I was going to lead with something about McCain wanting to lift the moratorium on offshore drilling — duly qualified, of course, with conservationist panders about leaving the final decision up to the states, keeping ANWR off-limits, etc etc — but this is bigger news, isn’t it?

Suddenly that infamous Maxine Waters clip seems less funny than ominous. Great Society II fever — catch it:

A Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 29% of voters favor nationalizing the oil industry. Just 47% are opposed and 24% are not sure.

The survey found that a plurality of Democrats (37%) believe the oil industry should be nationalized. Just 32% of voters in Barack Obama’s party disagree with that approach. Republicans oppose nationalizing the oil industry by a 66% to 16% margin. Unaffiliated voters are opposed by a 47% to 33% margin…

Data released yesterday showed that Americans believe developing new energy sources is the best long-term solution to the nation’s energy problem. Forty-seven percent (47%) said private companies were more likely to solve the nation’s energy problem than government research programs. But, at the same time, only 52% said companies should be allowed to keep the profits from the discovery of any alternative fuel sources.

MM’s complaining about the windfall profits tax but she doesn’t know the half of it, eh? Don’t worry, boss: Even with a Democratic president and Congress, greed and influence peddling will ensure a strong hand for oil lobbyists to deter the worst Chavista outcome. As for offshore drilling, Maverick has the public on his side but that won’t stop Obama from whining that partial solutions aren’t worth pursuing because, hey, they’re only partial. In that sense, he’s like his own number-one fan, setting up a false dichotomy between drilling and developing alternative fuels to give himself room to demagogue McCain. Read McCain’s speech from December to the Center for Hydrogen Research to see how false that dichotomy is.

Here’s his new ad, coincidentally released just prior to the wave of environmentalist heart-ache his speech on drilling’s sure to unleash. See if any lines from the narration stand out to you.

Update: My, Maverick sure has taken a turn on this issue.

Sen. John McCain criticized Barack Obama’s call for a windfall profits tax on the oil industry, predicting it would worsen America’s dependence on foreign energy supplies.

“If that plan sounds familiar, it’s because that was President Carter’s big idea, too. …I’m all for recycling, but it’s better applied to paper and plastic than to the failed policies of the 1970s,” the Republican presidential contender said in excerpts of a speech planned for Tuesday evening…

He also called for greater use of nuclear power as well as for alternative energy sources and greater conservation measures.

Belated exit question: How can he criticize Obama on this point with a straight face? May 14:

Update: A reader e-mails to say that the video above is from May 6, not May 14. My mistake.