It might as well be a mathematical formula: High gas prices + oncoming election = stupid policy, writes Ruth Marcus in the Washington Post. John McCain, once the possessor of a sensible energy plan, now screeches incessantly about outer-continental shelf drilling, as though this would instantly solve the energy crisis. Barack Obama, who once earned plaudits for resisting McCain and Hillary Clinton's gimmicky gas tax holiday, now wants to tap the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, an even costlier gimmick.
McCain has also mocked Obama’s suggestion that Americans check their tire pressure, something that could save millions of barrels a year, and that even the Bush administration approves of. Obama accuses McCain of proposing tax breaks for big oil, neglecting to mention that McCain would give the same tax cuts to all corporations. “If this is the state of the discussion in August,” Marcus marvels, “what will October bring?”