When it is ephemeral and cynical, like in this new development. Democrats have agreed not to make a fuss over off-shore drilling and, as of Oct. 1, the ban will be lifted. Of course, this will take the energy issue off the table for many voters and Democrats hope that will help to facilitate an Obama win which, if achieved, can be relied upon to occasion a "reconsideration" of the wisdom in lifting the ban. I am sure that Dems can readily stumble upon some new "science," new "evidence," or new "expert testimony" that will make reinstating the ban a priority for an Obama administration.
The only thing that is clear to me from this action is that the Democrats mean to play hardball. It is time for McCain to get tough and come out swinging. He needs to say hard (perhaps even controversial things that seem to attack Obama’s character and the character of Democrats) and thereby call their bluff exactly what it is. The only good news I see in this is that McCain tends to play best and hardest as an underdog. In any case, he’s in for the game of his life.