Before tackling that issue, however, there are a couple other entanglements Obama is facing: now that Republicans control the House, Obama has apparently decided to move forward on his own with climate change initiatives, which include plans to engage federal agencies and the Environmental Protection Agency. National regulations will inevitably involve the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The problem is that Obama has failed to appoint a single judge to this powerful court that decides cases challenging agency regulations — making him the first full-term president in over half a century to fail do so, and in effect hobbling his own agenda.
Even though Obama has twice thwarted the Keystone project, the Senate has just endorsed its construction, and House Republicans have vowed not to wait for Obama, but to sidestep the White House and vote on legislation to approve the Keystone project by Memorial Day.
Now that Obama has finished playing relationship counselor in the Middle East, he returns to the U.S. to face serious challenges coming in from Canada and from Congress. Environmentalists have already started branding the Keystone pipeline as the “Obama Pipeline” and the “Obama Legacy on Keystone,” and are asking questions such as: “What happens if it leaks?” The surrounding heat being generated from the Keystone controversy may well have had an influence upon Obama’s gaffe in comparing U.S.-Canada relations with Israeli-Palestinian relations, even though in reality there is no comparison.
Originally published at the Gatestone Institute.