Don't trouble yourself trying to figure out whether President Obama is more political than ideological. He's an expert at straddling both and getting his way without compromise.
Analysts have long debated whether partisan Obama would prevail over ideological Obama in his decision to approve or reject the Keystone XL pipeline, but in the end, it may be a false choice, as both could win under the overarching dominance of Saul Alinsky-Obama.
Keystone XL is intended to carry crude oil from Alberta to refineries in the Gulf of Mexico. Environmentalists have long opposed construction of the pipeline, arguing it would do great damage to the Sandhills region of Nebraska. Supporters have contended that the project would have little, if any, negative environmental impact, is critically important for U.S. energy independence and would be a great boon to the economy and create thousands of jobs.
Many believed that Obama's eventual approval of the pipeline was inevitable and that he was just delaying the decision to get past the 2012 elections, after which he could safely withdraw his opposition without worrying about further wrath from environmental absolutists.
But since the elections, Obama has continued to obstruct the pipeline. He is still doing so as we are approaching mid-2014 even though the State Department found in January that the project would not have a significant effect on global warming; Obama has always insisted that the pipeline's alleged impact on global warming is his primary concern.
Many people, including no less a supporter of Keystone than Texas Gov. Rick Perry, predicted Obama would ultimately have to approve the project because, according to Perry, "there is no defending not opening the XL pipeline." Perry continued: "I don't know why he's going to wait for two or three months to do it, but at the end of the day, it is too important to America. It's too important to the security of this country. It's too important to job creation."
Though Perry's optimism and bullishness on America are wholly appealing to me, it appears you just can't count on Obama to follow impenetrable logic or to do the obviously right thing for America.
In April, Obama once again kicked the can down the road, postponing indefinitely a final decision on the construction of the project. His shamelessly subservient State Department announced that it would give the other federal agencies "additional time" to provide their input.
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