When then-Senator Obama clinched the Democratic nomination for president in 2008, he attacked John McCain for being out of touch, a protector of Wall Street, and a peddler of failed Republican ideas. When talking about the plight facing American families, he stated ”I don’t believe that Senator McCain doesn’t care what’s going on in the lives of Americans; I just think he doesn’t know.” With commentary surrounding his age, Obama took a cunning move to link the “nation of whiners” quote to Mr. McCain to portray him as a willfully ignorant grandpa who should be in a nursing home. It’s garbage. In the process, Obama casts doubt on Sen. McCain’s ability to handle the country and its nuclear arsenal, which is the threshold question for any presidential candidate. However, nearing the end of his first term in office, it appears that President Obama doesn’t understand that you can’t have it both ways. Yes, there is a buffet of issues in which Obama plays both sides of the fence on, like energy and the Keystone pipeline, that is nothing more than explicit political opportunism.
Last January, the president axed the Keystone XL pipeline due to an “arbitrary deadline.” It is a 1,700 mile project, at the cost of $7 billion dollars, that would have brought some 700,000 barrels of oil from the tar sands in Canada to refineries in Texas. It would have added $20 billion in new spending for the economy, added 118,000 person-years of employment, added $9.8 billion in personal income for Americans, and added $585 million in sales tax revenue in the states where the pipeline will be located. Lastly, it would have added 13,000 new jobs and seven million hours of hard labor. Instead of focusing on job creation, the president bowed to environmental interests and rejected it.
This week, however, the White House paved way for partial construction on the pipeline to begin. Development of the pipeline that runs from Cushing, Oklahoma to Texas will, according to TransCanada, begin soon. The president blamed Republicans for adding the deadline for the payroll tax cut as the reason for the blame, which is a weak excuse if he is indeed trying to play above partisanship, which he campaigned on in 2008, and approve projects for American workers. The Laborers’ International Union of North America left the BlueGreen Alliance in protest, which marks a rare incident in which big labor and Republicans have agreed on policy. In fact, the incident has sparked a rift between various unions within the AFL-CIO.
President Obama is trying to please everyone to maintain his “working majority for change.” Governing is about prioritizing, and he seems to have put pleasing his environmental base above his “agenda” for job creation. Now that he has divided labor and brought on another Republican onslaught, he allowed partial approval. He has adopted a Republican plan for energy independence that has seen new developments in Pennsylvania with the Marcellus Shale, the 249 years of energy coal can produce, and this pipeline. The president himself has admitted that we are the Saudi Arabia of natural gas. However, he seems to kowtow to the environmental lobby.
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