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PETRO-PARANOIA: GOP accused of gaslighting at the fuel pump to score political points

PETRO-PARANOIA: GOP accused of gaslighting at the fuel pump to score political points

PETRO-PARANOIA: GOP accused of gaslighting at the fuel pump to score political points

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When fuel prices hit a record high at the beginning of March, so did the GOP’s gaslighting propaganda machine — blaming President Joe Biden for the pain at the pump. Presidents don’t control gas prices. They never have. The Republicans know it. We know it.

But unfortunately, their base doesn’t.

And the GOP is taking that lack of knowledge all the way to the bank. Or in this case — the ballot.

The Republican National Committee is capitalizing on people’s frustrations with the high prices by heading to the pump to register voters.

They are starting in Phoenix, Arizona.

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On March 19th, RNC members and volunteers spent two hours at several gas stations in the greater Phoenix area. Three choice locations, I might add. 4343 E. Camelback, 4350 Indian School Road, and 4502 E. Oak. The first two are located in the 85018 zip code. These are middle-class neighborhoods where the median income is roughly $56,000 a year. It’s also where over 50% of those registered to vote, voted Democratic.

Once solidly Red, Arizona has been steadily transforming to Blue. It’s a heavily contested swing state, where no one vote can be taken for granted. Registered Republicans make up 33% of the state, with the remaining 67% split between Democrats and Independents.

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Since the state was called for Biden in the 2020 presidential election, the Arizona GOP has gotten more vocal — and desperate.

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They are losing ground in what was previously considered Republican strongholds, and the defeat of recently proposed Proposition 208 hasn’t helped. Prop. 208 would have raised money for Arizona’s rapidly declining school system by taxing the wealthiest in the state. It is a proposition that a majority of Arizonans — Democrat and Republican alike — were in favor of.

The state’s GOP politicians, however, celebrated its failure.

This isn’t sitting well with voters, so to draw attention away from the party failing to do what is in their constituents’ best interest (shocker), they are doing what the GOP does best — deflect, draw attention to the increased cost to fill up, and shift blame to Biden.

RNC spokesperson Ben Petersen is convinced this strategy will work in their favor. He had this to say:

“Arizonans are frustrated with paying the record-high gas prices we’ve seen recently, this is an issue that affects almost every single Arizonan. There’s no doubt that everyone is feeling the pain at the pump, so a gas station right now may be the very best possible place for one of our volunteers to have a conversation with someone and get someone signed up to vote.”

Petersen isn’t wrong. Everyone is feeling the pain at the pump. Democrat, Republican, and Independent alike. But it’s difficult not to suspect that the conversations Republicans have with potential voters will conveniently leave out the real reason why.

Suspect that GOP recruiters will leave out the fact that the price of oil per barrel has dropped dramatically from its record — and brief — high of over $130 per barrel down to $96. Suspect that they will leave out that the current nationwide average price of $4.27 a gallon is $.65 higher than when it was the same price per barrel 14 years ago. President Biden addressed this in a tweet just days ago.

I also suspect that the GOP will leave out the fact that the same oil companies — with record-high profits — give 85% of their political donations to the Republican Party.

Over $11B was spent in the 2020 presidential election, and according to Marketplace.org:

“One interesting sliver of that is the $87 million coming into races from oil and gas companies, mostly to Republicans.”

While on the surface, registering voters at the pump may seem like a good strategy — gas prices are beginning to come down slowly, but steadily. Couple that with the fact that the two-year deal that The Former Guy made with OPEC countries to reduce oil production by millions of barrels is coming to an end on March 31st.

They will only be able to deflect and gaslight for so long before moving on. But one thing is for sure, the Democratic Party had better pay attention. Mid-terms are just around the corner, and it’s time to get moving. Be less reactive — more pro-active.

The defense may win Superbowls, but this is politics — a whole different sport.

Original source: Cami Parrish at the Arizona Republic

Follow Ty Ross on Twitter @cooltxchick

RELATED STORY: HIGHER TAXES: Senate Republican plan hurts working Americans and the poor

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Ty Ross
News journalist for Occupy Democrats.

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