Politics may be the art of compromise, but there has been precious little of it from President Barack Obama. That is why West Virginians, Ohioans and others who understand the importance of coal-fired power plants should temper any celebrations of a political defeat the president suffered this week.
Obama had nominated Ron Binz, a Coloradan with a strong anti-coal record, to head the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Binz withdrew his name from consideration this week, after it became clear the Senate would not confirm him.
That small victory was due largely to a decision by U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., to oppose Binz. Manchin is a member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources; his vote, along with those of Republicans on the panel, would have kept Binz's nomination from reaching the full Senate.
Good for Manchin, then, but maybe not so good for Americans in the long run.
Obama's no-compromise record in his war on coal means he probably will follow up with an equally objectionable FERC nominee.
If he chooses to do that, Manchin and Republican senators should block that person, too.
Refusing to compromise is a game two can play. Opponents of Obama's attempt to shut down coal-fired power plants score few victories. This ought to be a continuing one.