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Pelosi’s Politburo
Posted by: McQ on Monday, August 04, 2008

The prevaricating Pelosi showed up yesterday on George Stephanopolous's "This Week" and made a hash of it.

It is frustrating as can be to watch. Pelosi is just flat disengenuous when it comes to rational and valid reasons for the question of the day, "Why won't you let it come to a vote?"

Steffi asks it over and over again, and Pelosi avoids the ball better than any champion dodge ball player could ever hope to be able to do. Attempt one:
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, HOST: You've been getting a lot of heat for not allowing a straight up or down vote expanding drilling off the coasts of the United States. Why won't you permit a straight up or down vote?

NANCY PELOSI, SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: What we have presented are options that will really make a difference at the pump. Free our oil, Mr. President. We're sitting on 700 million barrels of oil. That would have an immediate effect in ten days. What our colleagues are talking about is something that won't have an effect for ten years and it will be 2 cents at the time. If they want to present something that's part of an energy package, we're talking about something. But to single shoot on something that won't work and mislead the American people as to thinking it's going to reduce the price at the pump, I'm just not going to be a part of it.
Of course all of Pelosi's attempts have been "single shoot" attempts. And what Republicans have tried to do is amend the bills presented by Democrats to include drilling as a part of the package. Or said another way, precisely the opposite of Pelosi's claim.

And an additional point or two here. Pelosi is recommending leaving us strategically defenseless in terms of petroleum in order to reduce prices for a month or so. We use a total of 20.7 million barrels a day. If we drained the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and used it exclusively it would last about 30 days. That's why it is a Strategic Reserve. The thinking behind that is it would provide us a cushion in which to line up additional oil supplies if we were ever cut off from this or that foreign supplier. Instead, Pelosi is pushing for us to have no cushion so she can reduce some of the heat on her and the untenable position she has placed herself in.

Attempt two:
STEPHANOPOULOS: Except it’s not just Republicans that are calling for this. Members of your own caucus say we must have a vote. Congressman Jason Altmire, let me show our viewers right now, says, “There is going to be a vote. September 30 will not come and go without a vote on the opening the Outer Continental Shelf. The message has been delivered. The issue can't be ignored any longer.” He says he speaks for a lot of Democrats. He's talked to the leadership and a vote must happen.

PELOSI: Maybe it will, as part of a larger energy package. Let's step back, call a halt and put this in perspective. What we have now is a failed energy policy by the Bush/Cheney, two oilmen in the White House. $4 a gallon gasoline at the pump. And what they're saying is let's have more of the same. Let's have more of big oil making, record profits, historic profits. You see the quarterly reports that just came out, who want to be subsidized who don't really want to compete. Let them use the subsidies to drill oil in protected areas. Instead we're saying, free the oil. Use it, don't lose it. There's 68 million acres in lower 48 and 20 million more acres in Alaska where they're permitted where they could drill anytime. This is a diversionary tactic from failed energy policies.
This is pure, unadulterated and ignorant populist rhetoric. Talking points. She keeps going back to a "larger energy package" and yet when Democrats passed the last energy bill out of Congress, no drilling was included. So that is pure smoke.

The oilman gambit is pure smoke as well. It may impress the economically illiterate, but it isn't going to convince anyone with an ounce of sense.

Lastly, the 68 million she continues to whine about is and always has been under the "use it or lose it" law. Oil companies have a certain length of time to explore and develop leases. If they don't do so within that time frame, it reverts to exclusive government control and they lose the lease price as well as the yearly rent they pay.

Attempt three:
STEPHANOPOULOS: But if you feel you have the better arguments, why not give a straight up or down vote for drilling?

PELOSI: Because the misrepresentation is being made that this is going to reduce the price at the pump. This is again a decoy, it’s not a solution.
This falls under "Nancy knows best". The fact is, we know that for the foreseeable future, oil and gas are going to be in the neighborhood of 80% of the total energy picture. This isn't just about "prices at the pump" right now, as Pelosi keeps insisting. It is about ensuring we have all th energy we require in the future. But to do that, we need to start now, and every day we delay it is another day in which prices are guaranteed to stay higher at the pump and our future remains in doubt as well.

