Monday, August 11, 2008

Gang of 5

Why couldn't the Senate take 5 weeks of vacation?

WSJ's Kimberley A. Strassel had the phones ringing at US Senate offices on Friday after her article Republican Energy Fumble hit daylight. Rush Limbaugh started with her article, and by the end of his show he had one of the Senators calling his show trying to explain this failure in Republican leadership wasn't a failure in Republican leadership. Read here.

In short, five Republican senators joined five Democrats in a "bipartisan" energy agreement last week, an agreement that Strassel says "The Sierra Club couldn't have penned it better". An act that runs counter to the great efforts by 30-some House Republicans working in the dark to bring us more US oil, now.

That's because the plan is a Democratic giveaway. New production on offshore federal lands is left to state legislatures, and then in only four coastal states. The regulatory hurdles are huge. And the bill bars drilling within 50 miles of the coast -- putting off limits some of the most productive areas. Alaska's oil-rich Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is still a no-go.
Not one of the five Republicans in the Gang is facing a tough election this year. That's the sort of security that leads to bad decisions. And theirs is the sort of thinking that could leave Republicans in a permanent minority.

THIS is why, when asked if I'm a Republican, that I say "no, I'm a conservative". This isn't a Gang of 10 bipartisan agreement. It is a Gang of 5 surrender of the one of the best political issues since Hillary Care in 94. As Rush explained to Saxby Chambliss, some in congress live to compromise and reach agreements, and others are there to defeat the Democrats.

The Gang of 5 (pictured above): Johnny Isakson, Saxby Chambliss, Bob Corker, John Thune, and Lindsey Graham.

U/T: Kim

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