There seems to be some reason to think that Democrats may be starting to see the light on offshore oil drilling:
A top U.S. Democratic senator said in a newspaper interview published Wednesday that he would consider supporting opening up new areas for offshore oil and gas drilling.
"I'm open to drilling and responsible production," Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin told The Wall Street Journal, adding that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid could also support the move.
It's great that the Democrats are beginning to realize that their previous strategy of blocking offshore drilling was growing increasingly untenable with gasoline exceeding $4.00 a gallon at the pump, but I still have a couple of questions for them:
1. If their original opposition had been predicated on a desire to maintain the natural beauty of our coasts I would have thought them mistaken, but I would have empathized with their concern. However, the reason we heard from many Democrats (though I don't know if Durbin and Reid themselves ever specifically said this) was that even if we drilled today it would be years before the oil reached the market and anyway there wouldn't be enough of it to make a significant difference in the price. Now if this was really the basis for their opposition to drilling before why would they now change their view? Have the facts changed or were they being less than sincere before citizen outrage concentrated their minds?
2. Where does this put Barack Obama who opposes drilling and consequently now risks appearing to be out of step on this issue not only with most of America but also with his own party? Can he afford to switch yet another previously held position? Does he remain steadfastly opposed to drilling and suffer the slings and arrows of voter disenchantment? The more Democrats warm to tapping domestic reserves the more unsustainable becomes his opposition to it, and yet he can't change his mind without reinforcing his self-inflicted image as a complete political opportunist. Obama is going to find himself between a very hard rock and a very rocky hard place on this one.RLC