Attempt four:
STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, if you’re right, why not let it be debated out and have the vote?

PELOSI: We have a debate every single day on this subject. What you saw in the Congress this week was the war dance of the hand maidens of the oil companies. That's what you saw on the Republican side of the aisle. Democrats and Republicans are not right there on party lines on this issue. There are regional concerns, as well as some people concerned about what this means back home for them. But we have a planet to save. We have an economy to grow. And we can do that if we keep our balance in all of this and not just say but for drilling in unprotected and these protected areas offshore, we would have lower gas prices.
A planet to save? Ms. Short-sighted "pump the SPR dry" is suddenly worried about the planet? And if we have an economy to grow, would drilling help in that regard by providing jobs and revenue?

Well, yeah, but then again, there's a planet to save. Lord save me from the zealots.

Attempt five:
STEPHANOPOULOS: So what exactly are you trying to say? You say you might allow a vote as part of a comprehensive package, but you won’t allow a vote on —

PELOSI: We have put on the floor. Free our oil. Strong bipartisan support for that. Use it, don't lose it. Strong bipartisan support for that. End undue speculation, strong bipartisan support for that. We've talked about these things. Invest in renewable energy resources so that we can increase the supply of energy for our country. Strong bipartisan support for that.
And we begin to see her repeat herself. What she won't admit with that litany is that other than herself, there's strong bipartisan support for drilling too.

Attempt six:
STEPHANOPOULOS: Yet you brought those measures to the floor in a way under the suspension of the rules so that it couldn't be amended with a drilling proposal.

PELOSI: Well, we built consensus and have a strong bipartisan. This is what’s going to make a difference to reduce the dependence on foreign oil, to stop our dependence on fossil fuels in our own country. To increase the supply of energy immediately to reduce the price at the pump to protect the consumer. So this is a policy matter. This is very serious policy matter. It's not to use a tactic of one — one tactic in order to undermine a comprehensive energy package to reduce our dependence on foreign oil which is a national security issue. To reduce our dependence on fossil fuels in our own country. Now, will we be talking about natural gas that's cheaper, better for the environment —
We're back to "Nancy knows best" and a completely distorted characterization of the reasons to drill. It has gone from reducing our dependence on foreign oil to reducing our dependence on fossil fuel. That after previously talking about drilling being a possibility in an overall energy package. Her position literally changes from minute to minute.

Attempt seven:
STEPHANOPOULOS: But why not allow votes on all that? When you came in as Speaker you promised in your commitment book "A New Direction for America," let me show our viewers, you said that “Bills should generally come to the floor under a procedure that allows open, full, fair debate consisting of full amendment process that grants the Minority the right to offer its alternatives.” If they want to offer a drilling proposal, why can't they have a vote?

PELOSI: They'll have to use their imagination as to how they can get a vote and then they may get a vote. What I am trying to, we have serious policy issues in our country. The President of the United States has presented this but for this our economy would be booming. But for this, gas would be cheaper at the pump. It's simply not true. Even the President himself in his statement yesterday and before then has said, there is no quick fix for this by drilling.
Shorter version: "I lied and they're going to have to trick me to get a vote".

Attempt eight:
STEPHANOPOULOS: I want to move on to other issues. Just to be clear, you are saying you will not allow a single up or down vote on drilling. But you will allow a vote on a package that includes drilling?

PELOSI: No, what I'm saying to you is, as far as I'm concerned, unless there is something that — you never say never to anything. You know, people have their parliamentary options available to them. But from my standpoint, my flagship issue as Speaker of the House and 110th Congress has been to reduce our dependence on foreign oil and reverse global warming. I'm not giving the gavel — I'm not giving a gavel away to a tactic that will do neither of those things. That supports big oil at the cost and expense of the consumer.
Shorter version: "I'm lying again when I deny I won't allow a vote and then tell you why I won't allow a vote."

