Friday, August 1, 2008, may prove to be a pivotal day in American history. It might turn out to be the day when Americans decided to take their country back from the elites in Congress who have been running it. It was the day when Nancy Pelosi, Democratic Speaker of the House, turned out the lights on the American people. Madame Speaker – a.k.a. Donna Corleone from San Francisco – forced an adjournment over the furious objections of House members who wanted to vote on legislation that would have opened our Atlantic and Pacific coasts and the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve (ANWR) to drilling for oil.
Mrs. Pelosi ordered the House lights turned out and the TV cameras disconnected. Members roared in protest as the adjournment vote “carried”, 213-212. In sound bites captured via cell phones and other devices, the People’s House sounded like a riot in a beauty parlor on a bad hair day. Members cried, “No! No!” to the adjournment, while the much-needed oil-legislation languished without a vote. Hundreds of people came onto the floor of the House to voice their disapproval, as emergency lighting came on. The scene – scarcely mentioned in the Mainstream Media – was surreal. Congress will stand adjourned for a month.
Congressional Democrats have been desperate holdouts against drilling offshore and in the ANWR. Every year since the 1980s Congress has renewed a ban on such drilling in its annual appropriation to the Department of the Interior. Originally, that was a popular move, since oil was only $10 a barrel. The public approved, and it seemed an environmentally responsible thing to do.
But with oil hitting $147 a barrel in early July, Mr. Bush finally decided that something must be done. Sitting on known mega-reserves of oil was imprudent, when American drivers were paying over $4 a gallon for gas. In some places, it was $5. The economy was suffering, and the huge expenditures on oil were perturbing national politics. On July 7th, Mr. Bush signed an executive order undoing earlier presidential executive orders that had restricted drilling in the areas mentioned above. Oil immediately started slipping in price. A month later it is under $120 – down 20% and threatening to go lower. Today (August 5th) the Dow average went up 330 points.
After the adjournment uproar, Mrs. Pelosi gave an interview in which she patiently explained (as if to a particularly slow child) that what Americans had seen on the House floor was the “war-dance of big oil”. She went on the say that we must end our dependence on foreign oil, but that drilling for our own oil was not the answer. She also said her mission was to “save the planet” from global warming, which was caused by burning oil and pumping CO2 into the atmosphere. The interviewer kept asking Madame Speaker what was wrong with letting the House vote on the oil-drilling legislation. She answered that the idea that more drilling would affect prices was “a lie of Big Oil.” She said nothing about nuclear energy, but Democrats are opposed to that, too.
Madame Speaker struck a pose implying that no one should question her authority, as Speaker, to deny votes on legislation, or allow them, as she saw fit. Basically, she denied the vote on drilling because she could. Americans would get no more oil and no relief from high prices for the month of August. (Let them build windmills and ride bikes…)
As I listened to Mrs. Pelosi’s evasions and conflicting statements – sprinkled liberally with appalling disinterest in the financial well being of her fellow citizens, who are paying through the nose for gasoline and heating oil – I wondered if she had any notion of how arrogant and/or retarded her remarks made her sound. I can’t think of too many instances (none, actually) where a congressional leader has argued that the answer to our heavy dependence on foreign oil is to limit domestic oil production; or that we must instantly “convert” a $14 trillion-a-year economy from petroleum, coal and natural gas to windmills and solar panels. A child could point out the flaws and contradictions in such ideas.
Oil is the backbone of the American economy. It would take decades to convert it to another kind of energy – presuming that this could even be done with existing technology. Yet few Big Media reporters seemed inclined to tell the all-powerful Empress Nancy that the clothes she was wearing didn’t amount to a thing.
In the midst of the seemingly irresistible, media-hyped “golden child” presidential candidacy of Barak Obama, who was cruising serenely toward an historic win in the fall, the political fates have dealt Republicans a winning hand. Polls are turning in Mr. McCain’s favor. A USA Today poll of July 29 showed Mr. McCain leading Mr. Obama, 49% to 45%, among likely voters. “Experts” puzzle over why Mr. Obama got no “bounce” from his messianic European trip. Their reactions evoke Ralph Bellamy and Don Ameche in the comic film Trading Places, when the price of orange juice starts dropping: “Hey! That can’t be right! It’s going the wrong way…” But voters have evidently figured some things out.
In the case of Barak Obama and his Party of tone-deaf environmental devotees, there’s no mystery. Their chances in the fall are fading faster than snow in July. Americans want oil and they want relief from high prices. For months they have listened to Mrs. Pelosi and Harry Reid blame Big Oil in voices that sounded like the Great and Powerful Wizard of Oz. Now, it turns out, there’s only “that little man behind the curtain”. They’re the ones causing the high prices, and the voters can plainly see it.
Mrs. Pelosi cruised grandly into office 19 months ago, promising that Democrats would “do something” about high gas prices ($2.10 a gallon then). Well, she’s made good. She did something, all right. Who knew that she meant she would double them?
Americans are wise to the Democrats’ scam. When the “lights go on again” in the People’s House (as Miz P likes to call it), there’s going to be a whole lot of butt-kicking, as the People take back their House. Methinks the Pelosi-Reid show is over.
(With apologies to Ralph Burns and Charles Strouse)
We’d like to thank you Miz Pelosi,
For really showing us the way.
We’d like to thank you Miz Pelosi,
You made us what we are today…
They offered Harry Reid and Nancy,
We paid attention and we chose.
Not only did we pay attention,
We paid through the nose…
In ev'ry pot she said "a chicken,"
But Miz Pelosi, she forgot –
Not only don't we have the chicken,
We ain't got the pot!
We'd like to thank you, Madame Speaker,
For really showing us the way.
You dirty rat! you Bureaucrat!
You really made us pay todayyyy…
Come and get some gas, Nance!