So here's the thing which has been puzzling me for a while: Bush and the Republicans are the best friends the oil companies have ever had, yah? And outrageous gas prices are definitely contributing to Americans' dissatisfaction with Bush, the Republicans, and their war, yah? And yet, the oil companies have been reaping windfall profits off of said outrageous gas prices, to the electorally damaging detriment of their Best Friends Forever. Can they not help themselves? Can they not exert even the tiniest bit of self-restraint to preserve their own long-term interests (i.e., keeping the Republicans perpetually in power)?
I have a timeline for a possible scenario which would allow the Republicans and the oil companies to have their cake and eat it too. (Don't worry, nobody reads my blog)
July/August 2006: Bush and the Republican Congress hype and pass a bogus energy bill which they trumpet as a Brilliant And Innovative Solution To Soaring Gas Prices. Krugman writes three or four columns explaining in excruciating detail how this is just another package of corporate welfare and environmental rapine which will do nothing to reduce gas prices.
September/October 2006: Gas prices miraculously fall to the $1.50-$2.00/gal. range. The media acclaim Bush and the Republicans' bold vision, and contrast it with the Democrats' carping and naysaying. The oil companies are walking with a stiff and uncomfortable gait, and appear to have some difficulty breathing. Their profits are unusually low, but no-one notices or cares.
November 2006: Republicans hang on to power in both houses of Congress, possibly even picking up seats as a result of their remarkable success reining in gas prices. The oil companies wink knowingly at each other between gasps.
December 2006/January 2007: Bush invades and/or nukes Iran. Gas prices break the $4.00/gal. barrier, heading towards $5.00. The media points out that it would be at least $8.00/gal. if those narrow-minded Democrats had been in charge. Oil companies and Republicans exchange high-fives.