The Buzz

January 27, 2014

Blunt warns Obama in advance of State of the Union speech Tuesday

Here’s the amazing thing about politicians: They talk in warm weather — and in cold.

The Buzz

The facts, faces and hum of local politics with Steve Kraske and Dave Helling

Here’s the amazing thing about politicians: They talk in warm weather — and in cold.

• “If all he has to offer is more of the same, or if he refuses to acknowledge that his own policies have failed to work, the president is simply doing what many failed leaders have done before him: trying to set one group of Americans against another group of Americans.” — Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt, a Republican, in the GOP’s weekly radio address in which he outlined a series of Republican proposals in advance of President Obama’s State of the Union address on Tuesday.

Blunt, in particular, took aim at the president’s “year of action” rhetoric and said Republicans are ready for their own year of action that includes abolishing Obamacare. Blunt called for wiping out confusing government regulations and urged support of the Keystone XL Pipeline. But if he expects the president to admit on Tuesday night that his policies have failed, he should think again.

• “On March 14, 2013, at a meeting with Senate Republicans, you were asked when we could expect a final decision on the Keystone XL pipeline. At that time, you told us that a decision on the Presidential Permit would be made before the end of the year. We are well into 2014 and you still have not made a decision.” — Kansas Sen. Jerry Moran, a Republican, and colleagues in a letter to Obama urging action on the pipeline.

Republicans continue to insist the pipeline would be a huge job generator. Obama, though, is concerned about the potential for environmental damage. The pipeline would carry crude oil from Canada to the Gulf Coast. Obama has still not signaled when he’ll render a decision.

• “We are seeing a split in the Democratic Party between self-described progressives and the old guard. If you dig deep, you see that these are old dividing lines based on economics, region, and culture.” — Brown University political scientist Wendy Schiller

to CNN.

No question Democrats are divided between the Elizabeth Warren liberal wing and the more centrist Bill Clinton group. But Democrats have one thing going for them: The split, at least so far, is not as intractable as the divide between conservative and moderate Republicans. See the next quote for a prime example.

• “Only in times of great crisis or betrayal is it necessary to publicly censure our leaders. Today we are faced with both.” — from a censure resolution aimed at Arizona Sen. John McCain by his state’s Republican Party.

The resolution

passed this weekend on a voice vote by some 1,600 committee members at a church in Tempe, Ariz.

McCain, who has served 27 years in the Senate, was reprimanded for what Republicans called “a long and terrible record of drafting, co-sponsoring and voting for legislation best associated with liberal Democrats.” They cited McCain’s support for funding Obamacare and gun rights. McCain, 77, has said he might seek re-election in 2016.

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