Saturday, May 24, 2008
The transition in American politics that occurred between 2004 and 2008 was very striking. After re-electing George W. Bush as president, there was a Democratically controlled Congress and a likely Democratic president. Not only would the new President be a Democrat, but a left-leaning Democrat, the likes of which the country had not seen since George McGovern had made an unsuccessful run in 1972. Observers imagined that the first move of the new president would be to nationalize the oil industry and institute a wide variety of leftist policies. This was a time of exploding oil and gasoline prices. In the run up to the election, $5 a gallon gasoline seemed inevitable and $10 seemed a possibility. Who knew what outrageous amount a barrel of oil would command. How about $500 a barrel? Of course, all this was driven by speculators who were pouring money into the only market where there were big returns being earned.