A common theme in cheesy slasher horror movies is to have the main characters lulled into a false sense of security. The rampaging psychopath has seemingly been destroyed, everyone breathes a sigh of relief, and just as someone cracks a joke, the killer re-emerges and claims another victim. This scenario is playing itself out in American politics. But instead of a serial killer, the rampaging psychopath is the coal industry’s pollution of the public discourse.
As I’ve pointed out in the past, the coal industry-sponsored talking point of an Obama administration “war on coal” failed to resonate with the American public during the 2012 election cycle. That’s not speculation, it’s the industry’s own admission. They conceded that the public didn’t buy into the idea, and that it was a lousy attempt. Despite this evidence, their bought and paid for political lackeys are still beating the 'war on coal' drums.
Last week, it was Republicans Ed Whitfield and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell claiming that they would make the “war on coal” a staple of next year’s midterm elections. Not being one to miss the opportunity to misinform the public, Republican Senator Rand Paul from Kentucky made it clear this week that he, too, would be using the “war on coal” as a major talking point for the next 12 months in an attempt to smear his political opponents.