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The revolution won't be televised

From NBC's Mike Viqueira
House Republicans -- both giddy and emboldened after their impromptu speechifying on the House floor last Friday to a dark House of Representatives gained attention and provided a much needed morale boost -- are going to do it all over again today.

At around 10:00 am ET, 12 to 15 of their number will muster in historic Statuary Hall, then march past cameras as they advance on the House chamber, where inside the lights and microphones are still cold. No matter, for once inside the gates they will turn and deliver a series of addresses urging Speaker Nancy Pelosi to bring the body back into session in order to vote on offshore drilling.

One thing that this isn't -- it's not a session of Congress. The House has adjourned until after Labor Day. What we have here is a group of Republicans who have delayed or busted their vacations in order to invite staffers and bewildered -- yet delighted -- tourists onto the floor to listen to them rail against Democrats and for more drilling.

And yet who knows? Maybe the guerilla tactics will really catch fire and the speaker's hand will be forced. It's worth noting that they are specifically not going to be calling on the president to call Congress back, as he has the power to do. They are focusing their attentions on Pelosi, who at this point is not likely to cave in. That might have something to do with it, since it is an open question whether or not members -- both Rs and Ds -- really want to come back here from hither and yon in the middle of the sacrosanct August recess to deal with this. Would the president bust his vacation, too? Best to keep the focus on Pelosi.

In any event, it's been obvious for weeks that Republicans think they have a winner with the issue of expanded offshore drilling. They have seized upon it like a lifeline in a year when most expect them to lose yet more seats in both the House and the Senate come November. Now, from the depths of their electoral despair, they are discovering that they still have some fight left in them.

So the House remains dark, the mics are off. The robo cameras in the chamber -- the ones whose output we see on C-Span -- are controlled by the House itself (read: Nancy Pelosi) and are also off and turned to face the wall.

Again, the revolution will not be televised. (But there was a video shot by a staffer from the last one that's on YouTube.)