Attempt nine:
STEPHANOPOULOS: So you’re not going to permit a vote, you may get beat, but you're not going to permit a vote on your own?

PELOSI: Again, we take this one step at a time. But while we're spending all of this time on a parliamentary tactic when nothing less is at stake than the planet, the air we breathe, our children breathe.
Translation: "Uh, yes, that's right - after all, this is not only for the planet but - say it with me - for the children".

Attempt ten:
STEPHANOPOULOS: But that’s what I don’t understand. If you could get votes on everything else that you care about which you say there is strong bipartisan support, why not allow a vote on the drilling as well?

PELOSI: Because the President will not allow any of these other things to go forth. Why are we not saying to the President, why don't you release oil from the SPR in ten days to have the price at the pump go down? Why are you opposed to any undue speculation in the oil markets? Why do you not insist that people who have leases on our land with permits ready to go use those? The oil companies don't want competition. And what we would do by saying, go ahead, give them the subsidies. Allow them to drill in areas that are protected now, instead of where they're allowed to drill, is to diminish all of the opportunity that we have for an electricity standard for our country. Where we set out standards that makes the competition for renewable energy resources better. Which says to the private sector, invest here because there is a standard that they have to honor. If you just say it's drill, drill, drill, drill and we're going to subsidize it, what is the motivation for the private sector to come in and say we're going to support these renewable energies, wind, solar, biofuels. Plug-in cars. Natural gas and other alternatives.
Because the President won't let "these things" go forward?

Incredible. Speaking of private sector efforts in renewable energies, I wonder if she even has a hint that the US oil and natural gas industries have invested almost $100 billion between 2000 and 2005 in emerging energy technologies, including $12 billion in non-hydrocarbons and $42 billion in greenhouse gas emission mitigation technologies from 2000 to 2006?

Nah ... they're just the bad guys in this little faux morality propaganda play that Pelosi is running. Speaking of energy, a friend who saw this little play remarked, "if brainpower was energy, Pelosi couldn't light a 3 watt bulb".

After reading through this, I think he's being generous.
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Can the courts declare someone legally stupid?

Written By: shark
URL: http://
Stupid, perhaps... but not THAT disconnected.

She’s got better access to the numbers than any of us, and she knows full well the numbers are against her in the congress... Else she’d not be playing this stonewall act the way she is... and in the general public, as well. She knows that she’ll lose if this gets to a vote.

Hell, half her own party wants to bypass the environuts and drill... saving a massive change of position, this has got to hurt the Democrats chances like none other, particularly in the swing states.... Indeed, I can see the Republicans looking at this as a Godsent issue for them.

Why would she risk such? Only thing I can think of is we’re being set up for something, but what?

I see Obama’s supposedly bringing out his ’energy plan’ next week. Is there a link there?

Written By: Bithead
I dunno Bit....I don’t see any rope-a-dope here. All I see is a dope on the ropes.

Unless Sen. Jesus can turn water into oil, he’s going to anger someone. Either he’ll anger the majority of the public who wants to drill, or he’ll anger his nutroot lackeys who oppose drilling.

Written By: shark
URL: http://
Ya have to understand the thought processes which say -

We can’t drill, because it will take 10 years to get the oil anyway

and never ponder the question -
How long will it take to bring your alternate fuel plans on line to replace the use of oil - you know, solar, wind, and the other technologies that aren’t good substitutes yet.

How many years to bring them online...hrrmmmpppfff hrrrrmmmpppffff move along boy, you bother me.

I guess in the meantime we’re expected to hunker down in our mud huts and wait patiently while San Fran Nan saves the planet.

then again, it’s the same plan they had in 2006 - you know, the "we have a plan" plan.
Written By: looker
URL: http://
There’s more than one game in play here. First, as I understand it, the moritorium on offshore drilling expires in less than a month. Congress has to bring it to the floor and expressly extend the moritorium or it drops. this only applies to some offshore drilling areas and does not affect ANWR or Shale Oil.

