Sunday, August 03, 2008
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday ruled out a vote on new offshore oil drilling even as Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama said he might be open to a compromise that included it.
Like any good speaker, Nancy Pelosi will only permit votes that she knows she can win, and she cannot win this one. More to the point, any vote in the Congress will hurt her party in November. Offshore drilling is the wedge issue for Republicans against the Democrats, threatening to divide the transnational "progressives" from working Americans who cannot, as a practical matter, adjust quickly to a spike in gasoline prices. Without an actual vote, the edge of the wedge will not cut nearly as deeply.
This wedge issue will cut the democrats BADLY, because unless you are able to ride a bicycle to work / shopping / every other trip you need to make, the price of gasoline cuts into everyone's wallet. I don't think they've convinced anyone that drilling for oil, in areas of North America where we know it is available, will not cause an immediate decrease in a barrel of oil. I'm not saying it will go down to prices of 5-10 years ago (the dollar's value has eroded too much) but it will go down.
Most Americans, I think, intuitively understand the futures markets that control a big fraction of the oil prices.
Democrats spent months, with the lapdog media support, trying to convince Americans that we can't "drill our way" out of high oil prices. Their messianic candidate followed suit.
George Bush, in the meantime, retracts the presidential ban on offshore drilling. Although the retraction has no real enforcement...the signal was sent and within HOURS, oil prices dropped substantially.
The media, in full panic mode, thought of several fascinating and whimsical reasons why the prices dropped...but...in reality...Bush's policy change was the driving force.
Anyone with an ounce of sense and a moron's understanding of the futures market understands this...and it was eminently predictable.
In the face of this, Pelosi goes public, prevents a vote on energy policy and adjourns Congress, whilst stating that she is "Saving the Planet".
To my Republican friends...Do you really need to have victory served to you on a plate...or will you run with this issue?
This is precisely the sort of issue on which the rubber hits the road (as it were) on the difference between the day-to-day lived realities of real people in the world on the one hand, and the rarefied abstractions through which Progressives filter their experience of that world and those people on the other.
Progressives have an idea in their heads about moving beyond fossil fuels and toward a "sustainable" energy portfolio (with associated humbling of 'unchecked' economic growth and consumerism). High energy and fuel prices are seen as an opportunity to disencentivize the status quo and put the pain on people to move in a new direction.
Real people in the world just see the pain.
To the elitist would-be social engineers of the Left, the short-sighted focus of the common folk on such pedestrian concerns as feeding their families and lighting their homes is perceived only as further evidence of the need for benevolent-but-tough guidance by their betters.
Incidents like Speaker Pelosi's latest legislative shenanigans can only serve to underscore the unmitigated hubris at the core of the Progressive energy agenda. By temporarily shielding herself and her ilk from the harsh light of public scrutiny, she only sharpens the contours of the chasm which separates her from the realities of a world she has arrogated to herself the privilege of shaping.
But reality has a memory, and whiplash can be a bitch.
On the other hand, would it not be in Pelosi's favor to bring this to the floor as quickly as possible and get it behind her and her party? By blocking such a vote they continue to let the Republican's win this wedge issue. As a Republican, I sure do like the idea of letting the Dems defend this idiotic position on drilling right up until election day. The blood that will spill on the Republican side may not be as deep if that is the case. However, as an American who wants the best for our country, I find it unbelievably out of touch that the Democrats do not address this issue. Not only is it an everyday pocket book issue, but it is a national security imperative as well.
Evidently there is a gang of 10 in the Senate that have put together a "bi-partisan" deal that will be put on the floor for a vote in September. However, the one "non-starter" in this deal from the left was that there was not to be any drilling in ANWR. To me I cannot quite reconcile why drilling off of our coasts (harder and more expensive to get to by the way) than drilling in a place that is frozen 10 months a year (which is far easier and cheaper to get to); just underscores how completely out of touch Democrats are on this and many other issues.
Pelosi wedged between a rock and a hard spot. To allow a vote now would be capitulation ala FISA and still be a republican win because THEY forced her into it. She's screwed because we're screwed because of her.
There are so many benefits to this act of the republicans. One is highlighting the taxpayer vacation the Democrats chose rather than working for the taxpayer. They will be vilified for their frivolous items on their agenda when they get back - Rove hearings anyone? Do Nothing Congress indeed.