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Obama's kidney punch to environmentalists

Chris Bowers on Open Left says that Obama’s decision to expand offshore drilling is more  a move to gain support from conservative Democrats than an attempt to reach across the aisle. As Bowers sees it, Obama’s popularity among core Democrats and progressives is high enough to allow him to play the middle against the left:

Rather than trying to placate green groups, the President Obama is playing up how he is charting a unifying course of moderation in opposition to those groups.  Much like Blanche Lincoln, he protrays himself as an independent, nonpartisan voice standing up to environmental extremists on behalf of his constiuents.