It's been said that a candidate steers hard left or right (depending on their political affiliation) in the primaries to woo the base of his party and then quickly tacks back to the center in the general election. Well, somebody should tell John McCain who seems to be careening down the conservative cliff in an effort to shore up a less-than-enthusiastic base in his bid for the presidency.
Today McCain pushed the old right-wing oil talking point by saying the ban on off-shore drilling should be lifted. Now, folks in Florida will not likely take kindly to the idea of oil rigs dotting their tourist magnet ocean front, but John McCain thinks it's a great idea.
With gasoline prices rising and the United States chronically dependent on foreign oil, the Republican presidential contender said his proposal would "be very helpful in the short term resolving our energy crisis."
That of course is horseshit as oil is traded on a global market and any oil tapped from the ocean (or ANWR, for that matter) would have little if any influence on the price of oil. Even if it had a nominal effect it would be at least five years before US consumers saw it. It's not like US oil companies would find new oil reserves and only sell it to Americans for a discount. They sell it to the highest bidder, which may be China or India. And then there's the problem of refineries...
But that's a more complicated message than telling the American people that crazy environmentalists are keeping gas prices high by blocking exploration on our own shores. So much for straight talk..