"I think every day that we take less oil out of the planet Earth is a win," MSNBC weekend host Chris Hayes pontificated at the conclusion of panel discussion on the December 9 Now with Alex Wagner regarding the shelved Keystone oil pipeline. "Good, Chris, the [Obama] administration liked that" quipped MSNBC host Alex Wagner.
At issue was how House Republicans are attempting to force President Obama to approve the job-creating project in exchange for agreement to extend this year's Social Security payroll tax cut.
Wagner, along with panelists Chris Hayes and Al Sharpton, failed to critique President Obama for kicking the decision to green-light the project -- which pits labor unions and environmentalists against each other -- past next November's election in the first place.
Politics Nation host Al Sharpton complained that Republicans had foisted a climate of partisanship on a reluctant Obama, who is finally reciprocating in turn. "He's gone into the mode of getting ready for the election. There's no reason to play games because these guys are not trying to solve a problem," Sharpton insisted. Sharpton also argued Republicans weren't serious about approving the pipeline and would drop the deal if Obama agreed.
Nancy Pelosi called the Keystone gambit "a poison pill," host Alex Wagner noted, duly passing along the Democratic talking points. "This is something where literally two cars are driving down the highway and one of them is going to blink first," Wagner complained, chalking up the debate as an inside-the-Beltway game of "chicken."
Businesswoman and Huffington Post columnist Lynn Forester de Rothschild reminded everyone that "54 Democrats signed onto the pipeline before the environmental movement got going" and that the pipeline would mean a steady flow of oil from a friendly ally not to mention "tens of thousands of jobs."
Extending the payroll tax cut and creating jobs by approving the pipeline is "not a crazy position," de Rothschild insisted.
Of course Sharpton and Hayes ignored that pesky issue of jobs creation, complaining that Republicans are working to group the Keystone pipeline issue in with the payroll tax cut extension as part of an "obstruction" strategy. For his part, Hayes groused that the job creation figure was generated by "industry" and hence suspect.
Surely Obama pushing off the Keystone decision to 2013 was "not a moment in courage," de Rothschild asked Hayes, prompting his response that "every day that we take less oil out of the planet Earth is a win."