Dana Milbank Live: Are Republicans causing gas price anxiety?

Mar 09, 2012

Live chat with Dana Milbank about why he says the Republicans are synthesizing a higher-octane blend in their bid to fuel Americans? anxiety about rising gas prices.

Dana Milbank Live is your weekly opportunity for a give and take with Dana centering on the latest political news in Washington and his recent columns.

Read: The GOP?s gasoline alley

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Good afternoon.  Let's talk.

So wait a second- the GOP is yelling about Gas Prices, but they want us to attack Iran, which will only cause gas prices to go up if for no other reason than getting oil out of the Persian Gulf very very risky... could they please try to have a consistent message?

Yes, that was an awkward point in the hearing this week, when one of the Republican witnesses pointed out that gas prices have gone up in part because of the expectation of hostilities with Iran.   As noted in Tuesday's column, hostilities sound as if they are near unto certain, so I'd suggest filling up now at today's low prices.

Dana, Y'all think Mitt is gonna pull off a southern accent?

I think if he just goes around with the dog on top of his car they will treat him like a local.

What does Krauthammer know, in breathlessly painting Obama as a contemporary Chamberlain, that the head of Mossad the last decade doesn't when the former Mossad head backs Obama's strategy in dealing with Iran and says Bibi is overstating his case for attack and is misguided?

To answer your question, yes, Krauthammer is smarter than Mossad.

But I think the larger issue is this: Whatever hesitation Obama has about an Iran attack, he gave Bibi a big green light this week, if you look at the the public words he uttered.  

More interesting to me is the fall in gas prices at Obama's inauguration than the current prices. Today's prices are more in line with what we came to expect during the last few years of the Bush administration. Why did they dip so low? Looks like a conspiracy so that Obama could be so roundly criticized in 2012.

I blame Derrick Bell and the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

Dana: According to a Gail Collins column in the Times this week, not only did Mitt put his dog on top of the car for that family trip to Canada, he had written out an itinerary of permitted restroom stops for his family. Who the heck ,when traveling with a bunch of kids, decrees at what locations they will be permitted to use the toilet? It's just a wee bit controlling.

Wee bit.  Excellent.

I am more interested to see whether Mitt Romney likes grits

He is a severe grits afficionado.

I am waiting for the un-aired college footage of Dana Milbank: The College Years

Were you watching PoliticsNation last night?   Presumably you saw the sweat dripping down my face because I had to run to the studio after abandoning my car because of traffic.   The likeliest college footage that would emerge if I were to run for president would be my participation in a 1989 "keg suck."  There are probably other videos that I am not aware of.

Is Newt trying to outdo Herman Cain's "9-9-9" with $2.50

He said he had considered having the gas price be $2.4999 but Cain told him to keep it simple.

I think you are color blind. Sure he said Irsael is a sovereign state and can make their own national security decisions (a truism). He also went on to say that a strike against Iran would be a huge mistake. How is that a green light?

No, I think that somebody who is hell bent on attacking Iran (Bibi) would take Obama's tough talk -- not bluffing, all options, difficult months ahead, etc -- as acquiescence.  If not a green light, at least a permissive flashing yellow.

I heard that, while not so much a grits fan himself, Governor Romney has several great friends who own breakfast food companies.

Also they own many restaurant chains.

There was a Vanity Fair article a while back that mentioned this, but also mentioned that the pee break itinerary went out the window if Ann Romney wanted to stop. I've also heard that he was hesitant to run but she was the one who talked him into it. And now (well, a couple weeks ago) she joked that he should shut up and let her do the talking. Are we sure Ann's not the one running here?

She's the heavyweight champion, so to speak.

Sorry to go off topic, but why do conservatives consider Derrick Bell a controversial figure? This gentleman is on par with Martin Luther King. He actually staged a sit-in for five days in his office so two Black women can be admitted to law school. Anyway, on the question, did I just answer my own question?

He is also deceased, which makes him somewhat less desirable as a target.

Dana, what do you make of Romney's latest strategy: the southern good ol' boy tactic? I saw it this morning and it was positively cringe-worthy.

Lot of comments on this, all terribly unfair.  Let us remember that Romney is perfectly awkward and cringe-worthy even when in Massachusetts.

No Dana, he needs to rent a pickup truck and rent some hounds to put in the bed.

Any other thoughts on what Mitt needs to do before Tuesday's Alabama and Mississippi primaries?

