Morning Joe Roundtable: Delaying Keystone Decision Makes Very Little Sense

Posted: Apr 21, 2014 11:50 AM
Morning Joe Roundtable: Delaying Keystone Decision Makes Very Little Sense

The bombshell announcement last week that the White House would delay (once again) making a decision vis-à-vis the Keystone XL Pipeline until after the 2014 midterm elections is leaving many pundits on cable television scratching their heads. One the one hand, the decision ostensibly makes sense; progressive mega donors have pledged lots of money to re-elect Democrats who oppose the project, and thus green lighting the pipeline would significantly imperil the size of the party’s war chest come November. On the other hand, many vulnerable red state Senate Democrats support the project and desperately need an issue to campaign on that is popular with the public. This is it. But because the administration feels as if they’re in a ‘damned if we do, damned if we don’t’ situation, they’re punting until after the midterms. Go figure.

But is this a wise decision? That’s the question Joe Scarborough and the crew debated at some length earlier today (via WFB):

Joe Scarborough, for his part, is baffled by the White House’s incessant foot-dragging. He argues that the progressive Left is not going to vote for Republicans anyway -- or against incumbent Democrats -- so it’s not the end of the world if the Keystone Pipeline does get approved. It’s only the “far Left” contingent, he posits, that will rue its construction. So why further jeopardize control of the upper chamber by punting on a Democrat-friendly issue, Scarborough asks, when approving the project makes sense both economically and politically?

If anything, the White House’s decision will put additional pressure on vulnerable House and Senate Democrats to come up with inventive new ways to convince voters to re-elect them. Unfortunately for them, however, the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline won’t be one of them.