There are major troubles that loom over the horizon for the Democrats. Gas prices have skyrocketed and at the most crucial of times the Dems have decided to go AWOL.
House Republicans are attempting to continue the debate, while Democrats are attempting to dilute the truth and suppress debate and intimidate the press.
Appropriately, Nancy Pelosi's hometown newspaper has identified her as a culprit of this offense:
"But Pelosi, who has opposed offshore drilling throughout her two decades in Congress, insists opening new areas to drilling won't lower gas prices in the short term. She believes a vote would only help the GOP blame Democrats for high gas prices." (SF Chronicle, 8/1/08)
Many Democrats would agree that Pelosi's decision was downright irresponsible. Even Chuck Schumer concurred with the Republicans that the Democrats slept on this issue and were forced to settle with a flimsy political strategy. Something that will most definitely work to their detriment:
"I would say it took us a few days to get our sea legs," Schumer said, conceding that the Democrats' energy message has been muddled. "We had many different voices here, but once we congealed around big oil and alternatives — bam!(CQ Politics, 7/31/08)
Conclusion: The relationship between drilling and energy is not an abstract one, but rather an issue that is easily understandable to the American public. And although many Democrats will try to convince you that they are strong advocates for domestic drilling, they still have decided to skip town instead of allowing a vote on this most imperative initiative. As a result, they will likely see many of their Republican opponents either widen their leads -- or gain new ground in the polls.