Yesterday President Obama made the most remarkable statement, speaking at the Edison Electric Vehicle Technical Center in Pomona, California:

For decades we’ve avoided doing what we must do as a nation to turn — turn challenge and opportunity.  As a consequence we import more oil than we did on 9/11.  The 1908 Model T — think about this!  The 1908 Model T earned better gas mileage than the typical SUV in 2008.  Think about that, a hundred years later and we’re getting worse gas mileage, not better.

Mr. Obama apparently finds no incongruity in comparing the 1908 Model T Ford with today’s SUV’s.  Let’s have a look.  The Model T had a 20HP inline 4-cylinder engine, and the entire car weighed about 1,200 pounds, depending on whether you wanted, say, a roof.  The top speed of the “T” was 45 mph, but most people kept it under 25.

Today’s SUV typically has a V6 or V8 with over 250 horsepower (The SUV I proudly drive has 275 and gets 17 to 24 mpg).    Top speeds typically exceed 120 mph, and of course we have the freeways to allow 80 mph and more on a regular basis.  SUVs have a gross vehicle weight ranging from 4000 to 7000 pounds.   And, of course, the vast majority of them have roofs.

Yet, astoundingly, Obama is bemoaning the fact that the Model T got better mileage that some SUVs do today.  To say this with sincerity, he must believe either or both of the following:

1) SUVs should somehow be designed to get better mileage than a Model T.  If he believe this, it would bely an unparalleled ignorance of current technology and the advances made in combustion engine efficiency.  Consider this, Mr. Obama:  the Model T engine displacement was 2.9 liters.  Today’s engines of comparable size easily turn out 200 horsepower with similar gas mileage.  That’s a 10-fold increase in efficiency.

2)  We should eliminate SUVs and all drive crackerbox cars that approximate the mileage achieved by the eco-friendly Model T.  If he ascribes to this belief, he would be falling prey to the extreme Luddite silliness that plagues the modern enviro-socialist movement, and which finds a sympathic ear in the modern Democratic party.

Either way, its scary:  either the president is a fool, or a socialist.  But then, aren’t the two inseparable?