COMMENTARY | Politico notes that the Senate Democrats are having a quandary about what to do about the president’s punting a decision concerning the Keystone XL pipeline. That there will be some kind of vote is virtually certain.
Another non-binding resolution is not likely to cut it this time. Announcing that one is for the pipeline but not do anything about it is not going to impress voters in red states who are getting ready to toss out a slew of Democrats out of the senate and into the private sector.
But a binding resolution will require 67 senators to vote for it to override the inevitable presidential veto. Trying and failing to pass a binding resolution would be just as futile as passing a non-binding one.
Then there is the potential nightmare that, having passed a binding resolution, of the president simply refusing to enforce it. Obama has already shown a tendency to think that faithfully executing the laws of the United States is optional. Thus far Congress has allowed him to get away with it.
The sad fact is that it is likely too late for Democrats to declare their independence from the president. They crossed the Rubicon when they voted to pass Obamacare, that monster of a law that is devouring and destroying everything in sight. Bucking the president on a pipeline is not going to work. Indeed, suddenly joining with Ted Cruz and voting to repeal Obamacare is not likely to work either. Both would be seen rightly as expedient. They were against the pipeline before they were for it. They were for Obamacare before they were against it.
The one thing left for senate Democrats who are up for reelection in 2014 is to start reaching out to corporations and lobbying firms. Many of them are going to have to find other work come November. But it’s not as if they hadn’t been warned.