Only on MSNBC, the self-proclaimed “Place for Politics,” could you find a meeting of the minds like this. As a part of its Democratic convention coverage, the network featured “Countdown” host Keith Olbermann interviewing HBO “Real Time” host Bill Maher on August 25.
Olbermann asked Maher if the country was at an “all-time low politically” or if it just seemed that way because there is no historical frame of reference for negative campaigning.
“That’s a great question and it certainly is one for historians and I am not a historian,” Maher said. “But in my lifetime, I would have to say that things do seem to be getting worse and they seem to be getting worse because – sorry to say it – people get stupider and stupider every election cycle. I’d love anybody to tell me something that you can’t just tell the American people and have them believe it because you didn’t add ‘LOL’ to it at the end of your e-mail message.”
Maher mentioned Americans’ support for offshore oil drilling – and the idea that increased domestic production would lower gasoline prices – as an example of American stupidity.
“They think offshore drilling is going to lower the price of gas and they think Obama, the black guy from the single mother, somehow is the elitist,” Maher said. “So, you know, I think the American people at the end of the day have to look in the mirror. They get the leaders they deserve and they don’t deserve very good leaders.”
But Larry Kudlow, host of CNBC’s “Kudlow & Company,” wrote August 4 about how even rhetoric and largely symbolic steps toward increased domestic production have had an effect on oil prices without adding any new oil to the market.
“When President George W. Bush eliminated the executive moratorium on offshore drilling a month ago, effectively launching the drill, drill, drill offensive, oil was close to $150 a barrel. Since then, the barrel price has dropped to nearly $120 as futures-market traders anticipate a major shift in federal drilling policy,” Kudlow wrote for National Review.
Oil isn't the only thing that has fallen. Gas prices have dropped every business day since July 17. Bush lifted the executive ban on offshore drilling July 14, a week before gas prices hit an all-time high of $4.11, according to data from AAA. The nationwide average for a gallon of gas had fallen to $3.67 as of August 26.