Washingto D.C. - An angry backlash over new Department of Transportation rules eliminating right-hand lanes has White House officials scrambling to do damage control. The new rules which ban the lanes on all highways and byways in the United States has created a furor across a large segment of the population.
The target population, as stated in the Department of Transportation's original statement, were old, slow, and conservative people. Groups which were rightly justified in being angry. However that anger soon spilled over to other motorists, employers, tourists and business travelers.
The Department of transportation's apology, stating that the use of the term "eliminate" was an unfortunate choice in reference to old, and slow people only added fuel to the fire.
The rule change and the administration's attempts to clarify it's position gave right-wing talk show hosts new ammo with which to attack President Obama. Criticism ranged from anger over singling out certain individuals to the supposed "ridiculousness" of the new law which in reality just resulted in more cars sharing fewer lanes.
Even NASCAR weighed in. NASCAR Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Brian France stated that by eliminating right-hand lanes people would only be able to turn left, since right-hand turns are illegal from left-hand lanes. "Limited access roads such as expressways, are all but useless unless you're a NASCAR driver, since exits from the left are few and far between. It's almost as if they're intentionally mocking our sport."
In a hastily called hearing before the House of Representatives Transportation and Infrastructure Committee's Subcommittee on Highways and Transit, a visibly shaken Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood defended the decision, although he admitted that it's introduction could have been handled more smoothly. "I think we made a greet mistake in being so open and honest about our intent. In hind sight we should have probably just issued the ruling without explanation."
White House spokesperson Andrea Mitchell appeared shell-shocked as she tried to distance the president from the decision and the subsequent backlash. She explained that the ruling came from internal discussions within the department and that the president himself was caught off guard by it's abrupt implementation.
"He was traveling between speaking engagements when he noticed that his motorcade was taking an unusually long time to complete what should have been a simple cross-town trip."