Can It Happen Again?

Feb. 25, 2015

Can we trust a president who vetoed the Keystone XL pipeline to be smart enough to sign a good transportation bill?

After all, the Keystone veto flies in the face of government and third-party studies, as well as the support of pipeline-affected states, the business community and the majority of Americans.

Association of Equipment Manufacturers president Dennis Slater summed it up in his statement: “At this point, Keystone has been relentlessly studied and scrutinized by the government and outside groups. And the evidence is in: Keystone would not pose a meaningful threat to the environment, and it would promise to create thousands of jobs in construction and manufacturing.”

It is clear after this presidential rebuke that we can’t trust anyone when it comes to job creation and support for the construction industry, an engine proven to keep the nation’s economy humming. Least of all Barack Obama, said by some supporters to be the smartest man ever to hold the office.

Yes, he’s smart—smart enough to think you’re stupid. Smart enough to say whatever is necessary to further his agenda of social change or bust—whether or not the majority of Americans support the cause. (See Affordable Care Act, The.)

Smart enough to rouse enough of the right rabble to catch the media’s eyes and ears, whether they are the glaciers-are-falling Inconvenient Truthers or the other Anti-Keystoner enviro-nuts who dive under their couches every time someone whispers “oil sands.”

Obama even seemed to claim the veto was more procedural than political or environmentally pollyanna. Smart, that guy.

So when legislators do hammer out a highway bill, beware of any media-darling Hollywood-dancing social agenda that may give Obama the pause to deny progress, jobs, and economic growth. Don't trust that he won't find yet another cause of the few that would shaft the many.

To all of the construction industry (and unions, I’m also talking to you—the folks who have traditionally been in lockstep with President Obama and the Democratic Party), when the time comes, remember that your president hung you out to dry on Keystone…in the name of a handful of alarmists.

Make sure that when a transportation bill gets to the Oval Office, the bright spotlight of industry support is so white hot and the noise in favor so deafening that the only “smart” play is approval.

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.