Oh, Henry Waxman. How truly clueless and out of touch you are. Yesterday the ranking Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee was muttering about issuing Keystone-related subpoenas for the Koch Brothers, or something -- and now this. It seems Henry hasn't taken President Obama's "lower the temperature" State of the Union directive to heart. New tone:
A senior Democratic congressman likened Republican lawmakers to terrorists on Thursday for their insistence on tying approval of construction of a new oil pipeline to must-pass legislation. California Rep. Henry Waxman, the top Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the coauthor of the 2009 cap-and-trade climate change bill, decried efforts by the GOP to force the Obama administration into approving a permit for the Keystone XL Pipeline.
"They want to use legislation as a way to act like terrorists. They hold things as hostage," Waxman said. "We almost couldn't fund the government because Republicans wanted to hold that idea hostage, we almost couldn't pay our debts because the Republicans wanted to hold that legislation hostage to their extreme agenda, and I wouldn't be surprised if they scuttled this conference by trying to hold us hostage." Waxman was referring specifically to rumblings from Republicans that they might attach the provision to legislation extending a payroll tax cut through the end of 2012. Waxman is one of the 20 bipartisan negotiators who are working to reach an agreement on that extension by Feb. 29, when the current extension is set to expire.
A few quick points on this asininity:
(1) What a brilliantly effective "bipartisan negotiator" Waxman must be, given his obvious diplomatic sensitivity. Although isn't it US policy not to negotiate with terrorists, Henry? Explain yourself.
(2) This is just another folder in the bottomless file of wildly over-the-top Democratic rhetoric -- again, brought to you by the self-appointed selective civility cult. The Left had a fevah over the summer, and the only prescription was more GOP/Tea Party = terrorist imagery. I'm still looking forward to the next time a conservative says something slightly untoward and these dolts are overcome by fainting spells.
(3) Think about this for a second: Henry Waxman went nuclear on Republicans over the Keystone pipeline, of all things. This is a project that would create tens of thousands of American jobs, reduces our reliance on oil from unfriendly nations, has the support of many Democrats and labor unions, has zero known environmental risks after multiple studies, is backed by our Canadian friends, and would cost taxpayers zero dollars. Republicans forced the president to determine if the project is in the national interest. Obama decided, for all intents and purposes, that it is not. And for this Republicans are terrorists, per Waxman. Who's the extremist here, again?
(4) Back to the Koch Brothers nonsense for a moment. If there's a politically active billionaire whose interests may intersect with this political fight, it ain't David Koch. Does Waxman know (or care) about this?
"Koch Industries has no financial stake in the Keystone pipeline and we are not party to its design or construction," Philip Ellender, president of Koch Companies Public Sector, said in a statement...If Waxman and Rush and their fellow Democrats on the Energy and Commerce Committee are interested in seeing if political favoritism has entered into the debate over the Keystone pipeline, they might want to talk to Warren Buffett, the Omaha-based billionaire who has been a strong supporter of President Barack Obama. According to Bloomberg Business News by way of the San Francisco Chronicle, Buffett's Burlington Northern Santa Fe "is among U.S. and Canadian railroads that stand to benefit from the Obama administration's decision to reject TransCanada Corp.'s Keystone XL oil pipeline permit."
Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson. He is co-authors with Mary Katharine Ham for their new book End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun).
Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography