Call Obama's bluff on Keystone

The Keystone codicil is now being negotiated in the Senate, where at least eight Democrats have said publicly they hope the project goes forward: Jon Tester and Max Baucus of Montana, Kent Conrad of North Dakota, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Mary Landrieu of Lousiana, Mark Begich of Alaska, Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Claire McCaskill of Missouri. Perhaps they’re among the few Democrats who still care about blue-collar voters, as opposed to public unions and Mill Valley hedge-fund greens.

The other provision passed by the House would give companies five years to comply with the Environmental Protection Agency’s onerous boiler rule. That rule would impose vast costs on industries that burn oil or coal, such as manufacturers and utilities…

White House aides have been working behind the scenes to strike both of these provisions from the payroll tax bill. Spokesman Jay Carney even offered the amusing note that Republicans shouldn’t get anything in return for passing the bill because everyone favors tax cuts. So Mr. Obama’s view of bipartisanship is that Republicans give him what he wants and he gives them nothing except more denunciation for not raising taxes on millionaires.

Republicans are in a strong bargaining position, and there’s no reason for them to give in to the Senate or the White House.