The House Democratic leadership is taking a huge gamble in not locking arms with House Republicans on passing legislation dealing with the rapidly increasing price of oil.

By not proposing a bipartisan solution, they expose their more vulnerable members to nasty charges of “do-nothingism.” Inaction also leads to other vulnerabilities.

First, there is the Al GoreAlbert (Al) Arnold GoreDems face hard choice for State of the Union response Washington governor proposes new carbon tax The Renewable Fuel Standard is broken beyond repair MORE problem. Al Gore has been quoted time and time again saying that a steep increase in gas prices will be good for the environment. Well, the steep increases are here. Do you feel better yet?

Second, there is the voting record problem. Over the last decade, House Democrats have voted against domestic oil production pretty much in lockstep. When prices were low, that was an easy vote because all the passion was on the not-in-my-backyard side. But now that prices have increased so rapidly, those votes have become a true liability.

Third, there is the problem of extreme left of Democratic Caucus, who will come to symbolize the true motives of all Democrats in the Congress. They want to nationalize the oil industry, just as Hugo Chavez did in Venezuela.

As John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerDems face hard choice for State of the Union response Even some conservatives seem open to return to earmarks Overnight Finance: Trump, lawmakers take key step to immigration deal | Trump urges Congress to bring back earmarks | Tax law poised to create windfall for states | Trump to attend Davos | Dimon walks back bitcoin criticism MORE’s office pointed out this evening:

“Two weeks ago, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) shocked many observers when she admitted to oil company executives during a House committee hearing, ‘This liberal will be all about socializing … would be about … basically taking over and the government running all of your companies.’

“Most of those watching that hearing simply assumed Rep. Waters’s wild threat was just another extreme idea from someone on the far-left fringe of the Democratic Party. But today, a leading energy voice for House Democrats proved that her dream of nationalizing the oil industry isn’t as far-fetched as some may believe … Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-N.Y.) dropped this bombshell as he stood next to House Democratic Caucus Chairman Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.) … ‘Should the people of the United States own refineries? Maybe so. Frankly, I think that’s a good idea. Then we could control the amount of refined product much more capably that gets out on the market.

“ ‘So if there’s any seriousness about what some of our Republican colleagues are saying here in the House and elsewhere about improving the number of refineries, then maybe they’d be willing to have these refineries owned publicly, owned by the people of the United States, so that the people of the United States can determine how much of the product is refined and put out on the market.

“ ‘To me, that sounds like a very good idea.’ ”

Socialized anything is actually a pretty bad idea. But that is not where the heart of the Democratic Caucus really is. All things being equal, they would rather have the government take over huge private-sector industries if things don’t go exactly as they want it.

Love it or hate it, the free-market has delivered to America the greatest quality of life ever seen in world history. And yet the Democrats still hate it. Amazing.