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McCain’s very bad, no good talent for chronology (or Bush is not responsible for the oil price


Just what is up lately with John McCain? One has to wonder if his campaign is sabotaging him on purpose. Surely it can’t be the case that the candidate of a major American political party is completely without access to a basic fact checker?

Even a college-aged intern (with the Google or other basic Internet skills) ought to be able to help a guy out for next to nothing, without putting undue stress on McCain’s budget.


First, we had McCain’s confusion over the chronology of the abatement of violence in Iraq. To be sure, the Surge provided needed additional troops on the ground (something some have been asking this administration to do since the beginning of the war). But at least as important, arguably, have been societal changes taking place within Iraq itself. The dramatic ethnic self-sorting taking place in Baghdad along with the Anbar Awakening surely did much to also lessen violence against US troops. McCain wants us to believe that the Surge resulted in the Awakening, when that is manifestly not the case.

Now today we hear from John McCain that President Bush (of all people) is responsible for the recent drop in oil prices:

Republican John McCain on Wednesday credited the recent $10-a-barrel drop in the price of oil to President Bush’s lifting of a presidential ban on offshore drilling, an action he has been advocating in his presidential campaign.

Once again McCain seems to want to credit an event that ooccurred later as the cause of an event that occurred earlier in the chronological order. It’s a completely mystery to me how this could have escaped McCain, except to note that he is admittedly not very well versed on gas prices.

But wait, how can this be? Didn’t gas prices drop immediately after Bush announced he was canceling the executive order against offshore drilling?

Monday, July 14, 2008

WASHINGTON — President Bush lifted an executive ban on offshore oil drilling first imposed under his father’s administration, although new oil exploration on the Outer Continental Shelf will remain off limits until Congress also takes action.


And the next Tuesday we saw this:

Last Updated: July 15, 2008: 4:56 PM EDT

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — Oil prices plummeted by the second-largest margin on record Tuesday as investors feared a further decline in U.S. demand after hearing comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.

Note first of all the stated reason for the drop in prices: fears of reduced US demand for oil, not hopes for increased production. Then, unfortunately for John McCain, oil prices had already begun to drop by the time Bush lifted his executive order. As early as June 6, some analysts in the media were predicting that oil prices would start to fall:


June 6, 2008

THE price of crude oil has jumped as high as $135 lately, up from $87 in early February. The news encouraged some Wall Street analysts to suggest oil might approach $200 before long. In fact, that’s quite impossible: The world economy can’t handle current energy prices, much less a big increase.

Which in turn means that oil prices will fall.

A month later, and the week before president Bush’s action, oil prices were already in decline:

July 8, 2008

NEW YORK — Oil tumbled more than $5 a barrel Tuesday in its second big drop this week, hurling crude back to levels not seen since June 26 as traders wary about the health of the global economy cashed in gains from oil’s recent rally.

So seriously. Seriously. Just what is up with the McCain campaign?

John McCain does have at least one thing going for him: In typical “John McCain’s base” fashion, none of these easily obtainable facts were reported by Tom Raum of the AP. Raum found time in his article to give us how many gallons of oil are in a barrel, but couldn’t be bothered to do a basic fact check on the central assertion made by McCain being reported in the article.

Liberal media bias indeed.

Cross-posted at davidvoegtle.net.