Oft quoted are the additional stats that two-thirds of the 42% are Democrats. And Tony Snow made fun of this story from the podium at the White House press office the other day, suggesting that it gives Mr. Bush almost magical powers to control commodity prices -- a laughable suggestion.
They're Missing The Point
First -- the real story is that one-third of the 42% are not Democrats. They may not be all Republicans, but some of the Republican base is buying into this gasoline conspiracy. People will support the incumbents up until it costs them real money. Or someone is playing games with their money.
Second -- it has nothing to do with the President manipulating gasoline prices. Why he doesn't even need to be in the loop for this conspiracy to have legs. He only needs to have friends and family friends in the oil business -- why wait! He does! And friends just are happy to help friends.
Third -- the hard core conspiracy would factor in the summer run up to a gazillion dollars a gallon as a premeditated payment so the oil execs can afford to do the Great Gas Election Conspiracy.
Fourth -- there seems to be little correlation anymore between the price of a barrel of crude and the price at the pump. Sure there are supply and seasonal load/demands/costs which are variables. But there's been a 30 cent a gallon swing up and down just this week alone. It leaves people scratching their heads.
I'm not saying any of this is true. All I'm saying is that the supposed beneficiaries of this so-call apparent conspiracy are either (a) ignorant of how it might work or (b) controlling the story so as to divert suspicion.
Nothing to see here... move along... nothing to see...