In order to save Mary Landrieu’s job, which will not work, some Senate Democrats are pushing for a vote to pass the Keystone XL Pipeline. Landrieu is throwing a Hail Mary here. Or as our valued commenter Dana Houle puts it:
“My job is more important than the fate of mankind”—Mary Landrieu, who’s going to lose anyway
— Dana Houle (@DanaHoule) November 12, 2014
Now we might say that the Senate Democrats might as well do this. Republicans will obviously push through a Keystone bill as one of their first moves after they take power in the Senate. So why not try to save Landrieu’s career? There are 2 basic reasons. First, it won’t work. She is toast. If she was down 51-49 this might make a difference and could be considered. Down 56-44 or so, forget about it. No way.
Second, does the Democratic Party want to at least pretend to care about climate change or not? That’s a really core question here. At a time when environmentalists feel that they are politically isolated and ineffective, what would such a message send? It would make them feel like labor unions routinely feel, working for politicians that then turn around and vote for policy against green interests.
Moreover, such a gambit gives McConnell all sorts of room to claim a bipartisan bill when it comes up in January. Manchin and Tester are already in favor and probably will vote with Republicans. I’d be shocked if Heitkamp didn’t do the same. This might happen anyway, but it’d be nice to see Democrats at least fight against a Keystone bill. It’ll also be nice to not openly announce to the world that they would rather give away the game in a failed attempt to save a doomed colleague than fight against the most loathed energy project in the green community.
…..And of course the Senate Democrats cave to Landrieu and will hold a vote next week. Pathetic. Just pathetic.