Well, I guess we're all pretty relieved we didn't drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge back in 2002. What a disaster that would have been.
The vote on ANWR was almost entirely along partisan lines, with all Republicans, except a handful of "moderates," voting for drilling, and all Democrats, except a handful of sane Democrats like Zell Miller, voting against drilling.
John McCain opposed drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge because he polled soccer moms and found out they were against drilling. They thought it sounded too much like going to the dentist. McCain wanted to ensure that he remained beloved by the two pillars of his base: "centrists" and New York Times reporters.
Even Sen. Chuck Hagel voted for drilling in ANWR. But John McCain, "our" candidate, voted against it.
I guess we're beginning to see the problem of basing a political platform on the passing fancies of "centrists." These are people who have no opinions because they know nothing about national issues. They're the ones who check the "not sure/no opinion" box on polls regarding the legalization of cannibalism.
You can't blame them: They're not being paid to know something about national issues. Those people we call "senators" and "representatives."
But now, astronomical gas prices have forced even soccer moms to spend 10 minutes looking at a problem that their leaders were supposed to be thinking about for years. And the soccer moms are saying: Drill! Drill! Drill! Bobby, come down off of there! Stop hitting your sister! Where was I? Oh, yeah ... Drill! Drill! Drill!
Consequently, McCain recently switched his position to go along with the centrists. See, that's the downside of having chosen all your political positions by polling centrists: The moment they acquire any knowledge, they'll realize you're an idiot.
It's always the same argument. Year after year, the "moderate Republicans" so respected at The New York Times harangue us to dump the Christians, the conservatives, the Swift Boat Veterans, the "right-wing extremists," the gun-and-God clingers and the fanatical pro-lifers from our party so we can repel every American who voted for Ronald Reagan in order to win the votes of people like Christine Todd Whitman.
Yes, by all means let's clear out all that deadwood and pave the way for a 49-state landslide! (For the Democrats.)