Smiley Pat McCrory has bought into the new conservative cause, best described as wrecking the nation's beaches so we can keep on driving gas guzzlers. McCrory, who is running for the N.C. governorship in a year that's predicted to bring a Democratic landslide, has now grasped at his party's latest electoral straw. The new GOP buzzword is "drill!" As we've noted before, their motto must be "Drain America First" - which is fitting, considering that Pat & Co. have no other plans or vision for the country's energy future. Ever the friend of big business, Chamber Pat "explained" his support for drilling off the N.C. coast - also known, if you remember, as Hurricane Alley -- by saying, "If not here, then where?" He claimed that if you drive every day and oppose drilling for oil near your favorite beach, "What you're really saying is 'I'm willing to take oil from someplace else except from my own backyard." The big news, to this writer, is that these arguments actually seem to make sense to Mayor Bumpersticker. Never mind that no one - as in nobody, not a single, solitary soul - believes drilling off America's coastline would lower the price of gasoline one red cent. Instead of oil platforms within view of the Outer Banks, what we need to increase U.S. "energy independence" are leaders who will pull their heads out of their, um, oil wells, and launch a massive, "Kennedy/Moon mission"-esque push to produce energy from sources that would end our deadly addiction to oil.