Close Call: Obama Successfully Avoids Another Presidential Moment

Michael Schaus
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Posted: Apr 22, 2014 12:53 AM
Close Call: Obama Successfully Avoids Another Presidential Moment

It’s beginning to look like President Obama has developed a chronic aversion to anything that might be mistaken for “leadership” in his second term. The Keystone XL pipeline was, again, delayed until after the 2014 elections. Of course, then again, maybe this wasn’t political. Maybe the White House just likes watching oil company stocks take a hit every once in a while.

TransCanada stock took a beating after it was announced that Obama would once again push the no-brainer decision on the Keystone pipeline until after the 2014 elections. And, while it literally figuratively kills me to write the following sentence, it must be pointed out: Even MSNBC (I really, really, really hate the words I’m about to type) got the issue right when Morning Joe took the administration to task for kicking the can down the road. In fact, they even managed to hit the nail on the head when – Hang on, my computer screen seems to be freezing up…

…Ok, I’m back. As I was saying:

Not only is the President’s childlike attempts at political calculus painfully obvious in his latest Keystone delay, but it reeks of ineptitude. After all, what exactly is going to be gained by postponing a major infrastructure project – that would create tens of thousands of jobs – while simultaneously injecting some price relief on domestic energy production? Maybe he wants to save his Keystone denial speech for after the 2014 election? (That actually kinda makes sense. More on that later.)

Remember when Democrats used to salivate at the idea of infrastructure projects? Where the heck did Obama’s fanatic devotion to Keynes-style stimulus suddenly go? Or, is he just not as enthusiastic about this infrastructure project because it’s not a soon-to-be bankrupt green energy company that is clamoring for US taxpayer dollars?

As MSNBC pointed out (it was probably an accident), not only is the latest delay a stunningly self-destructive economic decision, it may prove to be equally idiotic in the realm of politics. After all, which Dems face the most serious challenge in 2014? Primarily, they’re “Blue-Dog” Democrats in fairly conservative districts. Even from a political standpoint, the decision seems to make less sense than a teleprompter-less Obama.

Which brings us to the big question regarding the guy who currently plays a US President on TV: What the heck is “controversial” about the Keystone XL? Since when did creating jobs in the midst of an economically anemic “recovery” become a tough decision? And don’t tell me that the big issue at hand is the environment… After all, those trains, diesel trucks and cargo ships don’t exactly ship oil by sail power.

Pipelines are the safest, and “greenest” methods of transporting oil over large distances. And Canada isn’t exactly going to give up on extracting oil from "Mother Earth" just because a few enviro groups picketed (and delayed) one possible shipping route for North American energy. As long as that oil is getting pumped out of Canada (and it will continue to get pumped out as long as you and I continue to use laptops, automobiles, cellphones, and even Chevy Volts), we might as well bring it down to the Gulf Coast for a little ‘merican energy production.

Sure, a couple of environmental groups will continue to give big bucks to Democrats because of the President’s most recent delay… But how is that different than any other year? I kinda doubt tree-huggers in Oregon were thinking about donating to tea-party groups because of the possibility that Team Obama might say yes to a safe form of oil transportation.

There is, however, the very real possibility that the President is planning to tell TransCanada to take a hike. And given the way he’s once again (or “still”) dragging his feet, this scenario is starting to look more realistic. After all, why would he postpone approval for a job-creating project that Unions, moderate Democrats, MSNBC show hosts, and conservative voters all think is a good idea? I mean, heck: That would almost resemble something similar to governing. He’s only halfway through his second term… I’m not sure he’s ready for that kind of responsibility yet.