Erika has already laid out the policy folly of the Obama administration's feckless and ideological rejection of the Keystone XL project, so let's consider how Republicans should respond to this mess. For all its alleged prowess, the Obama political team makes its share of tin-earned decisions -- whether it's pursuing an unpopular healthcare power grab in the midst of a jobs crisis, throwing lavish parties at inopportune times, or taking legal action to block supermajority-supported immigration and voter ID laws. The Keystone decision might take the tone-deafness cake, however, and the GOP should exploit it to inflict maximum political pain on the White House.
The president and his minions are running around carping about how "we can't wait" to create jobs in this country by passing every statist, unpaid-for bill they can dream up, yet the administration has moved to reject -- or at least severely delay -- a project that would create 20,000 direct jobs. (Critics claim the more accurate total is "only" a few thousand jobs, as if that's an argument). The pipeline would also help nudge the country toward the very "energy independence" that politicians of both parties frequently describe as an important goal. Too bad, we're told. We can wait, apparently. The White House is hiding behind the State Department's skirts to justify this decision, claiming that they didn't have sufficient time to review the project. The Keystone XL proposal has been reviewed for three years. Also, contrast this logic with the administration's method of shoddily distributing billions in stimulus money to their "green energy" bankrollers at Solyndra and elsewhere. In those cases, they knowingly fast-tracked dubious loans to companies with failed business models. Thousands of jobs and billions of taxpayer dollars were simply lost -- and the president airily says he doesn't regret his mistakes.