As I've mentioned before here, in another lifetime, I used to referee karate tournaments. (This was before I went to Okinawa and saw the real thing and realized it should never have been turned into a sport, but I digress.) Anyhow, I really tried to call em like I saw em regardless of what I thought of the competitors, their style, teacher or uniform.
So, in that spirit of fair play, I'm calling "Ippon!" (Japanese for full point) to WV Republican congressman David McKinley. He cosponsored a bill, with Democrat Peter Welch from Vermont, that would provide transitional assistance to coal miners who lose their jobs. The legislation was modeled in part on the Trade Adjustment Assistance Act, which was designed to help workers who lost employment due to trade policies. As I argued in this op-ed, there is plenty of precedence for this kind of thing.
Welch is concerned about climate change. McKinley is a denier. Both may have different views on what is causing distress in the coalfields, as in the market or federal policies. But they did find something important to agree on
I think this is a put up or shut up moment for any Appalachian politician who holds or aspires to federal office. If you pretend to care about miners, then do all you can to push for policies to help those who are losing their jobs. Or else shut up about the so-called "war on coal." Because even if Obama and the EPA would go away today, the market wouldn't.