In calling for more strict laws to protect the health and safety of coal miners, U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller clearly is attempting to pander to them while diverting attention from his support of President Barack Obama's campaign to destroy their jobs.
No reasonable person objects to laws meant to protect miners, of course. That makes it easy for Rockefeller, D-W.Va., to appear to be championing them by proposing new legislation on the subject.
Never mind that much of the problem concerning mine safety appears to be failure to enforce existing laws adequately. Like many of his fellow liberals, Rockefeller prefers to focus on new layers of regulation rather than forcing the bureaucracy to do its job with existing laws.
Meanwhile, Rockefeller has supported Obama's war on coal. In fact, he insists worry about Environmental Protection Agency initiatives against the industry has "such a damaging effect."
That is ridiculous, of course. What has been damaging is the White House's multi-pronged campaign against coal - and against reasonably priced electricity for tens of millions of Americans.
So blind has the senator been to his constituents' best interests that he insists the EPA is merely doing what the courts require. Yet during the past few months, courts have ruled against the EPA on coal issues four times.
Rockefeller's diversionary strategy won't work. West Virginia voters won't continue to fall for it.