WASHINGTON -- The other night when House Democrats appeared to reverse their long-standing ban on offshore oil drilling, the electorate was again hoodwinked. At least the Democratic leadership hoped the electorate was hoodwinked.
In August Speaker Nancy Pelosi was beginning to feel the heat from a citizenry angered by high energy prices, particularly high gasoline prices. Republicans were clamoring for an expansion in drilling. The voters agreed. Thus the Speaker relented and notified endangered House Democrats with fragile election margins that they could publicly endorse offshore drilling. Her fallback position was that, midst the clamor for drilling, she would simply not allow a drilling bill to come up for a vote on the House floor. Her environmental allies would be placated. Democrats uneasily holding on to seats in otherwise conservative districts would be placated. And the electorate would be duped.