The Washington Post's auto columnist injects anti-Bush political commentary into answers to readers' questions about CARS. Many of my professors did the same sort of thing during their lectures.
Consider these exchanges from an online chat with Warren Brown, the Washington Post's car columnist. We'll summarize the questions and give you Brown's answers in full:
Rockville, MD: [Are today's cars too complicated to last a long time?]
Warren Brown: Hello, Rockville. Statistically, today's cars are more reliable, more durable, safer, and more enjoyable....and, yes, substantially more complicated.
So, while your techno-angst certainly is understandable, it's statistically unsupportable.
Many of today's cars, even the economy models, can run 200,000 miles or so with proper service and care. Be not afraid. It's okay to venture forth into the brave new world of technology, as long as you aren't on a hunting trip with the Vice President. He needs a GPS on his gun. . . .
Chicago, Ill.: [You're going to think I'm a dumb blonde, but I accidentally poured oil into the wrong slot and now I have a leak. What should I do?]
Warren Brown: Hello, Chicago. That's nothing dumb about what would [sic] did, blonde or not. You just made a mistake. We all do--like all of those people who lose their electronic keys and then whine about how much it costs to make things right again.
The BMW people know how to handle this. 1. They should thoroughly clean that engine to make sure you have no pools of oil in hot spots. That could cause a fire. (Ask me how I know.)
They can drain the excess oil. You should be okay.
I mean, geez, stop fretting.
Consider that all of those smart people in the White House, Central Intelligence Agency, Defense Department and Congress went merrily marching into Iraq on certain "intelligence" about weapons of mass destruction that weren't there.
How dumb is that? And our President isn't blonde, and our Vice President is bald. See? . . .
Hilsboro [sic], Va.: [Shouldn't there be stricter fuel economy standards for SUVs?]
Warren Brown: Well, Hillsboro:
Why be amused or bemused? The reality is that there are many people out there who want, need, or otherwise prefer a fullsize SUV. The 2007 GMC Yukon Denali happens to be one of the best.
And it's the very dressed Denali that gets 19 mpg on the highway. The SLE and SLT versions get somewhere in the neighborhood of 22 mpg.
That's a big improvement, considering the usual segment performances of 15 miles per gallon and less for the big rigs.
Thus, to answer your policy direction question, America is moving in the right direction, albeit slowly. Those big rigs eventually will have gasoline-electric and diesel-electric engines for even better mileage and lower emissions.
America would be moving in the wrong direction to curb consumer choice. I mean, we already have enough of that don't we--a government that believes it can engender freedom abroad by curbing and abusing it at home.