This is the world we live in, post-midterms. Democrats got their asses beat like rented donkeys by running away from President Obama, and are now convinced that they can rescue Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) from the same fate by overruling the president on the Keystone XL Pipeline. The House passed a new bill authorizing the pipeline today, ingeniously engineered by Landrieu to bear the name of her opponent in the Louisiana Senate run-off, and will be taken up by the Senate next week. Like most of the Democrats' plans, George Peppard is not going to love this.
In advance of that House vote, MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell interviewed Congressman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), who let loose a short but sweet burst of pro-Keystone nonsense that a third-grader would have had questions about. Good thing he was on a liberal network, so Mitchell could pounce... on the next subject:
"One of the things that has a national security implication is energy. The more that we can do to promote more abundance of energy here at home and even the possibility that we get to the place to export natural gas and other things, it impacts the decisions the Russians will make, Putin will make, and it impacts the decisions Venezuela, who has certainly been a rogue actor in South America...
"We can bring down energy costs here at home. We have already seen, when it dips below $3, what gasoline does to the economy. People are out spending more, the holiday season. This is all good. We need to be for making sure that people have more money in their pocket at the end of the month."
Damn, he didn't even use the good ones. I can see Mitchell not wanting to get dragged into a dissection of the bogus jobs claims about Keystone, or the results of polls that show the pipeline is popular with Americans (because they're stupid and the media lies to them), but these were quick and easy. Allow me to demonstrate:
"The more that we can do to promote more abundance of energy here at home..."
It's Canadian oil.
"...and even the possibility that we get to the place to export natural gas and other things..."
Keystone has nothing to do with natural gas, and in fact, Transcanada, the company that wants to build the pipeline, actually has another plan to convert an existing natural gas pipeline into a crude pipeline.
"We can bring down energy costs here at home."
It's Canadian oil that gets sold on the global market.
"We have already seen, when it dips below $3, what gasoline does to the economy. People are out spending more, the holiday season. This is all good."
For his part, Obama pushed back where Mitchell failed, telling reporters at a joint press conference that the claims about jobs and gas prices are secondary to environmental concerns:
"I have to constantly push back against this idea that somehow the Keystone pipeline is either this massive jobs bill for the United States or is somehow lowering gas prices. Understand what this project is: It is providing the ability of Canada to pump their oil, send it through our land down to the Gulf where it will be sold everywhere else. It doesn’t have an impact on U.S. gas prices."
While it sounds like the president is hanging tough on Keystone, he did stop short if threatening a veto. Maybe, if the Senate passes the bill, Obama can keep it warm on his desk until after that runoff in Louisiana. I wouldn't bet the farm, or the pipeline, on that.