Friday, December 16, 2011

Rumor-Obama Keystone Pipeline Cave-in

Report: Dems, Obama AGREE to GOP’s Keystone pipeline provision

So the rumblings about a cave-in were apparently true. Can’t find anything on the wires yet, but Guy Benson of Townhall hears from a “senior GOP source” that it’s a done deal and Fox News’s Chad Pergram quotes Lamar Alexander as saying, “We’re very pleased with the decision on the Keystone pipeline.” Benson:
Round one of this fight went to Obama. Round two, to the GOP. Round three? A TKO decision for Republicans. A senior GOP source tells me that Democrats have agreed to a two-month extension of the temporary payroll tax cuts — plus unemployment benefits and the “doc fix” — with some extra Christmas goodies for conservatives. Quote: “Two-month extension, PLUS Keystone. Fully paid for; no tax hikes. Hallelujah.”
Note that it’s not a comprehensive deal on the payroll tax, just a two-month extension, but that means there’ll be another opportunity for more goodies soon. Smells like victory, and yet … that possibility troubles my eeyorish mind. Let me throw you a pessimistic curveball cribbed from the comments in the other Keystone thread: What if Obama’s secretly been hoping for this outcome?
His problem with the pipeline was that it forces him to choose between environmentalists and labor. He’d love to have those new jobs so that he has some teeny tiny economic accomplishment to tout next year, but he doesn’t want to tick off the greens by rubber-stamping approval of the pipeline.
So instead he pretends to punt his decision until after the election, knowing full well that the GOP will take up the issue somehow in order to burnish their own jobs credentials. Now that they’ve done so and thrown it back in his lap, he can hug the greens and whisper a tender “I tried because I love you” in their ears before turning around and signing off on the pipeline in the name of economic recovery. In other words, the original punt was really just a fake punt and now he’s in the end zone.  Read more

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