According to an article in Politico.com and quotes from some prominent Dem leaders and their aids, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and others from their party have for more than a year been plotting to use the high price of gas to advance their political agenda at the consumers expense:
"California Democrat Nancy Pelosi may be trying to save the planet — but the rank and file in her party increasingly are just trying to save their political hides when it comes to gas prices as Republicans apply more and more rhetorical muscle. But what looks like intraparty tension on the surface is part of an intentional strategy in which Pelosi takes the heat on energy policy, while behind the scenes she’s encouraging vulnerable Democrats to express their independence if it helps them politically, according to Democratic aides on and off Capitol Hill." LINK
"Instead, the chairman of the House Committee on Natural Resources believes Democrats are all about 2009. "We’ve laid the groundwork this year," Rahall said. Democratic House aides say the energy agenda has been carefully gamed out in strategy sessions, and Pelosi always intended to take heat on gas prices while tacitly encouraging more vulnerable Democrats to publicly disagree with her and show their independence."
"Reid, like Pelosi, is expecting to have a much stronger governing majority in the Senate next year, so he has little incentive to give in to Republicans on energy policy as long as he thinks it won’t hurt Democrats. Even as they face heat from constituents during the August break, Democrats say they aren’t going to cave in to popular pressure. "We feel pretty comfortable with where we are," said Rep. Michael E. Capuano (D-Mass.), who is close to the Democratic leadership. "This is a not a new issue. This just didn’t happen today. We’ve been working on this for months." (emphasis mine)
While the average consumer is getting "hosed" by high gas prices, the Democrat Party continues to play political games that they have been planning for months in advance. Their agenda is not in the interest of the consumer/voter, but rather a political strategy to advance their party. (see Iraq war)
So, while the price of gas has risen over the past 18+ months, the Democrats have allowed no legislation to relieve the rising prices so they can control an agenda laid out for 2009. They are telling the electorate that you will "pay me now and then pay me later". This is the arrogance of a party that is out of touch with the consumers of this nation who are paying the price and being told to eat their crude-cake and shut up.