The Most Overt Payback in American History

A new Congress has convened. The majority party in power has changed in the Senate. Both houses of Congress are now controlled by the Republicans. The first order of business is “payback”. Rank, ugly, unadorned, undisguised political payback.

The recipients—the Koch brothers. They see it as return on investment. Spending tens—perhaps hundreds—of millions of dollars on recent elections put their personal priority bill in first position.

The issue chosen by the Koch brothers and their placeholders has no immediacy. The TransCanada Keystone XL Pipeline—a project that has no urgency, no significant international, national, or local implications in the United States, and is unnecessary for our economy—is the number one bill to be pushed onto the floor and scheduled for vote, in both the Senate and the House.

It is well known that the President will veto it—meaning gridlock 101, day one, lesson one, courtesy of the Republican Party and financed by the Koch brothers.

Payback is a disgusting part of politics.   It is negative and counter-productive in the best setting. The best elected officials use it to advance a positive agenda.

That’s not what’s happening now. Instead, a project that will make the Koch brothers richer, set the United States back, perhaps a generation, in environmental advancement, retard our pivot to renewable energy, and cost the country millions of jobs over the next two decades is on the agenda. Rank payola.

American voters—is this what you want? Really?