At his presser today, Obama was also asked by Fox news’s Ed Henry to respond to the charge — heard frequently on Capitol Hill and elsewhere — that he secretly wants gas prices to go up in order to realize the shadowy environmental goal of weaning us off of fossil fuels.

Obama responded: “Ed, just from a political perspective, do you think that the President of the United States going into re-election wants gas prices to go higher? Is there anybody here who thinks that makes a lot of sense?”

I’m not sure Obama’s critics on the right have thought this one through to its ultimate conclusion. After all, many of them also keep telling us that Obama is politically very vulnerable on rising gas prices. And that very well may be true.

But if this is a possibility, and if Obama does secretly want gas prices to go up to wean us off fossil fuels, wouldn’t it also follow that he’s selflessly putting his reelection chances at risk for what he believes will benefit the planet over the long term? That doesn’t seem like it fits in very comfortably with the right wing’s various storylines about the president, does it?

Of course, there is another way to reconcile these two ideas. Perhaps Obama secretly wants gas prices to rise in order to realize his environmental agenda, and at the same time he’s so in thrall to all the propaganda being directed his way by his pointy-headed environmental supporters that he’s not even capable of appreciating that higher gas prices could damage him politically. Yeah, that must be it.