On Keystone, Any Ol' Excuse Will Do

April 23, 2014

“Uh…I forgot.”

“My dog ate my homework.”

“What test?”

I’m sure you remember the clichéd excuses from schooldays of yesteryear. This is what the Obama Administration’s State Department has deteriorated to now, as they check in with yet another pointless—and manufactured—delay of the decision on the Keystone XL pipeline.

This time, they’re conveniently using a court squabble in Nebraska over just who can approve an in-state route for the pipeline. Mind you, this is a pipeline that goes through multiple states. Nebraska doesn’t affect the State Department decision-making process at all, since the decision is in the national purview. But Nebraska’s got to be good for something, right?

We’ve seen this movie before. The familiar “We need more time to gather public comments.” Environmental review after review. Uh oh, don’t like a positive-sounding review? Better review the reviewers.

Vegas casinos should set odds on what the next excuse is going to be.

The Chicago Tribune had a great passage in its editorial this morning: “Officials said they will take the time to review the 2.5 million public comments they've received. We can envision the folks at State staging long, slow, breathy dramatic readings of those comments because ... they ... have ... all ... the ... time ... in ... the ... world.”

Here’s my helpful idea for the delay after that delay: Why not have someone check all the letters, and the IP addresses from emails, then get on the phone and verify that the comments came from 2.5 million different people? Better weed out those duplicates. Maybe we could have Kathleen Sebelius do it. She’s got some time.

You can see right through all of the excuses and stalling. The audacity.

Audacity is nothing new to this president and his idealistic army of social change minions. Barack Obama and his ilk learned their political chops in Illinois, the dirtiest and most corrupt state in the Union, where career politicians wear audacity as a badge. In Illinois, political audacity comes as naturally as, well, being born with a head attached to your neck. (Please, no emails from the headless baby lobby.)

As Terry O’Sullivan, president of the Laborers’ International Union of North America, and my new favorite wordsmith, pointed out in a statement that made The Wall Street Journal, "It's not the oil that's dirty, it's the politics. Once again, the Administration is making a political calculation instead of doing what is right for the country. This certainly is no example of profiles in courage. It's clear the Administration needs to grow a set of antlers, or perhaps take a lesson from Popeye and eat some spinach.”

There is an endgame to all of this. I believe the State Department and Obama are going to approve the pipeline after six years of delay, bitterly disappointing the anti-Keystoners and look-at-me enviromentalist crackpots who feel it’s hip and trendy to hold up economic progress for the rest of us over an oil leak or some fanciful sci-fi disaster that hasn’t happened yet, and may never.

The truth is, and most people with a brain have sniffed it out, that the Democrats don’t want this goofy but loud band of folks further fouling the chances of Democratic candidates in the midterm elections. Candidates who are already vulnerable, thanks to the Titanic that is Obamacare.

The president simply doesn’t want to pile on.

About the Author

Frank Raczon

Raczon’s writing career spans nearly 25 years, including magazine publishing and public relations work with some of the industry’s major equipment manufacturers. He has won numerous awards in his career, including nods from the Construction Writers Association, the Association of Equipment Manufacturers, and BtoB magazine. He is responsible for the magazine's Buying Files.