Second, Pelosi is desperatley trying to cool this issue before it derails their hopes for a Democratic sweep in the fall. Before this issue came forward, the Dems were in play to add 30+ seats in the house and could very well take a 60+ majority in the Senate, giving an Obama Presidency at least a two year free pass on any and all progressive legislative ventures they may want to put on the table, including filling any Supreme Court seat with virtually anyone, hard core left wing or not. Even if there was a national reaction to a liberal administration crica 1994 they would have stolen at least the court for their agenda for a generation. She needs to stall for time and hope some other issue, like an October surprise, comes forward to take this isssue and the heat off the Dems.

Third, she is desperately trying to maintain her control of the House. Should she lose that control it is not beyond the realm of possibility that some challenger with the next Congress could take the Speaker’s gavel away from her.

So far I agree with Shark’s "All I see is a dope on the ropes."
Written By: SShiell
URL: http://
...and that, boys and girls, is how you become Speaker Of Da House. It’s by deflection, dissembling and wriggling out of the weak, amateur holds the media flunkies throw your way.
Written By: CR
URL: http://
What Pelosi is most interested in accomplishing is delaying the vote until after the general election. She knows her party will lose on this issue, and she knows the nutroots will be p_ssed. She also knows the media is in her parties corner, and with Messiah’s anointment their(Democrats) idiotic rhetoric will never be critically re-visited.

And speaking of idiotic, Speaker Pelosi thinks that the release of the SPR, a finite reserve (and very small one at that) will affect the global cost of oil, but our commitment to release numerous non-finite known sources of oil will have no affect on that same global market.
Written By: bains
URL: http://
Good G*d People she explained..."It’s for the CHILDREN, and the air they breathe." That’s all that needs be said....SHEESH
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Could she be gambling on this issue just going away? I mean I’m so desensitized to high gas prices right now, I saw $4.21 the other day here in CA and actually remarked to myself, "Gas is getting cheap"!! Oil prices are generally falling, driving season is about over, and heating costs really only affect the cold half of the country.

Don’t get me wrong, I want to Drill Here, Drill Now more than anyone, but can this fevor be sustained through to the general? I think San Fran Nan has about a 50/50 shot on riding this out and those are better odds than the NY Giants winning last years Superbowl.
Written By: Eric Churchill
URL: http://
I thought the filibuster was only available in the Senate.
Written By: vnjagvet
That’s good for comment this has got to hurt the Democrats chances like none other,particularly in the swing states.Reporters were asked to leave the speaker’s lobby but the remaining conservatives escorted the press one by one to a press gallery directly above it. When Capitol Police closed the tourist galleries, the House members invited the visitors down to the chamber floor.


Massachusetts Treatment Centers
Written By: Lincon
URL: http://
Nan is falling on the sword, taking it for the team. Hope it backfires:
Written By: Missy
URL: http://
Say what ??
Democratic leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives have agreed to allow a vote next month on a bill that would end local handgun control in the District, making it easier for D.C. residents to acquire pistols, including semiautomatics, while eliminating the strict handgun-storage requirements imposed by the city.
The measure, filed Thursday by several conservative Democrats, adds more fuel to the debate over gun control in the nation’s capital. After a landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision June 26 ended the city’s 32-year-old handgun ban, the District replaced the ban with strict handgun limits, which critics say violate the high court’s ruling.
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
Hmmm. According to The Politico, I’ve got to start trusting my instincts on this stuff a little more:
Found in my morning rounds: this article in The Politico:
California Democrat Nancy Pelosi may be trying to save the planet — but the rank and file in her party increasingly are just trying to save their political hides when it comes to gas prices as Republicans apply more and more rhetorical muscle.

