If Democrats hoped that House Republicans would tire of their revolt on Capitol Hill during the recess, The Hill has bad news for them. The Oil Party has just gotten started, according to a memo sent from House Minority Leader John Boehner, and it won’t stop until Democrats arrive in Denver for their convention:
“Republicans will not rest until we have an honest, up-or-down vote on the American Energy Act,” Boehner wrote in the memo written by Republican leaders. “To that end, we request that you contact the Whip’s Office and indicate any time you may have available to come to Capitol in the coming weeks. We specifically request that you indicate your availability for any days during the next two weeks, August 11th through 22nd, as soon as possible.”
Republicans began their protest on Friday, as the House went into its August recess. Through a handful of members, Republicans have been able to continue rounds of speeches on the House floor ever since.
The plan now seems to be to continue taking to the House floor every weekday until at least the start of the Democratic Convention, which kicks off on Aug. 25.
The GOP has finally found a genuine issue that they can use to convince Americans to vote Republican in 2008. They needed something new to restore credibility as a party. Unfortunately, after the wild spending of the 2001-2006 period, the GOP lost that credibility on their fundamental core philosophy of smaller government and opposition to waste.
Energy policy gives Republicans a second chance, and it’s not hard to see how. Gas prices affect a wide range of consumer goods away from the pumps, notably produce and other groceries, and every family has felt the pinch. Sending vast amounts of American wealth overseas and discarding opportunities to create hundreds of thousands of good-paying American jobs right now resonates with working- and middle-class families almost as much as the price of gas, and the Republicans are on the right side of this issue — and have been for years.
John McCain needs to join this party ASAP. Preferably, he would fly to DC immediately and bring the media with him, as they have been more or less ignoring the revolt after its first chaotic day. He may choose to visit around the 21st or 22nd, timing his appearance to just before the start of the Democratic convention. In either case, McCain needs to show support and partnership with House Republicans looking for an honest debate and vote on the most pressing domestic issue facing American families — and not just for the sake of his campaign, but to press for a rational energy policy and energy security for the nation.