Democratic candidate Barack Obama criticized Republican John McCain on Tuesday for taking a page out of “the Cheney playbook” on energy, overlooking his own support of oil-friendly policies that the unpopular vice president helped to craft.
Vice President Dick Cheney, a former oilman, early in the Bush administration helped draft an energy policy that Obama asserted is biased in favor of tax breaks and favorable treatment for big oil. Obama’s remarks were an attempt to capitalize on Cheney’s unpopularity.
“President Bush, he had an energy policy. He turned to Dick Cheney and he said, ‘Cheney, go take care of this,'” Obama said. “Cheney met with renewable-energy folks once and oil and gas (executives) 40 times. McCain has taken a page out of the Cheney playbook.”
However, Obama himself voted for a 2005 energy bill backed by Bush that included billions in subsidies for oil and natural gas production, a measure Cheney played a major role in developing. McCain opposed the bill on grounds it included billions in unnecessary tax breaks for the oil industry.
It’s beginning to look like Obama is willing to negotiate away whatever beliefs he may have while we know from bitter experience that McCain is an uncompromising pain in the rear. Maybe we’re backing the wrong guy in this race.