09/13/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Oil: Supply vs. Demand

After all the speculation about whether speculators were behind this summer's oil price spike, there seems to be widespread agreement (see here, here, here, here, here, and here) that the more recent backslide in oil prices is due to one cause: a fall in worldwide demand.

Demand. That's almost as old-fashioned as proper tire inflation. In fact, it's connected. But weakening economies, from the US to China, will be needing less oil. Price goes down. Seems like Econ 101.

So why are the Democrats in Congress, and the Obama campaign, still fluttering with anxiety to join the "Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less" campaign introduced and orchestrated by Newt Gingrich? Even when it's provable that manipulation of demand has a far more immediate and measurable effect on oil prices (and ultimately gasoline prices) than any contemplated drilling here, or anywhere near here, wherever here is?

Could it be the well-established Democratic wince reflex in the face of determined, if demagogic, Republican sloganeering? And will this post end without any other punctuation besides a question mark?