House Republicans have recently produced a major reversal in the momentum of the 2008 campaign by actually fighting democrats over their crazy environmental fanaticism and determination to maintain federal regulatory roadblocks to domestic oil exploration production at a time when prices at the pump are over $4. Tourists have come into the Capitol to applaud them.
Congressional Republicans actually find a winning issue, so what happens next?
Why, naturally, the Third Senator from New York, Lindsey Graham arrives with four other weak-kneed RINOs accompanied by a matching set of five democrats to propose a bipartisan sell-out which would protect the democrats from Republican attacks. Sheer genius! Isn’t it obvious just whom John McCain ought to be picking as his running-mate?
Speaking for real Republicans, Kimberly Strassel had a few choice words about all this.
It’s taken time, but Sen. McCain and his party have finally found — in energy — an issue that’s working for them. Riding voter discontent over high gas prices, the GOP has made antidrilling Democrats this summer’s headlines.
Their enthusiasm has given conservative candidates a boost in tough races. And Mr. McCain has pressured Barack Obama into an energy debate, where the Democrat has struggled to explain shifting and confused policy proposals.
Still, it was probably too much to assume every Republican would work out that their side was winning this issue. And so, last Friday, in stumbled Sens. Lindsey Graham, John Thune, Saxby Chambliss, Bob Corker and Johnny Isakson — alongside five Senate Democrats. This “Gang of 10” announced a “sweeping” and “bipartisan” energy plan to break Washington’s energy “stalemate.” What they did was throw every vulnerable Democrat, and Mr. Obama, a life preserver.
That’s because the plan is a Democratic giveaway. New production on offshore federal lands is left to state legislatures, and then in only four coastal states. The regulatory hurdles are huge. And the bill bars drilling within 50 miles of the coast — putting off limits some of the most productive areas. Alaska’s oil-rich Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is still a no-go.
The highlight is instead $84 billion in tax credits, subsidies and federal handouts for alternative fuels and renewables. The Gang of 10 intends to pay for all this in part by raising taxes on . . . oil companies! The Sierra Club couldn’t have penned it better. And so the Republican Five has potentially given antidrilling Democrats the political cover they need to neutralize energy through November.