Good politics – House Republicans continue their protest sit-in in the House. Unlike hippie sit-ins, it is neither intensely annoying nor will the area be trashed. And there’s video, clips of which should show up in campaign videos this fall.
Bad politics – The White House won’t ask Congress to hold a special session. They note that the President has no authority on the agenda for a special session and use that as an excuse not to do it at all.
Even if the White House is correct in stating that Democrats won’t bring up an energy bill, it’s extremely good politics for Republicans to hound Democrats on this. The President should have a prime-time press conference and explain the recent goings-on: how Nancy Pelosi and Democrats decided by a 213-212 vote to adjourn for 5 weeks rather than take up an energy bill, how House Republicans were mad at this, and how this means that gas prices will remain high because Democrats refuse to remove impediments to the creation of supply. Then, after that, the President ought to say that this is cowardice on the part of Democrats and then state that he is using his authority as President to call an emergency session of Congress and ask them to pass an energy bill which will help consumers.
There are three possibilities which could occur if this were to happen: Pelosi meets and quickly forces an adjournment; Pelosi meets and no energy bill is passed; Pelosi meets and an energy bill is passed. In the first two cases, House Republicans get to say that Nancy Pelosi is stalling and is hurting consumers, keeping this issue in the papers. In the third case, the bill House Republicans support will likely be passed, given the likelihood of a few center-right Democrats jumping over to it, so they can label this a Republican bill which passed over Nancy Pelosi’s best efforts and take credit for the win, a result which will also lower gas prices.
In short, House Republicans have rolled Nancy Pelosi (again) and are making her look like a fool. The White House, meanwhile, is letting her off the hook and defusing an issue that Republicans desperately need if they want to have any electoral success this year.