Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Is Mitch McConnell The Worst Senator Up For Re-election?


In a Senate election year that includes efforts by James Inhofe (R-OK), Gordon Smith (R-OR), John Cornyn (R-TX), and Ted Stevens (R-AK), it's hard to say with any degree of precision who really most deserves the kind of political oblivion Americans dealt to similarly corrupted extremist Republicans in 2006-- Conrad Burns (R-MT), George Allen (R-VA), Rick Santorum (R-PA), James Talent (R-MO) and Mike DeWine (R-OH). But one person whose name would be on anyone's short list is surely George Bush's chief Senate obstructionist, Mitch "Miss" McConnell (R-KY). It's unfortunate that McConnell's opponent, reactionary corporate Democrat Bruce Lunsford is the worst Democrat running for the Senate this year and can pretty much go toe to toe with McConnell when it comes to corruption. There's nothing that would ever make me vote for either one of these characters. I hope they both lose.

That said, I come from a truly unbiased place when I offer DWT readers an editorial from last week's Lexington Herald-Leader on the energy crisis. First of all, if there is one senator more responsible than anyone else in Congress for the fact that over the last several sessions of Congress, Big Oil has had it's way-- and had billions of dollars worth of tax cuts and all the policies it wanted that would help bolster a burgeoning bottom line that, literally, transferred nearly a trillion dollars from American families' budgets into Big Oil profit reports-- it was Mitch McConnell. In return, McConnell received $649,011 in "donations" from Big Oil and he also got to help direct over $165,000,000 into GOP political campaigns from Big Oil and Gas.

The Herald-Leader says he "won: The Senate went home for five weeks without doing anything to lower energy prices or expand supply."

McConnell, who filibustered three energy bills, is holding out for a vote on off-shore drilling. He's hoping voters will blame Democrats and, even more improbably, his opponent, Bruce Lunsford, for prices at the pump.

As long as everyone understands that more drilling is no solution, Democrats might as well let Republicans have their vote. It seems to be the only way to break the Republican-created logjam and release legislation that would actually help free Americans from oil's high-priced grip.

If recent history is any indication, the oil companies won't be fouling the oceans and beaches because they won't be drilling new wells.

Of the 90 million offshore acres on which the industry already holds leases, mostly in the Gulf of Mexico, more than 70 million are not producing oil, say estimates from Democrats and oil-industry sources.

The danger comes not from oil rigs or oil spills but from policies that keep U.S. consumers captive to oil.

Consider: A hybrid vehicle that you could plug into an electrical outlet in your garage would run on the equivalent of roughly 75 cents-a-gallon gasoline.

Both the Electric Power Research Institute and the Natural Resources Defense Council are pushing plug-in electrical vehicles, which would charge up at night when demand for electricity is low, averting the need for new power plants.

Does the oil industry want that kind of competition?

And can McConnell and the Republicans afford that kind of threat to the oil industry?

Since 1996, more than three-fourths of oil- and gas-industry contributions have gone to Republicans.

The industry gave $2.4 million to Republican senators during the years McConnell was in charge of their fund-raising. His colleagues showed their gratitude by making him their leader.

Republican power and McConnell's power are built on oil money.

McConnell talks a good game. He advocates increased conservation and supports electric-powered vehicles and other energy alternatives. But actions speak louder than words.

For years, McConnell opposed higher fuel-efficiency standards for vehicles. More recently, he's stood in the way of everything from expanded solar power to cracking down on oil speculators.

He's drumming home the message that more oil is the answer. He's doing it at a time when this country needs to unleash all its innovative powers on developing and marketing alternatives to oil.

The Center for American Progress makes a good case that more drilling could lock us into a future of expensive gasoline.

Drilling on the Outer Continental Shelf would be hugely expensive. The industry could never justify that kind of investment without keeping prices high.

Open every square inch of land and sea to drilling, and the United States still has 3 percent of the world's reserves, while using almost 25 percent of the oil. We need to break from oil even without global warming's threat.

So what McConnell is doing is good for the oil industry and may even prove to be smart politics. But it's not responsible leadership.

Who even cares that he's a hypocritical closest queen who got tossed out of the Army for grabbing an enlisted man's wiener? This is much worse.

Labels: , , , , , ,


At 6:58 AM, Blogger W. Hackwhacker said...

It is worse. But I still want to see this SOB brought down by any means necessary.

At 10:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have you heard about crude jatropha-seed oil being a viable biodiesel source?


Post a Comment

<< Home