Tuesday, March 08, 2022

Popular, For Now


On Tuesday morning, The Hill reported

More than 70 percent of Americans surveyed in a new poll say the Biden administration should ban Russian oil over Moscow's invasion of Ukraine, even if it leads to higher gas prices in the U.S.

The Quinnipiac poll found that 71 percent of respondents supported a ban on Russian oil, including 66 percent of Republicans and 82 percent of Democrats. Slightly more than 1 in 5 respondents — 22 percent — were opposed and 7 percent did not know or did not answer.

Evidently, President Biden already had recognized the public's wishes because within a few hours he would, as widely expected, announce

We're banning all imports of Russian oil and gas and energy. That means Russian oil will no longer be accepted at US ports and the American people will deal another powerful blow to Putin's war machine. This is a move that has strong bipartisan support for Congress and I believe in the country.



Biden made the decision both because it would be popular and it is the right thing to do- but hopefully, primarily for the latter reason.

Public opinion has a way of swaying with events. Even though people were warned that prices might rise if imports from Russia were banned, the impact of paying the higher prices and even of merely seeing them posted at gas stations will be felt. The media will do stories on location about higher prices at the pump.

And oh, those Republican members of Congress.  Ohio's Jim Jordan tweeted numerous times on Tuesday alone to criticize President Biden for high gas prices, including theinstant classic "Remember how cheap gas was during the Trump Administration?"

Unconvinced by a President who stated "I think the virus is going to be—it’s going to be fine," motorists drove dramatically less than usual. President Trump had nothing to do with gas prices being relatively low in 2020. But that won't stop some people from blaming Biden for higher prices. And even many of those who don't blame Biden for the surge in gas prices will nonetheless feel pinched and believe things are going in the wrong direction in the country.

So do what you have to do, Mr. President. But when the oil companies profiteer off the war waged upon Ukraine by Russia, it's not them the GOP and the traditional media will blame.



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