Magazine October 20, 2008, Issue

Gangster Politics

Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky gestures during the final session at the 2008 Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Mn., September 4, 2008. (Rick Wilking)
A handful of GOP senators came close to blocking sound energy policy

In a year otherwise favoring Dem­o­crats, high gas prices served up a potential windfall for the GOP. House Republicans rallied around a shared opposition to the congressional ban on offshore drilling, and even John McCain got in on the act. By mid-September, two-thirds of the public supported lifting the ban. The Dem­o­crats, lacking the votes to renew it, let it lapse on Oct. 1.

The victory, such as it was, almost didn’t happen. In early August, when pressure on Democrats was at its highest point, five Republicans and five Dem­o­crats formed a “Gang of 10” in the Sen­ate and put forward

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Books, Arts & Manners

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Burn before Watching

If you’re the sort of filmgoer who thinks of the Coen brothers as American cinema’s most nihilistic, misanthropic double threat, you’ll find vindication aplenty in Burn after ...

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