Pumping Gas: Let’s tell McCain why it matters

June 29, 2008 · Posted in Domestic Policy, Election 2008 · 13 Comments 

OuchJohn McCain doesn’t think it matters whether or not he pumps his own gas.

WICKSOL: When was the last time you pumped your own gas and how much did it cost?

MCCAIN: Oh, I don’t remember. Now there’s Secret Service protection. But I’ve done it for many, many years. I don’t recall and frankly, I don’t see how it matters.

Well, John McCain, here’s why it matters. I went to the gas station last week and put $25 in our Honda. That $25 used to be more than enough to fill up the Prius, but now it takes it to just over half a tank. That same $25 in the Honda got me 4.57 gallons of gas, which was just over 1/3 of a tank. I don’t drive the Honda unless I have to, because it gets such crappy gas mileage.

The Prius gets great gas mileage, especially when it’s driven on the freeway at 55mph or we’re in stop-and-go traffic. But here’s the thing: When I go to the gas station and pump my own gas, putting my debit card in the machine and watching the pump suck out $50 to fill a ten-gallon tank at Costco (where we go to save .10/gallon), something else gives. For us, that ‘something else’ means not buying the roast at the market and opting for something else cheaper, but for other folks, that something else might be a meal for their kids, or for themselves. It might mean they don’t fill a prescription that they need, or that they don’t buy milk that week, or they have to let the electric bill slide and go without electricity until they can afford to reconnect it.

It might even mean they have to quit the job they commute to every day because it no longer makes sense for them to spend $5/gallon to earn $9/hour. And here in California, almost everyone commutes.

So, John McCain, when you arrogantly brush away the fact that you not only don’t pump your own gas but have no clue about what the rest of us do, and then have the utter NERVE to try to paint Obama as an elitist, it matters.

When you tell those of us who are pinching all sorts of pennies to keep our homes from foreclosure but won’t take a stand against the Enron loophole, it matters.

When your buddy George W. Bush doesn’t even have a clue that gas prices are going to cross $4/gallon and then steps on the California CAFE standards because we set them higher than his piddly-ass non-goal, it matters.

It matters to everyone who doesn’t have $100 million in the bank, a tax-free military pension and a fat government paycheck.

Every time I fill up, memories flood of those arrogant Enron assholes laughing at ‘grannies in California’ who were going to be screwed as they jacked around our electricity prices. I hear them laughing and remember my 92-year old grandma pinching pennies to keep her air conditioning going so her ailing husband could stay comfortable in the summer months. It might as well have been you laughing, Senator McCain.

You betcha it matters to me, John McCain.

Does it matter to you? If it does, speak up here in the comments or on your own blog with a link back. Let’s ALL tell John McCain why it matters.

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