...To Kill Keystone Again, that headline should read, as we all recall President Stimulus unilaterally axing the plan a few months back. This time around, with Republicans rightly pressing the issue in Congress, The One had to dial up his Senate allies to ensure they would drive a dagger through the heart of the project:
President Barack Obama, seeking to head off an election-year showdown over energy policy, has been calling wavering Senate Democrats to lobby against a Republican measure that would force approval of the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada, according to a Democratic aide. Ahead of a vote expected as soon as today, the president has made personal appeals to Democrats from Midwestern states, where many of the jobs would be created by building TransCanada Corp.'s pipeline from Canada's oil sands to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast, according to the aide, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the private conversations.
Just as a refresher: The Keystone pipeline would have exploited increased oil production from a friendly nation and created 20,000 US jobs. Good thing high gas prices and chronic unemployment aren't plaguing the country these days, or else this double kowtow to hardcore greenies might have rankled a lot of Americans. The most galling element of Obama's extremist stand is his White House's insistence that he really wants to approve the pipeline -- honest! -- it's just that these darned Republicans keep "rushing" the process and ruining everything. Never mind the fact that Keystone has already been subjected to three years' worth of studies, and was given the green light for production. (If only this White House had been this cautious about Solyndra, which involved piles of taxpayer money, unlike this pipeline). Ultimately, Senate Democrats were forced to filibuster a bill in the chamber they control because their own members were splintering off to side with the GOP. Eleven Dems broke off and stood with a united Republican caucus to break the filibuster, but fell four votes short. One brave, brave Democrat -- "moderate" Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia -- said he supported the pipeline, but voted against it because of the Republicans, or something:
Sen Mark Warner (D-VA) on Senate floor says supports Keystone XL Pipeline but will oppose GOP amendment pushing its construction.
There's an Obamaesque profile in courage, if ever there was one. In light of the political storylines of the last few weeks, I simply must ask: Why must these Democrats continue to wage this War On Jobs? (For two excellent responses to Democrats' insidious "war on women" nonsense, read Michelle Malkin and Jonah Goldberg).
UPDATE - I've been traveling the last few days, so I figured I'd use a quick update to play catch-up on a few major stories:
(1) We already know that Obamacare is enduringly unpopular and that HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius hasn't a clue as to whether the law is already breaking its chief promoter's promises left and right (spoiler: it is). Now we also know exactly how dearly a vote in favor of the president's signature "accomplishment" ended up costing members of his party at the ballot box in 2010:
Consistent with the earlier research, we found that those House Democrats who voted in favor of ACA ran around six points behind those Democrats who voted against it in the 2010 midterms. We conducted thousands of simulations and found that, in the majority of simulations, Democrats retained at least 25 additional seats if they had all voted against ACA. That's enough for them to have held the majority.
Gosh, I wonder why a majority of Americans consider this presidency a failure? Panic pander time.
(2) As this president continues to scratch his tax "fairness" itch by pushing the so-called Buffett Rule, a major Buffett enterprise continues to battle the Treasury Department over unpaid taxes. Why won't they happily pony up their "fair share"?
(4) Another new Obama record. "Unprecedented!"
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