What's Really Important About Kuhl's Remarks

Yesterday's press outing of Randy Kuhl's overheated remarks is an interesting comment on the current political climate. That interview happened in August, and nobody made note of it then, mainly because it was pretty standard-issue rhetoric at that time.

Remember August? That's when gas prices were up and the entire fate of America rested on our desire to "Drill Here, Drill Now". Kuhl spoke of a "three-legged stool" of conservation, exploration and new technology, but he hammered away at only one of those legs.

Only Massa mentioned the other factor: the weak dollar. Now that the worldwide financial crisis has caused a flight to T-Bills (and dollars), oil prices have fallen sharply. Check out this graph of the price of oil vs. the dollar, which would be even more striking if it went into October:

We can argue about the other reasons for the lower price of oil, including weakening demand and a calmer market. What isn't up for argument is one fact: drilling had absolutely nothing to do with it.

With the current climate of overheated charges mainly coming from Republicans, Kuhl's rhetoric sounds like another example of the divisive distraction that is so damaging to our politics. Because we're in the midst of a serious financial crisis, media is finally looking hard at politicians who spout haterade instead of solutions, and Kuhl deserves his share of scrutiny.

But let's not forget the reason Kuhl deployed his overheated rhetoric, which was his eager desire to push his leadership's drilling agenda. That agenda was an example of what really hurts our politics: the search for simple-minded, slogan-ready solutions to complex problems. That search is aided and abetted by the stupidity of media types who imply that being "encyclopedic on the issues" is a strike against a candidate.


Still mad at the D&C? :)

Couldn't resist another shot.

Elmer, as a neutral observer (I can't remember who you're supporting in the end but you seem somewhat on the fence as I recall), did you think that D&C editorial made any sense?

No, I don't think it made sense. I get the feeling that they felt a need to endorse one Republican and he must have been the lesser of evils in their eyes.

I get the feeling that they felt a need to endorse one Republican and he must have been the lesser of evils in their eyes.

Those were my thoughts as well. Obviously, they couldn't endorse Sweetland (who's an idiot) or whoever's running against Louise, but I think Chris Lee would have been a better choice for them (in terms of probably being closer to their own political positions).

Sure, it's a surprise endorsement. But I go back to what I said the other day - Kuhl is local. Massa wears thin on people after awhile. So, maybe it could make sense.

But I go back to what I said the other day - Kuhl is local. Massa wears thin on people after awhile.

So Jim Lawrence picked him because he'd rather have a beer with him? I guess it's as good an explanation as any.

To be perfectly clear, while I support Massa I don't dispute that it would be possible for a Kuhl endorsement to be solidly written and sensible. I just don't think this particular one was.

If it was a well-written endorsement, and if Massa "wearing thin" were the real reason for non-endorsement, then it would have said that.

Since it didn't, we're left to guess.

The D&C refused to endorse any state political incumbents because Albany was in such a mess. Do they think things are running smoothly in Washington? They only endorsed two challengers - both Democrats.


Elmer, we little people can't concern ourselves with hard questions like whether Washington is broken. We're just looking for someone who will connect with us. We're lonely and we need friends.

Seriously, though, I thought they were right about the state lej. It's pretty broken and it would be nice to see some new faces.

Elmer, Washington is nowhere as dysfunctional systemically as Albany is. Not even close.

Maybe a better way to say this that Washington dysfunctionality is mostly the result of Tom DeLay and George W. Bush. They're both going or gone. Bruno/Skelos and Silver are still in Albany. That makes all the difference.

Exile - I just can't put into words how impressed I have been with Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi.