Obama’s kinder, gentler “Drill, baby, drill” is looking very short-sighted. We can only hope he has learned that when you use your party loyalists as foils and adopt a center-right compromise, so that you can claim to have boldly discarded the “the tired debates between right and left”, that there is a potential pitfall: your party loyalists might actually be correct on the merits. Consider oil drilling (boldface mine):
UPDATE via the Wonk Room: Repeating a GOP/Oil industry sounding talking point, earlier this month the President said:
It turns out, by the way, that oil rigs today generally don’t cause spills. They are technologically very advanced.
It turns out, by the way, they do…
So, last month, Obama offered a great compromise on energy. He was going to allow coastal drilling, because he going to get beyond the “tired debates” over the issue. As John asked yesterday: Now who is looking tired? Now who is backtracking? This morning, David Axelrod said that there will be no drilling until there is “an adequate review.”
…This spill threatens Obama’s new policy of drilling, because “all he said” was that he’s going to allow it. Obama owns it now. Imagine how much we’d be mocking Palin and the GOPers over their “drill, baby, drill” agenda if Obama hadn’t adopted it. So, that quest for bipartisanship and the need to please conservative Democrats is really paying off.
Someday Democratic ‘leaders’ are going to learn that compromises resulting from a belief that compromise is itself a goal are always political liabilities. And someday Democratic ‘leaders’ are going to learn that sometimes you have to be willing to lose on a particular issue in the short term, so you can gain on that issue in the long term.
And, of course, as a Jew, tradition teaches me that someday the Messiah will return. I think these three somedays will happen in my lifetime with roughly the same likelihood.