I created a post last Friday in which I said, “Get ready for Republicans to cave on Keystone pipeline.” And it certainly looks like I analyzed it correctly. And now, after correctly predicting the linguini-spined response of Republicans, I have some strong advice on the next step the Republicans should take.
First, on the current situation: The deal that Mitch McConnell crafted with Harry Reid gives 60 days to the President to say yay or nay on the pipeline deal. I’m at a loss to figure out what that does. If I were Obama, I’d have no problem figuring out how to work through that. I just say, “No, for now,” and give myself the option to revisit the issue after the election. So that was a 90% cave on a winning issue. The Democrats were able to push McConnell into a deal that could SOUND good, but in reality does nothing. How typical of Congress is that? And then we have this ridiculous 2-month payroll holiday that no one can defend.
Now House Republicans are coming under fire for resisting political pressures to accept the deal the Senate has passed. As pundits left and right are saying that the Republicans are right on substance but it is politically self-destructive to stand on principle here, I have a word of contrarian advice, and it comes in the form of a question. “How can you convince people that you are right unless you act like you really believe you are right?” Start acting out of conviction instead of out of fear, and people will begin to come around. Your problem is you react to the public opinion that the establishment press molds. Instead, try to stand up for what is right and try to mold public opinion around that position. But if you waffle and bend with the breeze, of course no one will respect you. No one. Take a clue from your approval numbers. You say that you are right, but you act like you don’t really believe it. Stick with the one year extension of the silly payroll tax holiday, and tie it to actually building the Keystone pipeline.