People crave leadership and, individually, I suppose that you could make the case that this or that senator has provided some (leadership) but the GOP as a whole is not getting much done in Washington: budget’s outta control, war ain’t going real well, immigration is a trainwreck, Social Sec. not fixed, DHS is less than the sum of its parts, etc, etc. Politically speaking; When the majority side isn’t getting much done, simply pointing that fact out ain’t a bad idea.

    Does it provide anything in the way of useful input? Probably not but I think that national politics stopped being about useful things years ago.

  • Fauquier Dan says:

    Grand Oil Party? I thought G.O.P. stood for Group of Old People. Let’s get this straight.

    Seriously, I think Andy raises a very valid point. When the party in power performs poorly or does not perform at all, simply pointing that out to voters is a valid election strategy.

    The fact that candidates like Senator Allen belatedly come up with magnificent “plans” to solve all the nation’s problems when they are facing re-election means little to objective voters. It only highlights their previous inaction and ineffectiveness in dealing with those issues.

    Voters aren’t stupid. They can see beyond this “I have a plan and my opponent doesn’t” dodge. When you have held the levers of power for a number of years voters expect some results.

    Hell, Bill Clinton has been out of office for six years and many Republicans are still blaming every failing on him. We are well beyond the time when this sort of alibi for their own failures had any justification. At some point you have to be man enough to accept some responsibility yourself.

    Whether you like it or not, this election is a referendum on the perfromance of the folks who have controlled this government long enough to have full ownership of the results of their actions.

  • Not Tom Stanley says:

    FD has a point…but by the same token if challengers take incumbents to task and are proven wrong, then I suggest those challengers forfeit credibility.

    Mrs. Feder is an example. There is a speech of hers on Youtube where she blames congestion in part on those who allow for uncontrolled growth. Then maybe…

    1. If she is so concerned about growth, maybe she should be running for the Board of Supervisors, or maybe she should ask Governor Kaine, a fellow democrat, why after talking about implementing state land use laws, he chose not to offer said legislation in the last general assembly session; OR

    2. Explain how her opponent has co-sponsored the Hallowed Ground historical area, which will cut down on development, is not working to help stop the problem.

    In the same speech, Mrs. Feder-who has taken some really ridiculous steps to try to tie her opponent to oil companies-guaranteed that although gas prices has dropped to $2.75.gallon, we all know they will go back up. Maybe they will, but they have dropped another $.40/gallon since she gave the speech.

    It is fair to challenge an opponent based on their record, but when a challenger tries to and is shown on the face of things to be wrong, the challenger should also be held accountable…and Mrs. Feder, who cannot find an issue to reasonably hang her campaign on, should be held accountable for her reckless and inaccurate campaign charges.

  • moderate 5-19 says:

    I am not a Republican but there have always been some aspects to the Republican Party I found admirable. Things like controlling spending, border security and yes even some values issues.

    The problem is that in the past five years since the GOP has fully controlled the House, Senate and the White House it seems as almost everything good about the party has been ignored. When Clinton was in office the Republican congress held his spending to 3.4%. Now that your guy is in the White House spending is a whopping 10.5%. And don’t fool yourself by thinking that money is going to the wars, because according to the non partisan GAO that is not the case. In fact when Bush sends his outrageous budgets to the congress they don’t even include the cost of the wars.
    What happened to fiscal conservatism or even common sense? (i.e. bridge to no where)

    And how about those boarders? Yes you all say it’s the Dems who are too weak on boarder security, but where have you been for the past five years? In fact in my humble opinion the biggest impediment to securing the boarders happens to be the leader of the Republican Party, Mr. Bush himself.

    And values, come on people. Can you even imagine how many Congressional investigations and committees would be ongoing by the GOP if Bill Clinton’s case for war had fell flat on its face? I’m not at all saying President Bush purposely led us to war on misinformation and lies, I’m simply saying we need some congressional oversight to find out how the intelligence was so very wrong.

    And now the GOP wants the Dems to come up with solutions. Get real!

    You broke the eggs; you make the omelets, or get out the darn kitchen.

    And for gosh sakes stop whining about the bad ole Dems being mean to you.


  • plunge says:

    Snort. “You don’t have any ideas” is one of those cliches that is so common in politics that it’s always amusing to see someone who is obviously sincere naively defend it as if it really made sense. Both parties have plenty of policy ideas. Neither party really wants to spend too much time on them because they are incredibly boring to most voters and don’t grab attention.

  • t says:

    As a pro-life Republican, I am very disheartened by the lack of progress that has been made, with the GOP in charge, on the issue of reducing abortion. With the Bush FDA approving an abortion pill, and Sen. Allen holding stock in a company that produces abortion pills, I am gradually coming to the conclusion that there is not a dimes worth of difference between the two parties on the issues that I care about.

  • Disco Stu says:

    An entire post on the two parties’ energy policies, and not a single word on the Energy Bill passed by Congress? I think if you want to defend the Republican record on energy and their commitment to a free market governed by supply and demand, you could quote amply from that law. Why not?

Leave Comment