It's not in any way illegal to drive a Hummer H3. If you want to drive one, go right ahead. But if you do, you will look kind of clueless if you complain about how much it costs to fill up the tank. The H3 is one of the best-known gas guzzlers on the planet, and if you're in the public eye, maybe you should be aware of the optics of your dissatisfaction with high gas prices when you're tooling around in one.
Which brings us to Congressman Allen West (R-FL), who recently posted to Facebook that:
As you can imagine, reader comments on his post are not entirely kind. And then there's this: "There's very little policymakers can do today or could have done in the recent past to upset the price increase. In fact, thanks to a persistently low gas tax, the U.S. remains one of the cheaper places to fill up in the world."
People have asked me before is there any area where I could praise President Obama? Certainly, he has an impeccable penchant for understanding the power of the bully pulpit. President Obama is also very adept at promulgating deceptive language masquerading as policy, actually just insidious political gimmickry. This "tax policy" is an example as well as today's speech on his "energy policy" shall be. Here is the bottom line, last night it took 70 dollars to fill the tank of my 2008 H3 Hummer, what is it costing you? What does it cost the President to fill his gas tank?
For his part, President Obama is ready for the political war over gas prices. In a speech yesterday, he said:
This wasn't in response to West directly, but it does show the fault lines for the election. Is it November yet?
When gas prices go up, it hurts everybody -- everybody who owns a car, everybody who owns a business. It means you've got to stretch a paycheck even further. ... Now, some politicians they see this as a political opportunity. ... Only in politics do people root for bad news, do they greet bad news so enthusiastically. You pay more; they're licking their chops. You can bet that since it's an election year, they're already dusting off their 3-point plan for $2 gas. And I'll save you the suspense. Step one is to drill and step two is to drill. And then step three is to keep drilling. ... It's not a strategy to solve our energy challenge.