Don't be silly. Granny is on the roof of the truck. The hound rides inside.

That's one excellent suggestion.

Mitt just killed a cockroach while giving a speech this morning. How will this affect the race?

I was going to suggest that, but he beat me to it.

Just the opposite - a true southerner would let the dog ride in the cab and tie the children up top.

So many ideas for Mitt, so little time left for him to execute our plan.

Does it irritate you when you are asked to guest commentate on a show and then get less than ample time to react to an issue?

Quite the opposite:  The more time I am given, the more obvious it becomes that I don't know what I'm talking about.

Could you explain? I mean, did you just leave it sitting in traffic or what?

No, parked it in a garage that was about to close and left without locking it or taking a claim ticket.  When I got back, the place was closed. I still haven't reclaimed it.

Will Saudi Arabia or Iraq allow them to flyover? If not how would the attack even be feasible?

Now THAT would be an excellent cockpit conversation to record, between the Israeli bomber and the Saudi air-traffic controller.

You can watch 60 Minutes this weekend and judge for yourself who has a better handle on the Israel / Iran / US situation. For me, I will take the view of this former Mossad head who says Israel should let the US handle this situation over a neo-con who was tragically wrong on Iraq which, ironically, has made Isreal's enemy Iran stronger.  Link

Feeling compelled to defend Krauthammer today, not because I agree with him but out of loyalty to the Washington Post columnist guild.   I will grant that he is not always 100 percent accurate in his predictions (something about Romney having a very bad Super Tuesday comes to mind, and there was that whole Iraq thing), but there's something impressive about his ability to sustain antagonistic feelings toward Obama at this high a level for so long.

Mitt must go into detail on the "varmints" (his words) he hunted as a kid....That will really woo the crowd!

Yes, and probably he should shoot some more.

Did the little fellow take a buyout?

I'm sorry to say that Romney shot the squirrel as part of his southern strategy.

By the way, I have just learned that the inimitable Haley Crum, producer of this and most washingtonpost.com chats, is from Mississippi.  But she does not sound like Haley Barbour for some reason.  Perhaps she is not from Yazoo City.

In other Mississippi news, I remind y'all that I bagged me a deer in that state last year.  Seven-point buck, as I recall.  The varmint had it coming.

Nice stereotyping of folks from the South. Would you be so willing to disparage in the name of "humor" if the focus was on a group by say color or ethnicity rather than geography? I'm not offended by it all; just curious as to why this is okay but other unflattering stereotyping isn't.

Quite right. We should stop this immediately.  Our southern compatriots cannot help it that they are a bunch of rednecks and hayseeds. 

Umm, Dana, do you *know* Charles Krauthammer? He's one of the angriest people in Washington.

Never met him, actually.  But I hear that deep down he is tender, in a Dick Cheney sort of way.

Those weren't varmints, those were bar mints.

Which would indicate he is a very good shot.

1. Actually had a discussion w. Mitt Romney and.. 2. Does he really understand what an idiot he sounds like in public? Just curious.

1. Yes. I got him to say on videotape that he loves the elite media and we should keep it up.

2. He understands it perfectly. This is why he tries so hard not to screw up, which is precisely why he gets all tense and screws up.

Varmints, grits, robocalls, vapor farms, wampa rats, Tatooine . . . there's a joke in there somewhere about Mitt's ways, but even C-3PO knows his protocol (badump-ump)

If y'all do not stop offending our southern readers, I am going to take my gun from its rack on my pickup.

You sound kinda snobby.

Now let me be perfectly clear.  I am a southern boy myself (South Shore of Long Island) and some of my favorite places are in the South:  Charleston, Savannah, Nashville, New Orleans, Austin, Boca Raton. . .

Mitt has friends who own arenas where monster trucks rally.

Okay, now. I think I have dug myself a deep enough hole to climb out of.   Thank you for chatting.  Will speak to you again next week.

In This Chat
Dana Milbank
Dana Milbank reviews the political theater of the nation's capital in his editorial-page column. His most recent book is "Tears of a Clown: Glenn Beck and the Tea Bagging of America;" his other books are "Homo Politicus" (Doubleday, 2008) and "Smashmouth" (Basic Books, 2001). Milbank joined The Post as a political reporter in 2000 and wrote the "Washington Sketch" column for nearly six years. He lives in Washington with his wife and daughter. • Dana Milbank Bio & Archive
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