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Ellison’s Must Read of the Day

• November 18, 2014 9:23 am

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My must read of the day is "Landrieu says she has Keystone votes," in CNN:

Louisiana Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu says she has the 60 votes she needs for the Senate to advance a measure Tuesday that would authorize construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.

Landrieu has been scrambling to attract at least 15 Democrats to join 45 Republicans to reach the critical 60-vote procedural threshold. She told reporters at the Capitol on Monday night that she'd reached that mark.

"I feel very comfortable," Landrieu said. […]

If she can shepherd the legislation through the Senate, it would allow Landrieu to demonstrate her influence one last time ahead of a Dec. 6 run-off election in Louisiana, where she faces Republican Rep. Bill Cassidy, who sponsored the bill authorizing the pipeline when the House approved it on Friday.

If Landrieu does have the votes, she achieves essentially nothing with them. At least, she achieves nothing politically beneficial, and that was the entire point of this vote.

President Obama is expected to veto anything that approves the pipeline, at this point in time, which means all Landrieu has demonstrated in garnering these 60 votes, is that her party will support something when it’s politically necessary—but not before.

How is that a winning message?

Landrieu is essentially showing voters that everything they despise about Washington is still true—the people they’re voting into office aren’t interested in making government work or passing any meaningful legislation; they’re predominantly interested in winning elections.