Monday, November 17, 2014

Pipe Up

The Republican House voted again to expedite construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, but this time the outgoing Democratic majority in the Senate is planning to vote on it and possibly pass it.  (The vote should be this week.)  This is despite the fact that the United States will receive no economic benefits from facilitating the transport of dirty "tar sands" oil from Canada,  it will incur all of the environmental risks (particularly to the aquifer in Nebraska), and the oil will not bring already-low gasoline prices down.  So why is the Senate voting on it, and with Democratic support for the pipeline?  Because the argument for it is so persuasive?  Because it will create more jobs than progressives realize?  Because the glut of oil on the world market will stick it to Vladimir Putin and Russian oil companies?  No, it's to save one senator's career.
Mary Landrieu is the Democratic senior senator from Louisiana.  She's a moderate from an oil-producing state who supports the pipeline and favors helping the oil companies transport more of the black greasy stuff to market.  She also says without any irony that the tar-sand oil from Canada is the cleanest-burning oil there is.  She's trying to burnish her credentials with Louisiana voters after having come in first place in her bid for a fourth term with 41 percent of the vote and having to face a runoff against Republican Representative William Cassidy by getting a vote the pipeline's construction, and she hopes that a vote on the pipeline in Congress - whether President Obama vetoes it or not - will give her an edge in the runoff election, scheduled for December 6.  The  Democrats are also trying to save at least one Senate seat from going Republican and enlarging the already assured GOP majority for the 114th Congress.      
Right.  Mary Landrieu is eighteen points behind Cassidy in one poll, and the idea of her closing that gap in three weeks or so is laughable at best.  After running away from Obama and his record for a year and seeing how that strategy backfired on other red-state Senate Democrats, Landrieu suddenly can't reverse months of a pursuing a bankrupt political strategy and suddenly stand with the President on anything other than Keystone.  Louisiana voters, dumb as they are for returning David Vitter to the Senate in 2010 (and possibly getting ready to send him to the governor's office in 2015), aren't that stupid.  So, even though she's a woman and a Democrat . . . er, yes!  I'm looking forward to seeing her get taken out!          
Democrats are constantly abandoning principles to win elections and, therefore, losing elections, which is why I predict that Barack Obama will be the last Democratic President and the current Democratic caucuses in Congress will be looking for new parties to join in the wake of the void that will be created when the Democrats join the Whigs in extinction.  Senator-elect Gary Peters of Michigan - the only freshman Democrat elected to the Senate in 2014 - will finish his first term as a member of party that may be getting started now or hasn't been formed yet.  As for the pipeline, well,  I doubt that will be built.  At least not in this presidential term.    

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