President Bush has been in office nearly eight years -- eight years too long in my opinion, but I am from Illinois. And during that entire time, he and Vice President Dick Cheney, have ignored the economy and the rising cost of oil, palling up with their buddies in Saudi Arabia and pursuing a war in Iraq that has directly impacted the rising cost of oil, the fast-falling American dollar, and the steadily-falling economy and the increasing isolation of American interests in the world.
So when Bush -- a Republican -- gets in front of a microphone and turns the nation's energy crisis into a partisan political attack against the Democrats, you know that anything he has to say is driven by personal politics not solutions.
Bush says we can solve the energy crisis by tapping into hard to reach oil reserves in our shale deposits, which means undermining and exposing the environment -- where we all live and breath the same polluted air -- even more. It's a quick fix by his own admission, designed to pump more oil into an economy that is starting to reel from the suspiciously fast rising price of the barrel of oil. The problem has been going on for years.
When foreign oil conglomerate British Petroleum purchased the AMOCO (American Oil Company, in case you have forgotten) the price of oil was around $19 a barrel. Now, BP has changed its name, branding it's foreign name to separate itself from the foreign oil exploitation that has hammered the American economy to "Beyond Petroleum."
Like all the foreign-owned oil companies that are tied right into the Bush-Cheney pocket-book, British Petroleum and "Bush policies" are all "beyond problem-solving."
When did Bush suddenly become concerned with the dramatic impact of gasoline prices that the national average claims is $4.07 a gallon but that every American knows is really as high as $4.57 a gallon and moving fast to a new plateau at over $5 a gallon driven by nothing more than greed and pathetic national leadership? As soon as the big industries started to bellyache. The airlines. The auto industry. Not when average people were scraping to save change to fill their tanks with gasoline.
What we need and is what Bush is incapable of offering the American people: a long-term strategy that will shift us from oil-based energy to solar energy and alternative fuels. What we need is a president who stops making the public pay for his leadership faults and makes the corporations he is protecting and the foreign interests that are driving the Iraq War (Halliburton is moving to the Gulf Region where some future uncertainty over its past actions might put it "beyond punishment.")
What we need is a president who will step in and punish the auto industry for exploiting the oil crisis by manufacturing "hybrid" vehicles that use "alternative fuels" that cost as much as $5,000 more to buy than the cheap and unreliable domestic-made crap they have been dumping on the American people for years. And by the way, when the price of corn increases with everything else, how cheap with alternative fuels and ethanol really be?
We need real answers, not political rhetoric. We need leadership, not stumbling pinball-like reactions from an administration dedicated to protecting foreign interests but that has failed to truly care about the interests of the American people.
"Beyond partisanship" is what we really need. But all we really need is to just once go "beyond politics" to a "better place."