Can the GOP Trick the Public Into Thinking Obama's to Blame for High Gas Prices?


Chart courtesy of Josh Nelson

That's precisely what they're trying to do, and they're not shy about it. Earlier this week, I pointed out the Politico article that spells out exactly how the Tea Party-affiliated group Americans for Prosperity plans on pushing the message that Obama's to blame for high gas prices. Republicans have already been pushing pro-drilling bills using the argument that the president's policies have strangled oil output. Of course, that's simply not the case, as Josh Nelson's graph nicely illustrates. Regardless of the truth, the GOP are seizing on an opportunity (the coincidence that there are high gas prices while Barack Obama is in office) to further indict a president they've already painted as a big-government, regulation-mad socialist.

Writing at his blog EnviroKnow, Nelson examines some of the reasons that this strategy might not work, no matter how suspicious of Obama conservatives are:

According to Gallup's Editor-in-Chief Frank Newport, oil and gas companies traditionally receive the blame. "Throughout history, people always blame the oil and gas companies. That's not new," he said.

And based on all of the recent polls on this I've been able to find, that seems to be holding true ... As of early May, most Americans blamed three entities for high gas prices: oil and gas companies, speculators and oil exporting nations.

It's heartening to know that most Americans understand that even the President of the United States can't single-handedly dictate gas prices. Now, if only they'd understand that the real reason costs are rising in the long run is increasing global demand and thinning global supply, we'd really be getting somewhere.

But at least Americans aren't buying into this nonsensical notion that big bad Obama and his fantastical cadre of free market-hating regulators somehow inflated gas prices. That's something.

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