With gasoline prices climbing toward $5 a gallon faster than a cat going up a tree while being chased by a pack of hellhounds, it’s become difficult for even the most obtuse politicians to ignore the clamor from the American public. “Drill, Baby, Drill” is fast becoming the “Don’t Tread on Me” of our day. Even Bill Clinton agrees that it makes no sense for our vast resources to lie untapped right now.

Yet there are at least a couple Democrats who are holding onto their obtuseness with an unbreakable grip. Ward Smythe, writing at the Bearing Drift blog, reprinted an e-mail he got from Virginia Senator Mark Warner on the matter:

I’ve heard from many of you about the skyrocketing gas prices and I understand the strain that these dramatic increases are placing on family budgets.

Finding the lowest gas prices in your area and researching alternative ways of reducing your fuel consumption can help ease the burden of these cost increases.

[…]

I hope these resources help you reduce your fuel costs and drive in a smarter, more wallet-friendly manner. If you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact my office.

What followed were a couple links to websites where you can find the least expensive gas in your area and tips on how to get better gas mileage. He spent precious few characters on how he intended to end the relentless climb of gasoline prices nor did he bother to explain how he might put a few more bucks in Mr. Smythe’s pocket by prying the government’s strangling hands from around the neck of the economy.

If that was the whole story, it would be bad enough. I can’t imagine how much arrogance it would take to send out an unsolicited e-mail to constituents that says, basically, “Yeah, gas is expensive. Suck it up.”. But there’s more.

On a whim I decided to run part of Warner’s e-mail through Google to see what might come up. Guess what I found?

I’ve heard from many of you about the skyrocketing gas prices over the past few months and I understand the strain that these dramatic increases can place on your family budgets.  Finding the lowest gas prices in your area and researching alternative ways of reducing your fuel consumption can ease the burden of these drastic cost increases.

[…]

I hope these resources help you reduce your fuel costs and drive in a smarter, more wallet-friendly manner. If you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact my office.

Does that look familiar? It comes from the website of Corrine Brown, Democratic Representative from Florida’s 3rd District (which includes the city of Jacksonville as well as a chunk of the state bounded by Gainesville and Orlando). Her advice differs from Warners in only one detail — she recommends we buy a more fuel-efficient car instead of finding a cheaper gas station. Otherwise, the two messages are identical.

I can’t believe that Warner and Brown came up with the same talking points on their own. I’m willing to bet that there is a talking point memorandum floating around Capitol Hill even now from someone inside the Democratic Party and I’d be very interested to see if anyone else has received this e-mail from their member of Congress.

Gas prices in both Virginia ($3.81/gallon) and Florida ($3.86/gallon)  have gone up about 30 cents in the past month and a dollar in the past year. Nationally, the average price for a gallon of gas is $3.91, up from $2.88 a year ago and $2.04 in April 2009. In the face of those increases, Democrats have steadfastly resisted all efforts to drill for oil in the United States. The President, who is so opposed to domestic production that he defied a judge’s order and reinstated his Gulf drilling ban, ponied up $2 billion taxpayer dollars in 2009 to encourage Brazil to drill more so that we can become its “best customer”. Neither Warner nor Brown serve their constituents well with a glib e-mail or web page. They need to reject the talking points they’ve apparently been given and get behind the rest of America.

Heck, if they really want a talking point, I’ll suggest one: Drill Here; Drill Now.

(via @the_zarf on Twitter)