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Wednesday, August 18, 2004

That's America

Another bonehead quote from Kerry:
I want Americans to drive. You want to drive a great big SUV? Terrific. That's America.
Go Cheney yourself, John.

The op-ed from the Boston Globe, where I got that quote, concludes:
The Democrats on the defensive about defense at their recent convention also tried to sound as uncomplicated as possible on supporting troops in combat. The need to appear uncomplicated has prevented politicians from asking a more complicated question: whether the best way to support our troops mean changes at home so we do not have to send them abroad in the first place to protect "our" oil.

That question, of course, is seen as too offensive, even when the current issue of Fortune magazine publishes a 6,300-word article on how the nation needs to stop its "two-decade oil pig-out, gorging like oversized vacationers at a Vegas buffet." We have pigged out to the point where imported oil has gone from 30 percent of our supplies to 60 percent in the last three decades.

One of Fortune's four major prescriptions is -- surprise! -- improved fuel economy. "The real market test will occur in coming months as the frugal efficiency of hybrid technology is married to the profligate embodiment of conspicuous consumption: the SUV," Forbes wrote. Even that is an arrogant American solution. While Europeans long ago simply went to smaller cars, here we are, performing the equivalent of open-heart surgery on an elephant, offering it the engine of a hummingbird. It might work, but it would work better if Americans were simply not so vain.

So Americans want to drive a great big SUV? There's no news there. The news will be if Kerry finds a way to say that this is not a terrific way to be an American.