A piece posted at The Hill Tuesday night provides an interesting little teaching moment for budding conservative politicians eager to run and make a difference amid the red wave building in advance of next November. After all, it isn’t enough to want to do good — you’d better be equipped with a skill set and a brass pair if you’re going to actually amount to something.
Politics being war by other means, that is.
Starring in the Hill story is one Ted Cruz, U.S. senator from Texas and colossal pain in the rear end of Democrats…
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said on Tuesday that he has made an offer to Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) to drop his hold on some of President Biden’s ambassador nominees in exchange for a vote on Nord Stream 2 pipeline sanctions.
Cruz, speaking to reporters, said he had made an offer to Schumer and had spoken with Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday.
“I have an offer on the table,” Cruz said. “It’s in Schumer’s hands.”
“I spoke this morning to Secretary Blinken who would very much like to see the tranche of ambassadors that I’ve offered to clear go through,” he said.
The offer comes as most of Biden’s State Department nominees have been stuck at a standstill amid a blockade lead by Cruz and Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.).
Cruz has vowed to slow walk the picks until the Biden administration imposes congressionally mandated sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which was built to allow Russia to deliver natural gas to Germany.
Has Cruz won on this issue? As of this writing, no. It’s still an inconclusive and fluid situation. Cruz hasn’t said how many of Biden’s State Department nominees he’ll relax on, and Schumer hasn’t accepted anything so far.
But that isn’t the point. The point is the negotiating tactic Cruz is using.
What Cruz is doing is essentially what Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton have made entire careers on. It’s dirty, dishonest, and dishonorable but it’s absolutely appropriate to the times and very often effective, and given the utter and total bad faith of today’s Democrat Party, they 100 percent deserve to have it done to them.
Placing holds on those nominees serves no particular interest of Ted Cruz. Without looking at the individuals involved, it’s a good guess none of them are any good — they’re almost assuredly ruling-elite twits with Ivy League pedigrees thoroughly incapable of independent or creative thought, and almost assuredly they’re all angling to spend a few years in cushy Foggy Bottom sinecures on their way to even cushier sinecures with rent-seeking corporations, D.C. law firms, or federal contractors. America is no better or worse off with any of them in or out of office.
Would we be well served if none of these people could get jobs in the federal government? Yes. Certainly. But these people, or others just like them, will get those jobs, at least until January of 2025. Nothing can be done about that.
And Cruz knows it.
He doesn’t care about these people. Or at least, he doesn’t care about most of them.
Putting holds on them is an aggressive, hostile, unwarranted, and unproductive thing to do.
Just like recruiting an army of loudmouthed morons in yellow T-shirts to gather outside of a corporate headquarters and shout offensive accusations of racism is an aggressive, hostile, unwarranted, and unproductive thing to do.
But that anti-social behavior becomes its own currency when you’re willing to trade the cessation of it for something of value — and when the party at whom it’s aimed is willing to supply that consideration.
For Jesse Jackson, the take was, among other items in a long career of grifting, a beer distributorship. For Al Sharpton, it’s been all kinds of things. These guys recognized that threatening white-boy corporate CEOs with bad publicity surrounding a racism beef could be an excellent business model — far more than dry cleaning or greengrocery, for example — and played it to the hilt.
Cruz is simply using what leverage he has against Schumer and Biden. Since it matters a whole lot more to them which of their D.C. elite leftist friends get State Department jobs than it does to Ted Cruz, maybe they’d be willing to trade something that Cruz wants as ransom for those nominees.
Of course, Schumer and Biden damned sure ought to share Cruz’s position on Nord Stream 2. Especially given all the public Russophobia in which they’ve traded since Hillary Clinton’s crooked spinmeisters brewed up the Trump-Russia hoax in 2016. That they don’t share that position is suspicious enough. That Schumer might not take Cruz’s deal is even more suspicious.
Why wouldn’t you impose Nord Stream 2 sanctions on Russia? Forget about the fact Russia is a bad actor seeking to become the hegemon of Europe and the proceeds from that pipeline would inevitably fuel Putin’s aims, those sanctions are simply smart business. America is in the natural gas business and the European market is one of the most lucrative in the world for it. You have to be an idiot or a traitor not to at least put Nord Stream 2 sanctions on the table as something Putin has to bargain his way out of.
Voluntarily surrendering on those sanctions, and then opposing their reimposition when Republicans ask for it, makes for interesting conversations about just how corrupted and compromised the leaders of the Democrat Party really are where it comes to Russia.
Which is something Ted Cruz is more than willing to scream from the rooftops should that time come.
And Cruz understood this from the very beginning.
This is the kind of thing you had better grasp and demonstrate proficiency of before you run for anything, if you’re one of these new MAGA conservatives (or, to use a newer and better term, revivalists) looking to run for the county commission, state representative, school board, or Congress.
For far too long, nice people naive enough to think the strength of their convictions, their basic competence, and their honest will to do good things would make them successful have filled up the Republican primary ballots and very few of them understood what winning was or how the sausage gets made. And increasingly as the Hard Left has swallowed up the well-meaning liberals and taken control of the Democrat Party, those naive Republicans have been humiliated every time they’ve attempted “win-win” negotiations with people who don’t share their values or ethics.
All negotiations with the likes of Biden or Schumer are hostile. Today’s Democrat political elite are enemies. They’re hostile not just to their political opponents but to American values and ideals in general. There can be no “win-win” with them, only “win-lose.”
It’s a zero-sum game.
And in a hostile negotiation, the way to win is to make things so uncomfortable for the other guy that he breaks.
Pressure. Constant pressure.
Jesse Jackson never brought a single thing of value to the table in any of his various extortion schemes. He never produced a widget, jot, or tittle. But he knew pressure, and he knew its use.
If you don’t know how to apply it, or if you don’t have the sand to bring it to bear, then go home. You won’t survive out there.
Because the age of political consensus in America is over. And if the GOP is to be worthy of the power the public is clearly willing to restore to it, the party’s politicians had better act accordingly.