By rejecting the Keystone XL oil pipeline, President Obama did more than just pander to environmentalists. He shredded attempts by his handlers to cast him as a pragmatic and reasonable man who can appeal to independent voters.

Instead, he stands naked as an ideologue willing to sacrifice workers on the altar of special-interest politics.

Thousands of jobs were cast aside with no more thought than yesterday’s socks. Demolished, too, is the promised commitment to energy independence.

The $7 billion pipeline would carry Canadian oil to Gulf Coast ports. Despite three years of study by the State Department, Obama tried to put off the decision until after the election.

But Canada offered to change the route to avoid an aquifer in Nebraska, and unions demanded to know whether he would approve a permit, so Republicans put a 60-day deadline in December’s payroll-tax legislation.

Now we have undeniable proof of the president’s priorities. The man who insisted that “making sure jobs are available is the first thing I think about when I wake up every morning” was just reading empty words from a TelePrompter.

Obama didn’t even have the decency to explain himself, sending out a lame statement that hinted he wasn’t making a decision on the merits, only reacting to the deadline.

The suggestion that he might ultimately approve the project is a shameless bid to deny the obvious. He made his choice because that’s who he is.

Meanwhile, Canada, saying it is “profoundly disappointed,” is turning to Plan B. It likely will build a pipeline to its West Coast and sell the oil to China.

Michael Goodwin is a Fox News contributor and New York Post columnist. To continue reading his column on other topics, including Obama adviser David Axelrod, click here.  

Michael Goodwin is a Fox News contributor and New York Post columnist.