Stand in the Place Where You Work

The Republican conference is still camped out on the Hill, giving speeches to anyone who'll listen (which means, at the moment, "conservative reporters") about the need for a special session to open up new area for oil drilling. Mark Hemingway reports:

With energy issues poised to be big in November, for now the momentum on the issue has swung the Republicans’ way. And the House GOP shows no signs of giving up yet. On Tuesday afternoon, Texas congressmen Jeb Hensarling announced that a number of Republican Senators were on planes ready to join the House Republicans in their fight.

They’re also quite confident that one way or another they’re going to call Speaker Pelosi’s bluff. For one thing, more domestic oil exploration and a new energy bill aren’t exactly issues that have to break along party lines. In fact, they’re confident if an up-or-down vote were allowed on the issue, enough Democrats would vote for it to pass it handily. The only way Pelosi can defeat it is to keep the vote from happening in the first place.

House Republicans don’t think Pelosi can withstand continued pressure. Speaking on the floor of the House, Georgia congressmen Phil Gingrey said he expects to look at his Blackberry anytime, and see a message saying, “ALERT: Speaker of the House has called Congress back.”

Richard Brookheiser waves his handkerchief:

Isn't this the equivalent of a sit-in, except that the sitters are representatives? If a Democratic rump had defied Gingrich or Hastert in such a fashion, wouldn't we tut-tut about their behavior?

I don't have a problem with the optics, actually. It would be nice if, as they their test their newfound expertise about energy, House Republicans could spend a minute or two pondering the effects of the idiotic war they all voted for. But politically, I think they're playing this card too early. The offshore oil drilling ban is expiring on September 30—four days after the first presidential debate. The country will be fully engaged in the election. This month, people are plotting vacations or watching the Olympics. I don't mean to put down this protest, as it's catching fire like nothing the GOP's done in a while, but when members start yanking their party's presidential candidate into a fight that would help him more in two months, it seems astrategic.

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  • Naga Sadow||

    Won't someone think of the caribou?

  • ed||

    Good for them. They happen to be right for a change. Nice to show us citizens that they have not been fully emasculated by Idiot Pelosi and her Mental Midget Majority.

  • PFJ||

    +1 for the REM reference.

  • The Jews||

    This is how globalization works. No more nations, no more countries. The world is run by the media and bankers. This is how we triumph! Of course we present in universalistic terms and if you object we will call you anti-semites. MOOHAHAHAHAHA

    Bring me Christian blood.

  • Episiarch||

    They should start some drum circles and break out the hacky sacks. Pass the Graffix-with-a-slide-carb and this could be quite the stand-in.

  • ||

    Who cares if it helps McCain? I won't vote for the hypocritical sanctimonious bastard no matter how this works out. I'd like to see offshore drilling opened up. There is no time like the present.

  • Back to Zed||

    +1 for the REM reference.

    -1 for being such a lousy REM song.

  • David Ross||

    What J sub D said, more or less.

    If we get moving on permitting more and better nuclear power plants and refineries two months earlier than is convenient for John McCain, that's two months head start on having that energy and two months of lower petrol on the futures market.

    sometimes doing the right thing is good, no matter what the timing and even if the people proposing it are *ulp* republican

  • PFJ||

    "-1 for being such a lousy REM song."

    I thought about posting that word for word after my original post. Decided to take whatever REM reference I could get.

  • zoltan||

    Good for them. They happen to be right for a change. Nice to show us citizens that they have not been fully emasculated by Idiot Pelosi and her Mental Midget Majority.

    Only David Vetter is still emasculated. I think from the diaper. And Mental Midget pretty much fits everyone elected to Congress.

  • ||

    I think it's laughable behavior. I mean, there are things that might impassion me to perform a sit in, but off coast drilling? I mean, let's say you favor off coast drilling (I don't), is this issue really foremost in your mind? Jesus I pity you if that is the case...

    That being said, it seems to be a working issue with the electorate for the GOP. We live ina dumb nation for sure (I say that not to call those calling for off shore drilling dumb, but to say that anyone who would change their vote at this point on this issue is indeed dumb).

  • ||

    It would be nice if, as they their test their newfound expertise about energy, House Republicans could spend a minute or two pondering the effects of the idiotic war they all voted for.

    The war that means the oil revenues going into Iraq are no longer supporting a murderous thug with a long record of using said revenues to kill people?

    The war that means that Iraq's oil industry is no longer under sanctions and will produce more by the end of the year than it did before the war?

    The war that means the Iraqi oil industry is finally a viable place to invest in upgrades and exploration, allowing it to grow its contribution to world oil supply faster than it could have without the war?

    I guess they could talk about that, but it would be a distraction from the real issue - freeing the American energy industry from crippling regulatory restraints.

  • ||

    We live ina dumb nation for sure (I say that not to call those calling for off shore drilling dumb, but to say that anyone who would change their vote at this point on this issue is indeed dumb).

    Oh, I dunno. Offshore drilling is a nice poster child for illustrating the more general idiocy of the Dem energy policy.

  • ||

    Not everything has to be a political calculation. If it is the right thing to do, it's the right thing to do. I'm not saying that these Republicans are thinking that, but I would hope to fuck that Reason magazine would, and not worry about if "it's good for McCain."

  • dylan||

    or maybe the repubs expect a large decline in the price of oil before the Sept 30 expiration and need to press the advantage now. Not too much to believe with oil prices already falling and the end of the summer season around Sept 1.

