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Friday, September 29, 2006

Falling gas prices won't bail out GOP

Letter Published in the Baltimore Sun--September 29, 2006

Columnist Victor Davis Hanson gleefully opines that the slight bump in President Bush's approval ratings, which is mainly tied to the reduction in the price of gasoline, will allow the Republican Party to sneak out wins in November as the Democrats stand pat ("The Republican tortoise is gaining on the Democratic hares," Opinion • Commentary, Sept. 22). He's whistling in the graveyard.

Unfortunately for Mr. Hanson and similar GOP optimists, this polling uptick, which is very minor, is not a trend.

When gas prices spiked, of course there was widespread discontent among the American people.
Anger was initially directed toward those in power - who are mostly Republican.

However, people grudgingly made adjustments and got used to the $3-plus-per-gallon prices, and the animosity dissipated to an extent.

The same thing will happen with the lower prices: early euphoria, to be sure, but, again, the initial "shock" will wear off.

And the gas price problem was only one of many concerns for the American people.
It was not the driving cause for the disaffection with the Republican-controlled White House, Congress and courts.

The issue that is in the forefront of people's minds now is one Mr. Hanson glossed over like it was no big deal: Iraq.

The voters will continue to see the war in Iraq as an abject failure - from its unjustified inception to the incompetent planning and execution in winning the peace.

The blame for this colossal travesty will be directed to the Republican president, vice president, secretary of defense and all the Republican leaders in the House of Representatives and the Senate for their support of this boondoggle, which has cost us thousands of lost and broken lives, depleted our treasury, created more enemies, diminished our standing in the world and left us weaker in the war on terror.

The few bucks a tankful the voters will save until the election will not make them forget about the war.

Steve Charing

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