You're holding the knife wrong, Senator Reid.

OK, that’s the part that’s supposed to point outwards. Generally, the idea is to stick the sharp bit in your opponents.

Op-pon-ents. O… P… P… What? No, your opponents. Not Mitch McConnell’s:

Reid plan splits Dems By Alexander Bolton

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has split the Democratic front opposed to drilling with a plan that would open new areas for exploration.

Reid’s proposal was meant to insulate Senate Democratic candidates from public anger over gas prices. Instead, it has created a divide with liberal colleagues and drawn fire from senior House Democrats.

A group of influential Senate and House Democrats has sided with environmental groups against Reid to call exploration in new areas unnecessary.

(H/T Instapundit)As to the actual merits of Reid/Bingaman… doesn’t really matter, does it? The GOP wants more drilling, and we’re on the sweet side of 67% on this issue: the progressives want less, and they’re mostly perfectly safe (particularly the House members). Or, as the Hill went on to note:

Votes against expanded drilling would open Democrats to accusations that they had blocked efforts to lower record gas prices. Votes for Republican amendments to encourage more drilling, however, would anger environmental activists.

With this kind of Left-and-Right opposition – and before you start whining about Republican obstructionism, please note that if we think that we can get the whole pie (which we think we can, or maybe three-quarters of it), and we think that this is actually good for the country in the long term (which we do), and if we’re happy to give a little payback to some of the most callous cynics who have ever sat in Congress (which we are. Oh, my, yes, we are), then there’s no reason at all for us to care about whether you’re unhappy about this – Reid/Bingaman will have to be amended, one way or the other. Either it takes away the stuff that offends Reid’s fellow-Democrats (which will make it useless as a shield), or it will become a bill that suits us (and we will make sure that the GOP base will hear about this victory*). And if it doesn’t pass, the one that does will be one that we like.

If this sounds a lot like the way FISA went down, there’s a reason for that.

So, Reid is a devil of a pickle, here: and it isn’t helped by the fact that it’s an election year, and all those people behind Nancy Pelosi{*} are going to be very, very upset if the Senate “Majority” Leader forces Senator Obama to actually take a stand on increased drilling via a vote. Particularly since the junior Senator from Illinois habitually folds when dealing with an issue that polls this dramatically: push comes to shove, Obama will be out there in the Gulf of Mexico with a shovel and a snorkel if that will give him a few more swing state votes. In other words: if you’re looking for a good solution to this mess, well, if you find it, be sure to let Harry Reid know. He’d like to hear one.

Moe Lane

*And if that statement doesn’t make you feel nervous… good.

{*}Plus Frank Lautenberg, Maria Cantwell, John Kerry, Peter DeFazio, Henry Waxman, and every other Democratic politician who doesn’t really care if the price of your gas ends up being raised to six dollars a gallon.