Politics may be the art of compromise, but there has been precious little of it from President Barack Obama. That is why Americans who understand the importance of coal-fired power plants should temper any celebrations of a political defeat the president suffered last 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, after it became clear the Senate would not confirm him.
That small victory was due largely to a decision by a group of Republicans on the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. Their votes would have kept Binz's nomination from reaching the full Senate.
This is good for now, 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, the 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. They should keep fighting to win more.