Last week Senator Obama suggested that properly inflating your tires will save huge amounts of oil. I'm sure he is right, though the savings is probably overstated. Obviously, keeping your automobile properly tuned and your tires properly inflated will increase fuel efficiency. The Republicans responded by making fun of the suggestion. The Senator said; "It's like these guys take pride in being ignorant."
The first thing that occurred to me when I read of his suggestion was President Carter telling us that we should turn our thermostats to 68 and wear a sweater in the winter. The problem with that is not that conservation is wrong, but, that it is not a solution, it is not big thinking, it is NOT what we expect the President to talk about. We expect the President to have a solution that solves the problem not merely mitigates its effects. And this is, I think, why the Republicans jumped so gleefully on the comment, because I am not the only one who was reminded of the feckless Carter administration.