If Offshore Drilling is Banned, Veto the CR, Mr. President

Newt Gingrich tapped the mood of the country when he launched his Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less movement under his “American Solutions” umbrella.  In short order, he had more than a million signatures on an online petition.  Through the August recess, Republicans and a few stealthy Democrats kept the House of Representatives’ doors open and thousands of people came in off the street every day to hear the message of Drill Here, Drill Now.  John McCain has adopted an “all of the above” strategy including offshore drilling.  So where is the President?

A couple of months ago, when gas first hovered above $4 a gallon, President Bush said he would “turn his key” and lift the executive order banning offshore drilling for oil if the Congress would lift its ban.  That caused an immediate drop in prices as well as the question, “why wait to turn your key?” After it was apparent that the Democrat leadership wasn’t going to act, he lifted the executive order and then called on Congress to lift its ban.  

The Congressional ban on offshore drilling expires on September 30.  If I were the federal government, I would do what Rep. Roy Blount (R-Mo) suggested and have the feds begin handing out permits for offshore drilling on October 1 and see what Congressional Democrats do.  Hanging over all of this is the Continuing Resolution (CR) to keep the government operating since the Democrats have failed in passing a budget this year.  So what will the President do when presented with an omnibus CR with an extension of the ban on offshore drilling included in it?  The truth is, we don’t know.

For God’s sake, Mr. President, stand up for the American people and veto any CR with an offshore drilling ban in it even if it means you have to shut the government down for a few days.  You have absolutely nothing to lose and everything to gain, especially an important a victory for the American people. Take a stand, be a Texan and open up the “all of the above” opportunities for (we hope to be) President John McCain.  You and you alone can put this issue on the right foot going into the election and though it may cost you a little in popularity (among people who don’t like you already, and at a time when your polls are so low you shouldn’t worry about it) it will be the right thing for the American people.   This is your Hiroshima and you need to have the guts of Harry Truman to do the right thing.  Energy security, including maximizing oil production, is as important as beating back dictators.

I was a late comer to the George W. Bush parade.  I supported Sen. John McCain early in 2000 but after McCain got out of the race I supported the nominee — twice.  I don’t regret my votes for George W. Bush as I would not have ever supported Al Gore or John Kerry.  They were elitist, Ivy League liberals masquerading as  an every man — much like Barack Obama–but that’s another story for another day.

It hasn’t been all bad with President Bush.  We wanted a president who did what he believed was right even if it wasn’t popular and we got that.  We have not been hit since 9/11/2001 on our soil and that is a big accomplishment because none of us who are honest believed on that day such a thing was possible.  He’s made mistakes in waging the war but all in all we are winning against the terrorists and he prevented the economy from going into a recession after 9/11/2001.  

However, he’s been a big government Republican and he used his political capital on the wrong issues. He’s been wrong on the Prescription Drug Plan, wrong in not pursuing the reform of Social Security and Medicare, wrong on his view of the strength of the dollar or lack of it, wrong on immigration reform and wrong on the lack of pursuing a real energy policy… And as if it couldn’t get worse, the offshore drilling ban is about to expire and the President hasn’t taken a stand on what he will do.

This, of all issues, the President should get.  On September 12, 2001, we should have closed the borders until we figured out how our immigration system was used against us to attack our homeland and we should have begun drilling everywhere in America including my back yard to become energy independent.  Instead, we were told to go shopping.  I feel as if I am waking up from a bad dream, and the bad dream is the president capitulating to the Democrats and signing the CR with an extension of the offshore drilling ban in it.

Mr. President….Veto any attempt to extend the offshore drilling ban even if it means shutting down the government and communicate to the American people every day why you are doing this. You have nothing to lose, it’s the right thing to do. The American people and the next president — John McCain — will thank you for it.