The Dillard Doctrine

Urban Conservative Commentary on Politics & Life

Vote Here, Vote Now

Returned a little while ago from the Capitol, where I had the opportunity to sit in on the House Republicans’ “revolt” against their democratic leadership.

The story is as follows: Congressional Republicans have been trying to get a clean, up-or-down vote on an comprehensive energy bill (the American Energy Act). The purpose of the bill is “to bring down energy prices by increasing safe, domestic production, encouraging the development of alternative and renewable energy, and promoting conservation. ”

Sounds fair, right? Not just drilling for our own oil on our own territory, but also looking at sources of energy outside of fossil fuels. Not a bad idea. All the GOP wants is a vote: yes or no. And they’ve been asking for the better part of two months for it.

Well, the democratic leadership had no intention of giving them that vote, voting to adjourn for recess in August on a party line vote. Few days after that, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said that House Republicans would “have to use their imagination as to how they can get a vote and then they may get a vote.” (She’s now backed off this stance….somewhat)

So, for the last nine days, the GOP has been holding a revolt of sorts on the floor of the House to take their case directly to the people. Keep in mind, the case isn’t “drill here, drill now!” as some would suggest; they’re just looking on a vote on their legislation. And, in a rare move, the floor is open to the general public (call your representative before going, and they’ll escort you on the floor). In addition to the usual DC tourists, there was a group of Chief Petty Officers (Navy E-7s) and Chief Petty Officer selects from Naval District Washington in attendance.

So, after getting my escort from Rep. Thelma Drake’s office, I made it onto the floor around 11 this morning. Rep. Virginia Foxx (NC) was speaking, giving the background of what was going on to the tourists. The session (for lack of a better term) then opened with a prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance (complete with “under God!”). The floor was just about completely full, but there were no (visible) media or a floor report to record the events, as Speaker Pelosi wasn’t having that (hell, even the lights were dimmed).

Only stayed for about 30 minutes, but a notable quote:

Congress should not be on vacation while Americans don’t have a vacation from high energy prices.”  Rep. Mike Pence (IN)

Now, the obvious question must be asked: is this political posturing? Are the Republicans just doing this because they’re taking a beating nationwide in the polls? If so, it seems to be working: according to Rasmussen, nearly 2/3 of Americans now support offshore drilling, and 55% of those polled also believe in the GOP’s proposal to build more nuclear plants.

I’ve always held the opinion that we should drill the hell out of every possible oil reserve that we own-if only for the simple fact that just saying we’re going to do it will drive the cost of oil down, even though there won’t be any actual barrels of oil from said drilling for a few years. But at the same time, we need to look at other sources as well. Drilling is not the end-all/cure-all, but it’s a damned important piece of the puzzle.

But put even that aside: what’s up with our democracy when one person can hold up a vote on a bill that affects all Americans-regardless of party affiliation-just because they don’t like what it contains?

Give the GOP their vote. If the bill fails, so be it…but the American people don’t deserve to be held hostage to the political whims of a few.




Written by Coby Dillard

August 15, 2008 at 3:05 pm

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