Heading into the holiday season, Republicans are clearly rooting for bad news. To the extent that they can engineer bad outcomes, they’re doing just that—largely through their noxious resistance to proven COVID-19 mitigation efforts (remember COVID-19?), and their attempted quashing of progressive policies that flout a plutocrat-friendly status quo and put cash back into working people’s coffers.
One key pillar of their campaign to undercut their president is their promotion of a false narrative—namely, that inflation is the worst thing ever to happen to the economy and it’s all Joe Biden’s fault. And that would likely be an effective message if this were a major election year, but it’s not—and we’re now seeing the first signs of progress, in no small part because of President Biden’s leadership.
What? Oil prices are dropping?
Well, that must mean gas prices will be … FUCK! Quick! Send a news copter to Central America! There has to be a migrant caravan assembling somewhere, right? If we’re lucky, one of the migrants is selling Ebola monkeys out of the back of his El Camino.
Even worse for Republicans, this appears to be the doing—at least in part—of President Biden himself.
Bjornar Tonhaugen, head of oil markets at the consultancy Rystad Energy, [said] that the biggest factor driving prices right now is the expected release of strategic reserves from the United States and China.
According to the White House, US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping discussed the “importance of taking measures to address global energy supplies” during their virtual summit this week. That sparked chatter about a coordinated move initiated by the White House to put millions of barrels of oil on the market.
In other words, Biden and Xi put a bug in traders’ ears about releasing strategic oil reserves, and that appears to have put downward pressure on prices. Meanwhile, Biden has asked the FTC to investigate potential price gouging. So he’s taking action to address the nation’s problems … instead of endlessly and fecklessly tweeting about them.
Of course, Biden’s potential actions on gas prices are at best stopgap measures, but then that may be all he needs to restore some measure of stability, CNN reports:
But more lasting relief could be coming. The IEA said in a report this week that it expects global oil supplies to rise by 1.5 million barrels per day over November and December as some production in the United States picks up again.
Fuel prices have an oversized impact on inflation, so this is definitely a positive step. And if supply lines start to get sorted out as well, it will force Republicans to come up with boogeymen that are even more fake and phantasmagorical than the supposed scourge of critical race theory.
Oh, I have no doubt they can do it. For instance, the War on Christmas season is right around the corner, and as you can see, they’re going hammer and tongs at their newest yellow peril, Big Bird.
This isn’t to say Democrats will sweep the midterms, or even that they’re a lock to hold the White House in 2024. But the current manic coverage about Biden’s and Kamala Harris’ supposed floundering—just 10 months into their first term—is a bit much, especially less than a year removed from The Former Guy’s straight-up coup attempt.
So let’s all calm down and see how this plays out. In a year, we could be a lot closer to normal than we’ve been in a long time. Hopefully, that will be enough to keep the GOP wolves at bay.
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