Some Democrat leaders in West Virginia may give their allegiance to constituents rather than their party - but they surely understand how the political wind blows in Washington. And they also must understand the liberals who have taken control of their party mean to let nothing stand in the way of their agenda.
That may make what the state Democratic Executive Committee did this week appear a bit puzzling. The committee sent a letter, signed by 14 top West Virginia Democrats, to Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy.
Both Democrats and Republicans in our state are upset about the EPA's plan for harsh new regulations on coal-fired power plants. If implemented, they will drive up the price of electric power and add to the devastation the EPA already has wrought on the coal industry.
EPA officials claimed they wanted public input on the plan. So, they are staging a series of 11 meetings in a "listening tour" throughout the country. Not one of the public meetings is in a state that relies heavily on coal for its electricity. Not one is in a major coal-producing state.
"West Virginia and other coal-producing states deserve a seat at the table," the letter admonishes McCarthy. It asks that she visit West Virginia.
That is unlikely to happen. Even if it does, the EPA, taking its marching orders from President Barack Obama, will not hesitate in implementing its proposed new rules.
Surely the Democrats who signed the letter, including Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, understand that (Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., has supported Obama's war on coal, so it is no surprise he did not sign).
Of course, the signatories trying to reason with McCarthy and Obama will do no good. Their letter was no more than an attempt to put them on record in opposition.
The harsh truth is that neither McCarthy nor Obama, nor Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, care at all what West Virginians think. They have made their decisions - and it simply doesn't matter that tens of millions of Americans will suffer because of them.