Tuesday, April 25, 2006

You never want to underestimate the ability of right-wingers to knuckle down and work together seamlessly to smite the enemy (us), but right now it really is starting to look as if a conservative crack-up is taking place.

First we have Bill O'Reilly shifting into populist mode to complain about the price of gas. In response to this, along comes Mac Johnson at Human Events Online to compare him to an anti-Semite conspiracy theorist:

...The most popular conspiracy theories all involve a confluence of politics and money: the trilateral commission, the Jews, the freemasons, corporate evildoers. These are the motive forces of history to simple minds -- or to those wanting to manipulate such simple minds.

I’ll let you decide which category Bill O'Reilly falls into, but as his latest column demonstrates he is a big proponent of the idea that high gas prices -- which are a violation of your inalienable right to be insulated from market forces -- are the result of a "cabal" of "Big Oil" "fat cats." I believe Hugo Chavez holds a similar belief.

... Mr. O'Reilly, a graduate of Harvard, thinks that the "paper price" [of crude oil] is some sort of new-fangled hocus pocus created by speculators: "These speculators operate in the so-called commodities markets. They gamble on where the price of oil and other tangible assets will be months from now. These Vegas-type people sit in front of their computers and bid on 'futures' contracts."

What are these fancy "commodities markets" of which he speaks? Are the Zionists involved? ...

Meanwhile, a few GOP politicians are trying to seem like the champions of the little guy Republicans always claim they are, and the Wall Street Journal editorial page accuses them of being Nancy Pelosi clones (which, on the right, is probably worse than being an anti-Semite conspiracy theorist):

...Oil prices hit $75 a barrel last week, while gas has reached a national average of about $2.85 a gallon. The Republican response has been to put on Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi fright wigs and shout about corporate greed and market manipulation. House Speaker Denny Hastert and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist fired off a letter to President Bush yesterday demanding the Federal Trade Commission and Justice Department investigate "price fixing" and "gouging." Senator Arlen Specter wants to go further and impose stricter "antitrust" laws for oil companies, as well as a "windfall profits" tax. Mr. Hastert also delighted the class warriors in the press corps by lambasting recently retired Exxon CEO Lee Raymond's pay "unconscionable."

The nerve!

And I love this:

If blaming private industry for Congress's own energy mistakes is the best the GOP can do, no wonder its voters may sit out the November election.

This is how the view looks from the penthouse suite -- the WSJ editorial page thinks Joe Sixpack is going to stay home on Election Day if his congressman complains about high gas prices and energy executives' lavish pay too much.

Please -- keep fighting this way, guys. I'll get the popcorn.

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