Though President Obama is so far making good use of his post-election lame duck status to speak clearly and firmly to Republicans, at least in some areas of domestic policy, Democrats in the Senate have found a new lame sort of love for the Keystone XL pipeline. Desperate to save one more Democratic senator, the Senate Democrats may join the 31 House Democrats defending oil and vote for Mary Landrieu’s bill so she can prove to Louisiana voters that she is as fossil fuelish as her Republican opponent. If the Senate does pass the pro-Keystone bill, Obama will hopefully veto it, but it would be braver (and more honest) for all Democrats to just say no. If the Democrats lose another senator in the fight against tar sands pollution and global warming, so be it.
Meanwhile, our top military commanders are thinking that the “no boots on the ground” thing in Iraq will have to be re-thunk. So far no Congressional vote on authorizing the expanding war in Iraq and Syria has been taken, so now would be a really good time for Congressional Democrats to take a stand opposing the latest war, to deny the $5 billion request for funding or at the very least hold Pres. Obama to his pledge not to send combat troops, a pledge he has already sort of broken by recently sending 1500 more military “advisors” to Iraq.
Enough of playing politics and ducking hard issues: Congressional Democrats now need to show the nation (and our president) that they can stand on principle and confirm that “no” means no.