But what looks like intraparty tension on the surface is part of an intentional strategy in which Pelosi takes the heat on energy policy, while behind the scenes she’s encouraging vulnerable Democrats to express their independence if it helps them politically, according to Democratic aides on and off Capitol Hill.

Pelosi’s gambit rests on one big assumption: that Democrats will own Washington after the election and will be able to craft a sweeping energy policy that is heavy on conservation and fuel alternatives while allowing for some new oil drilling. Democrats see no need to make major concessions on energy policy with a party poised to lose seats in both chambers in just three months — even if recess-averse Republicans continue to pound away on the issue.
Politico ssuggests Senate Democrats are playing the same game as Pelosi:
Reid, like Pelosi, is expecting to have a much stronger governing majority in the Senate next year, so he has little incentive to give in to Republicans on energy policy as long as he thinks it won’t hurt Democrats.
So I was right. We’re being played for saps, here.
Written By: Bithead
It’s a deadly game for her Bit. Because this issue is a winner for the GOP (and that includes McCain) The longer this drags out, the worse the Dems as a whole will look regardless of which vulnerable ones act like they care.

The smart move would be to make this go away ASAP.

Of course, no lefty can ever again argue that the Dems care about the country...
Written By: shark
URL: http://
It’s a deadly game for her Bit.
Oh, no question. But it does show the high stakes involved, here, and how much they’re willing to cost us in keeping their power.
Of course, no lefty can ever again argue that the Dems care about the country...
Which has been my point, all along.
Written By: Bithead
Bithead, the Pelosi camp is now denying this. Just curious, why? First it’s leaked that it’s really an inside scheme, ahem, they were really in control of the issue all the time, had the Pubs in a tizzy, now comes a denial. They really don’t know what they are doing, do they?

Hopefully their instincts are telling them that their little fists are not going to be able to hold on to that long sought power. Thoughts of controlling the House, Senate and the WH seem to be overwhelming their last weak thread of common sense.

Been a lurker for a long time, respectfully curious of what your opinion might be. Great bunch posting here, most, anyway.
Written By: Missy
URL: http://
Bithead, the Pelosi camp is now denying this. Just curious, why? First it’s leaked that it’s really an inside scheme, ahem, they were really in control of the issue all the time, had the Pubs in a tizzy, now comes a denial. They really don’t know what they are doing, do they?
I dunno, Missy. I’ve seen the denial you’re talking about, and frankly, I refuse to take it at face value, because it would leave only a few other options open to her as reasoning for her actions. See, I make the rather bold assumption that one doesn’t rise to that level of politics without having a commensurate level of political acumen. PAW, I’m unconvinced one can be quite so stupid and still get to where she is, much less stay there. Since this assumption would seem to knock stupidity or at least total ineptitude off the list of possible reasons behind her actions, there must be some logical reasoning in there somewhere.

I’m inclined to think that she’s about extending the confusion out past the planned end of the congressional moratorium on drilling on the OCS.... for no reason I can point to other than the idea that she’s gonna need a miracle to get that moratorium extension passed... half her own party wants it dumped... and she isn’t going to be able to maintain this nonsense much longer than a couple weeks, anyway. Bains makes a great point here as well.

I still hold the concept of her trying to give Democrat congresscritters in troubled districts cover to be valid, too,(Her denials not withstanding... Gee, I guess I’m saying she’s lying here... big shock...) though I wonder how far that’s gonna fly in the individual districts. Joe Congressman, Democrat may well support drilling over the objections of the Democrat leadership, but I think most votes smart enough to understand that the leadership generally wins the day on these things... and the only way to get drilling going is to make sure the current leadership isn’t the leadership anymore... and the only way they can affect that is by voting against the current Democrat officeholder.
Thoughts of controlling the House, Senate and the WH seem to be overwhelming their last weak thread of common sense.
It’s been their total focus for the last eight years, Missy... to the point of actively working for our damage here at home and our defeat in Iraq. Once that’s seen, I figure there to be very little they won’t do to get that power.

Written By: Bithead

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