MICKEY KAUS: Did Dems Secretly Punt on Light Bulb Ban? “Maybe Barack Obama and his fellow Democrats would just as soon that Congress put off the de facto ban on cheap, familiar incandescent bulbs until after the election. If the ban can drive the Velvet Underground’s Moe Tucker into the Tea Party, who knows how many other voters it will annnoy. This would explain the strange lack of strong Dem opposition to a GOP rider that defunds the incandescent ban until Sept. 30.”

Of course, this also keeps it alive as an election issue, which isn’t likely to help Dems.

UPDATE: Reader Michael Hess writes:

In re: to your post about the ‘light bulb nightmare being averted’ (http://instapundit.com/133627/)

The ban remains on the books. All Congress has done is zero out the money to enforce it. All it would take is for the funding to be restored as yet another publicity gimmick – or slipped it unobtrusively in yet another multi-thousand-page omnibus – and the ban could -immediately- drop into effect.

If you were a major retailer of incandescent light bulbs, how many would you keep in your warehouses? How many are there now?

If you were a manufacturer of incandescent light bulbs, would you keep your production lines humming? Are they shut down already?

This all seems like chicanery and grandstanding; the Republicans get to chalk up a PR win, the Dems get to claim they’re being compromising and flexible, while bulb availability may still take a nasty hit due to regulatory unpredictability.

Hmm. Well, if you’re worried you can always still stock up.