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LIUNA to Obama: Keystone XL decision is gutless

Thousands of union members ralied in support of building the Keystone XL Pipeline project.
Thousands of union members ralied in support of building the Keystone XL Pipeline project.

The president of a major construction union just blasted President Obama's decision to put the Keystone XL Pipeline on hold. Terry O'Sullivan's statements signal a potentially politcally explosive situation for Democrats this November. Here's part of what O'Sullivan said:

“The administration is delaying a finding on whether the pipeline is in the national interest based on months-old litigation in Nebraska regarding a state level challenge to a state process—and which has nothing to with the national interest,” he said in a Friday statement.

These are the unmistakable first signs of major friction between two key parts of the Democrats' coalition. This pits labor unions against environmentalists. Put a little differently, unions are the Democrats' GOTV operation. The environmentalists fund the Democrats' campaigns.

If there's a fight between these factions of the Democrats' coalition, there's almost no chance Harry Reid will still be the Senate Majority a year from now.

Terry O’Sullivan, general president of the Laborers International Union of America (LIUNA), called the move “gutless” and a “low blow to the working men and women of our country.”

Mr. O'Sullivan is right. It's a gutless thing to do. That's what happens with this president. President Obama consistently puts a higher priority on playing politics than he puts on doing the right thing for the American people.

This paragraph is the part of the article that'll catch Democratic strategists' attention:

O’Sullivan’s statement indicates a growing divide between labor unions and the Democratic Party’s environmentalist supporters (and donors) that could spell trouble for the party in the midterms, even with a steady flow of Tom Steyer cash.

Telling a Democrat to safely navigate his way through labor unions and environmentalists is like telling a chameleon to hide against a plaid background. It's impossible. Unions supported Obamacare. They supported other administration priorities, only to see the environmentalists win each of the fights between the environmentalists and the labor unions.

It isn't likely that they'll continue supporting Democrats if they keep getting the shaft.

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