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McCain: Drilling Is the Cure for What Ails U.S.

The Gas Tax Holiday may have petered out, but John McCain still has a lot of petroleum-based populism left in the tank. His latest campaign ad, "Pump," primes the audience with a little wishful thinking.

"Gas prices -- $4, $5, no end in sight," a voice intones, "because some in Washington are still saying no to drilling in America. No to independence from foreign oil. Who can you thank for rising prices at the pump?" An image of Obama floats across the screen in response, as a crowd chants his name.

While it's easy to refute the "Drill Now!" argument, even on strictly economic terms, the There Will Be Blood contingent figures to be quite sizable this election season. Ersatz moderate David Brooks, for one, seems impressed by McCain's energy platform, which he praised in a column last week:

The high point of his campaign, so far, has been his energy policy, which is comprehensive and bold, but does not try to turn us into a nation of bicyclists. It does not view America’s energy-intense economy as a sign of sinfulness.

Sinfulness? Forget moral judgments. An honest policy assessment would recognize that a less "energy-intense" transportation infrastructure will go a long way toward reducing the economic pain of "rising prices at the pump."

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