Instead of waving the white flag of defeat herself, Nancy Pelosi sent Steny Hoyer out to wave that flag on the drilling issue. Here’s what the Hill is reporting:

“[Republicans] will have the opportunity to offer their alternative, yes,” Hoyer said in response to a question about how the energy bill will be introduced. “We understand that their motion to recommit will be their Republican alternative.”

The move is a dramatic departure from Democrats’ pre-August recess strategy, in which they brought up each of their energy bills under suspension of the rules and, in doing so, avoided having any votes on Republican measures calling for offshore drilling. But by embracing this strategy, Democrats also failed to get the two-thirds majority necessary to pass the majority of their energy bills.

I’m still cautiously optimistic because Democrats might still slit their throats on this. I’m also wary that the House bill won’t get a hearing in the Senate. If that happens, vulnerable House Democrats will have essentially gotten a free pass to vote right in time for the election. That boat won’t float, though. These vulnerable Democrats didn’t vote for against the closed rule. They didn’t sign the discharge petition that would’ve allowed a vote on the American Energy Act.

Vulnerable Democrats shouldn’t get away with a free vote. Republican challengers should ask why they didn’t buck their party’s wayward leadership and fight for their overburdened consituents. If these Democrats were advocates for their constituents, they’d fight for them.

They didn’t fight for their constituents.

One party fought for the American people. That’s the Republican Party. That’s indisputable.

One party fought to jumpstart the economy by lowering gas prices. That’s the Republican Party. That’s indisputable.

One party sided with workers OTR truckers and family farmers by fighting for increased drilling. That’s the Republican Party. That’s indisputable.

Democrats only adopted a pro-drilling plan after they got criticized frequently after returning to their districts. Even then, their plans weren’t enough to actually significantly increase supplies, which is what’s needed to bring longterm price stability.

CNNMoney is reporting that things aren’t totally rosy with House Democrats:

Rep. John Peterson, (R-PA), who developed a bipartisan energy bill in July, said rank-and-file lawmakers were getting fed up. “There’s great consternation on the Democrat side,” Peterson said, noting that his colleagues across the aisle hadn’t yet been provided with details of an energy package. “Nancy Pelosi is close to a dictator.”

Hearing that Nancy Pelosi takes a dictatorial perspective to her responsibilities isn’t news. It’s like finding out that Bill Gates made money last week. If she wasn’t of a dictatorial mindset, Republicans would’ve had the opportunity to offer their amendments before Ms. Pelosi’s gavelling shut the House for their traditional August recess.

It isn’t surprising that they’re still working out the details of the bill either. The envirnutters in safe districts are probably raising a stink about opening up any part of the OCS. I’m betting that there’s some heated discussions between northeast liberals in safe seats and freshmen from states like Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas.

Those freshmen in Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania should be nervous. Ms. Pelosi isn’t afraid to lay down the law on these votes. If these freshmen don’t unite around the plan she endorses, they’ll incur Pelosi’s wrath. If they do unite around another non-energy energy bill, their constituents might be upset with them.

Let’s hope that the NRCC has ads ready to air the minute the votes are taken. If these freshmen vote for the AEA, the NRCC should ask why they didn’t fight for the AEA before the August recess. If they vote for Ms. Pelosi’s approved legislation instead of the AEA, the NRCC should ask why they’re voting against their constituents’ wishes.

Now isn’t the time to flip into bipartisanship mode. If the Democrats aren’t willing to make major concessions, Republicans should hold their feet to the fire through Election Day.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

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