Each and every week, the Bush administration offers inconsistencies. This week a contradiction seems so strikingly absurd, I cannot ignore it. I feel compelled to comment on the recent change in the Bush energy policy.
In September 2002, the President of the United States spoke emphatically of energy concerns. He spoke of consumption and the importance of this. At the time Baby Bush said, “Congress also must understand they’ve got to pass an energy bill. You see, an energy bill will be good for jobs. An energy bill will be good for national security. We need an energy bill that encourages consumption [sic].”
Now, he advocates the contrary, or so it seems.
In recent days, the President has been out on the stump. He is encouraging Americans to use mass transit. The King told citizenry to get out of their cars, their Sports Utility Vehicles, their light trucks, and Hummers. Junior asked the public to take the bus, the subway, or possibly, car pool. He even suggested staying at home. The Bush Boy is pleading with an anxious public; please do not travel. Imagine that.
Under Bush, one was able to buy a Hummer and deduct the cost from their tax returns. Now, the same man that proposed giving tax cuts to those that buy the greatest of gas-guzzlers is asking very same consumers to leave their vehicles behind.
Leave the idyllic image of consumerism? Was it not Bush that preached buy, buy, buy, even after the 9/11 catastrophe? It was. He and his subordinate, or is it his superior, had said, in the United States consumption for the sake of consumption is the only palatable way of life!
Years earlier, in 2001, Vice President Dick Cheney expressed his belief, “Conservation may be a sign of personal virtue, but it cannot be the basis of a sound energy policy.” The President agreed wholeheartedly.
In that same year, former White House Press Secretary Air Fleisher was asked of the President’s perspective on energy. The press wanted to know was reducing energy consumption the plan. They asked and Fleisher, replied, “That’s a big no. The president believes that it’s [consuming is] an American way of life.” Yet, now it is not? Why not?
I will leave that question stand. Feel free to cogitate aloud and in writing. Please share your thoughts. Mine may be too cynical to express.
Might I just offer these thoughts for your consideration? Petroleum has long been the source of Bush prosperity. The family fortune was found in oil. One might wonder would the Baby truly want its use to decline.
The Bush/Cheney energy policy, from the first, exploited the American desire to consume. Fulfilling whims advances profits for each of these [former] business moguls. Their friends benefit as well. Are these magnets really ready, willing, or able to curb their greed? I think not.
The axiom states, “Necessity is the mother of invention.” Perhaps, we are witnessing that need is the parent of re-invention?
The President seems to be re-formulating his policy when he asks us not to use fuel. However, he is not. Mr. Bush actually postulates that a lack of power is only a temporary setback. He portends Katrina and Rita caused for the current crisis; however, once the effects of these storms pass, all will be well. Yet, I wonder. Did the Bush energy policy contribute to global warming, and thus create Katrina and Rita. Might there be a truer calamity coming?
Possibly, for Bush and the Band, power is not the problem; it is the solution. They will feel fulfilled when they have it; therefore, they seek it. Gas gauges may not be a consideration at all; polls numbers may be the authentic indicator. When we reflect upon the President’s use of fuel, and the reason for it, we know this to be true.
I wish to share an incongruity to this recent paradox. While Bush is bolstering conservation, he is expending ample energy. He is devoting his time and the nation’s fuel to his own personal cause. King George II is using an enormous amount of petroleum as he promotes his numbers in the polls. Reuters Alternet writes on this, Bush burns up fuel when he travels.
For your entertainment, I offer these references . . .
• To Conserve Gas, President Calls for Less Driving, By David Leonhardt, Jad Mouawad and David E. Sanger, New York Times.
• President Bush Calls on Congress to Act on Nation’s Priorities, The White House
• Press Briefing by Ari Fleischer, The White House
• Bush Family Values, By Elizabeth Drew, The Nation
• Bush-Cheney Energy Strategy: Procuring the Rest of the World’s Oil, By Michael Klare
• Samuel Bodman, Secretary of Energy Discusses the effects of Katrina and Rita
• CNN/USA Today/Gallup Poll. Sept. 16-18, 2005
• Bush burns up fuel when he travels, Reuters Alternet