  • ||

    "The war that means the oil revenues going into Iraq are no longer supporting a murderous thug with a long record of using said revenues to kill people?" No murderous thugs in charge over there now!

    "The war that means that Iraq's oil industry is no longer under sanctions and will produce more by the end of the year than it did before the war?" Not much of an argument if you meet someone who opposed the sanctions and the war.

    "The war that means the Iraqi oil industry is finally a viable place to invest in upgrades and exploration, allowing it to grow its contribution to world oil supply faster than it could have without the war?" Again, more an argument against the sanctions.

    "I guess they could talk about that, but it would be a distraction from the real issue - freeing the American energy industry from crippling regulatory restraints." Yeah, Exxon's profits were just crippled...

  • ||

    We live ina dumb nation for sure (I say that not to call those calling for off shore drilling dumb, but to say that anyone who would change their vote at this point on this issue is indeed dumb).

    Why would it be dumb to change your vote on this issue? Because it's not one of *your* priorities?

    Most people see inflation and gas prices as linked, and the economy is (as always) the No. 1 issue.

    Also, seems to make sense for the Rs to press their advantage on this. They're splitting the D majority, making Obama hold both sides on the issue and making Pelosi look like a (bigger) idiot.

  • ||

    MNG,

    I think the regulatory restraints hurt us poor consumers more than they hurt the oil companies.

  • DannyK||

    It's friggin' pathetic. The Republicans have blocked every energy bill that's come up this year, and now they're trying to ride this pet issue right into November. The buyout of the G.O.P. by Big Oil is complete.

    It could all work out for them, but I suspect Nancy Pelosi is happy to have the Republicans bottled up in a symbolic event in DC, while the Dems are free to campaign and raise funds.

  • ||

    Oh, c'mon. I could see energy policy in general dictating one's vote, but off shore drilling specifically? It's like basing your Presidential pick on abolishment of the insanity defense (which is used in like 1% of cases).

    Do this test: think of the candidate you like least in this election (or hell an former election). Now imagine this candidate suddenly adopts your exac position on off shore driling. Does that make you support him now? Of course not.

    "I think the regulatory restraints hurt us poor consumers more than they hurt the oil companies." I'm inclined to agree, as they just pass along the costs. The question becomes, do we gain more from avertment of environmental damage than we lose in higher costs?

  • mr anonymous||

    It would be nice if, as they their test their newfound expertise about energy, House Republicans could spend a minute or two pondering the effects of the idiotic war they all voted for.



    True, but it would also be nice if Weigel would test his newfound acidic wit and spend a minute or two examining some of the effects of electing the idiotic candidate he's voting for.

  • ||

    The appeal of the issue is hilariously stupid. On this libertarian site noone probably hates the oil companies for making a profit during all this (in fact I don't either, the job of corporate boards is to maximize profit for their shareholders). But the average American finds the oil companies to be VERY unpopular and suspect when gas goes up. So the GOP responds to this by advocating giving the oil companies a goody that they have been wanting for a long time. And it popularly resonates. If one needed any more proof of the stupidity of the American voter (or the lemur-like mindset of the American conservative) this would be it.

    You have to admit it has worked and in that way it's brilliant, at least politically if nonsensical logically (in the sense that if you accept the premises the average American does, or I should say "the majority of Americans"). Politically it's one of the most brilliant things I've seen since Bill Clinton muted and to a degree turned around the long time albatross around the Democrats neck, crime policy, by talking about the GOP's refusal to legislate on "cop killer" bullets (which I think was equally a stupid policy).

  • LoneSnark||

    Well, there is the remote possiblity that oil and gasoline prices will continue to fall, rendering the issue irrelevant in two months. As such, they may be playing the card early because oil prices have started falling and they fear they may have already waited too long for the election.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Episiarch - they're Republicans, and it's a public place, so the most you can expect is a beer bong with a ΠΚΑ sticker.

  • ||

    What would the republicans say if the democrats were doing this? All sorts of name calling.

  • ||

    House Republicans could spend a minute or two pondering the effects of the idiotic war they all voted for.

    Ah, by linking to an article from March/April of 2007, back when Iraq was still producing less oil than before the invasion? The invasion of Iraq might have been responsible for a fair amount of run up in gas prices immediately afterwards (perhaps disappointing some people who really did want a war for oil), but it's quite a stretch to blame it for the price of oil right now. Chinese demand combined with production shortfalls in other countries besides Iraq would seem to be larger factors.

  • ||

    but when members start yanking their party's presidential candidate into a fight that would help him more in two months, it seems astrategic.

    This assumes that the Congressional GOP considers their own fate linked to McCain's. As the RCCC and RSCC have told them, it's every man for himself. Congressional Republicans think this can save their own skin.

  • ern||

    So the GOP responds to this by advocating giving the oil companies a goody that they have been wanting for a long time. And it popularly resonates. If one needed any more proof of the stupidity of the American voter (or the lemur-like mindset of the American conservative) this would be it.

    It's not a goody for the oil companies unless it is a goody for the rest of us.

  • ||

    Idiotic war? I guess you missed the 550 tons of yellow cake. Or did you think Saddam was organizing a huge bake sale?

    But since fewer people were killed at Pearl Harbor I guess WWII ranks as the greatest outrage then since far greater losses of men and treasure were involved.

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