Rush: Malaise redux

posted at 2:40 pm on July 31, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

You know, Rush Limbaugh celebrates his 20th anniversary in syndication this week, an amazing accomplishment in any entertainment medium but especially so in radio.  Why has he succeeded so completely?  Perhaps because he can connect the dots, and the dottiness, as he does with Barack Obama’s energy policy as explained yesterday.  Take a listen to Rush’s deconstruction:

LIMBAUGH: This is Obama yesterday at a campaign event in Springfield, Missouri:

OBAMA: All the oil they’re talking about getting off drilling, if everybody was just inflating their tires and getting regular tune-ups, you could actually save just as much.

LIMBAUGH: This is unbelievable! My friends, this is laughable of course, but it’s stupid! It is stupid! How many of you remember the seventies? When we had these shortages, all through the Jimmy Carter years and we have all these tips, all these tips on how to save gasoline? Avoid jackrabbit starts, keep your tires properly inflated, there’s a list of about ten or twelve these things. I said if I follow each one of these things I’ll have to stop the car every five miles, siphon some fuel out, for all the fuel I’m going to be saving.

This is ridiculous. This is a presidential candidate and he’s talking about keeping your tires inflated and getting regular tune-ups and that would save as much oil as drilling would produce. And this guy is the Democrat presidential nominee. Who has filled his head with this stuff?

This is “malaise” redux.  Rush has been on the air twenty years, but the Democrats seem determined to recycle their policies from thirty years ago.  Revisit with me the infamous Carter speech from April 1977:

The energy crisis has not yet overwhelmed us, but it will if we do not act quickly. It’s a problem that we will not be able to solve in the next few years, and it’s likely to get progressively worse through the rest of this century.

We must not be selfish or timid if we hope to have a decent world for our children and our grandchildren. We simply must balance our demand for energy with our rapidly shrinking resources. By acting now we can control our future instead of letting the future control us. …

Many of these proposals will be unpopular. Some will cause you to put up with inconveniences and to make sacrifices. The most important thing about these proposals is that the alternative may be a national catastrophe. Further delay can affect our strength and our power as a nation.

Our decision about energy will test the character of the American people and the ability of the President and the Congress to govern this Nation. This difficult effort will be the “moral equivalent of war,” except that we will be uniting our efforts to build and not to destroy.

The absurdity here is that while Carter complained about declining production, it was American policies that forced that decline — just as it does today. Ronald Reagan relaxed restrictions and tax penalties on production, and the energy crisis abated. Today, we have at least six Saudi Arabias in oil shale alone, let alone what we can get from ANWR and the OCS — and just like in the Carter era, the Democrats won’t let us get it.

Instead, we hear the same kind of hysterical rhetoric today that we heard in 1977. “National catastrophe” has turned into “global climate catastrophe”, but otherwise the rest of it sounds exactly the same. Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid are nothing but Jimmy Carter retreads.

Happy 20th anniversary, Rush. You keep proving why you’re indispensable.

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