Charles Krauthammer identifies the nub of the energy matter: the Democrats have no logical rationale for opposing drilling along with other measures. He writes:
This is bizarre. By any reasonable calculation of annual tire-inflation and tuneup savings, the Outer Continental Shelf holds nearly 100 times as much oil. As for oil shale, also under federal moratorium, after a thousand years of driving with Obama-inflated tires and Obama-tuned engines, we would still have saved only one-fifth the oil shale available in the United States. But forget the math. Why is this issue either/or? Who’s against properly inflated tires? Let’s start a national campaign, Cuban-style, with giant venceremos posters lining the highways. (“Inflate your tires. Victory or death!”) Why must there be a choice between encouraging conservation and increasing supply? The logical answer is obvious: Do both.
(I think the posters are a distinct possibility, by the way.) But Krauthammer is right that this is the real triumph of ideology over common sense. Thankfully for the American people, something trumps ideology. He concludes:
The problem for the Democrats is that the argument for “do everything” is not rocket science. It is common sense. Which is why House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, surveying the political rubble resulting from her insistence on not even permitting drilling to come to a floor vote, has quietly told her members that they can save their skins and vote for drilling when the preelection Congress convenes next month. Pelosi says she wants to save the planet. Apparently saving her speakership comes first.
After all, John McCain, Paris Hilton and the American people have all figured out that when you are paying $4 a gallon, more energy sources are better than fewer. And so Pelosi along with Barack Obama eventually will have to go along with the crowd.
But at some point one wonders whether a pattern of odd judgment (no thanks to a successful surge, no thanks to more energy sources) by Obama (and his Democratic cohorts) suggests an addiction to ideology and an aversion to real world problem-solving. If not a fetish for ideological purity, perhaps what is finally in evidence is a lack of real experience (private or public sector, executive or legislative) in resolving knotty issues. Or maybe it is a lack of courage in standing up to extremists in his own party. Whatever it may be, it does not bode well for his ability to wrestle with much tougher problems ( e.g. Iran, entitlement reform) which the next president will face.