I’ll start this off with a quick announcement, which might be meaningful to regular readers of this column for its own sake and to others for what it allows me to impart.
That is, in just a few days I’m turning in the manuscript for The Revivalist Manifesto to the publisher, and hopefully that’ll mean it’ll be available for purchase before we’re too far into the spring.
For you regular readers, you’re probably going to love this book, as very many of the ideas and discussions you’ve seen in this space will get a fuller exposition. For everyone else, it could be well worth a read because it discusses something that should be in the minds of all observers of American politics this year.
We know that we’re about to see a sizable wave election this fall, barring something unforeseen, and that wave will sweep away Democrat majorities in at least the House and more likely than not the Senate. What The Revivalist Manifesto does is put that wave in the context of American history and articulate why and how it could mean more than other midterm blowouts like 1994 and 2010.
Part of the “how” in that formulation involves the Republican Party actually being respectably good at what it does in a legislative setting. For most of the time since Newt Gingrich’s retirement as House Speaker in 1998, that hasn’t been much in effect. My theory is the incompetence and infirmity of will of the post-Reagan GOP, the gang I call Bush Republicans, have squandered the birth of what should have been a multigenerational era of conservative governance. The GOP has been, all too often, the Stupid Party, and that has come at great cost to the American people as the country has declined.
And one of the manifestations of this is something I talk about in the book and which I’ve talked about here in this space. It’s the problem of negotiating styles.
I explained it back in June of last year like this:
Republican pols generally come from the business world. And in the business world you’re taught that what you want for a successful negotiation is a “win-win.” One where both sides make out well. In business that’s actually better, as often as not, than a negotiation that results in a lopsided result in your favor because if you completely take the other guy to the cleaners bad things ultimately happen.
He’ll pull out of the deal, thinking it’s cheaper to settle a lawsuit or even fight it. Or maybe he’ll go broke. Or he’ll find a way to be incapable of fulfilling its terms. Either way, you don’t get the deal you thought you’d get. So it’s better to build a lasting, profitable partnership.
And in business, that is the way you want to do it.
But Democrats don’t come from business. They hate business. They prey on business. They’re trial lawyers, union people, race-hustlers, and all kinds of other professions in which, when there are negotiations, win-win is never how it’s done.
How does it work when win-win negotiators go up against win-lose negotiators?
Like this: Democrats show up and demand 100. They offer nothing in return. And Republicans think their job is to make both their constituents and the Democrats happy. So they don’t ask for anything. They just seek to give less than 100.
And the Democrats take 30 instead of 100, this time — knowing they’ll be back for more later.
The Republicans think it’s a win-win. But when you ask them what they got for the 30, they’ll tell you they got 70. And they have no answer when you point out that they’d have 100 if they’d gotten up from the table.
One of the absolute most important things that must be done if we’re to improve Republican politics to the point where the party is worthy and capable of leading the country is to learn how not to get taken to the cleaners by trying to be nice. And we’ve got a great opportunity to practice some of those skills without failure doing much harm to the movement.
Joe Biden’s catastrophically obnoxious, not to mention deeply racist, Supreme Court nomination process is such an opportunity.
Nobody Biden nominates to replace Stephen Breyer on the Court will be better than Breyer. It’s more or less assured that this someone, who Biden instructs us will be a black woman, will be worse. Not that we’ll notice much; the Supreme Court is a 5-4, or sometimes 6-3 when John Roberts isn’t acting like somebody has blackmail material on him, conservative majority. That will remain true when Breyer is replaced by some Ivy League–educated ruling-class black female lawyer trained and willing to impose Marxist politics on the highest court in the land.
That process, in which Biden has essentially doomed his nominee as a diversity hire by openly announcing that more than 90 percent of the population cannot qualify based on sex and racial identity to get the job, is horrific and illegitimate. I said in yesterday’s column that whomever he nominates should refuse to accept based on the fact he’s slotting this seat on the Supreme Court bench exclusively for a specific demographic category; that not only denigrates her professional achievements by making her a classic diversity hire, but the whole process is illegal per a very prominent Supreme Court decision.
In Bakke v. California, the Supreme Court stated that racial quotas are unconstitutional, though affirmative action may not be. To accept an appointment to the Supreme Court explicitly based on a criteria of racial quotas — namely that there aren’t any black women on the Court and so Biden publicly says this seat is reserved for that class of people — is to spit in the face of that decision.
And it’s disqualifying of the nominee.
This isn’t just semantics. It actually means something. If you’re the Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee your challenge is to kill Biden’s first nomination as a matter of principle, because a diversity hire based on an explicit racial quota for the very institution declaring them unconstitutional makes a mockery of the entire system. All Biden had to do was shut up about his criteria and you wouldn’t have had this point to make, but he’s literally too stupid to have done that.
Which is a pattern for Biden, who’s always reminded me of the idiot Harry Ellis from the first Die Hard movie based on his big mouth and fatal puffery. But that’s another column.
Now, perhaps you can’t kill the nomination. Perhaps there isn’t some crucial infirmity — financial impropriety, ethical lapse, etc. — that Team Biden missed or arrogantly thought they could slide past the Senate. At minimum, the nominee has to be bloodied every bit as badly as Clarence Thomas and Brett Kavanaugh were. Power Line’s Steve Hayward put this very well:
I believe classic game theory prescribes that tit-for-tat is the best strategy for making your opponent change their behavior. So by all means the GOP should impeach Biden (the grounds are far better anyway), and should also exact a high cost for Biden’s Supreme Court nominee. After all, Joe Biden is the person most responsible for poisoning the judicial confirmation process, starting with Bork in 1987. Time for payback. Stopping Garland in 2016 was good, but the Kavanaugh matter still needs to be redressed.
Remember, 76 percent of the public opposes Biden’s racial-quota Supreme Court hiring process. That number will not change substantially if the GOP mounts an attack on the product of the process.
You don’t have to dredge up an Anita Hill or Christine Blasey Ford to appear at Dick Durbin’s committee and spin lies about personal misconduct. Better to find people victimized by bad judicial decisions of the nominee who tearfully explain the unjust consequences they had to bear thanks to her radicalism and incompetence. Nobody could call that kind of inquisition unfair, and yet Republicans don’t do it to Democrat nominees.
That needs to change. The instinct among the Stupid Party on Capitol Hill is likely going to be that if they do nothing the public will simply hand them a congressional majority. Even if it comes to pass, that’s a bad instinct for two reasons.
First, if you don’t control events, they’ll control you, and if you don’t at least resist this nomination long enough to give Team Biden a chance to make a catastrophic blunder, which they have consistently done since taking office, then you might actually allow them to give off the impression there is something they can do effectively. You might even open the door for Biden’s recovery if you let this colossal racist blunder slide. Why give these people a pass on anything when they’re siccing the FBI on your voters for complaining at school board meetings and putting them out of work for refusing to undergo a largely ineffective medical procedure? They don’t deserve the benefit of the doubt, particularly given the above.
And second, it’s one thing to get that majority. It’s something else entirely to deserve it. Three-quarters of the American people, which includes 100 percent of the people disposed to vote for you in those elections this fall, are horrified over Biden’s restricting access to this job to a group that is less than 10 percent of the population. If you don’t do something about it, you do not deserve our votes. The No. 1 reason the GOP keeps allowing Democrats and the Left back in power is the nonstop betrayal of its voters, and this is perhaps the best opportunity yet to demonstrate that Republicans on Capitol Hill have changed. I sure hope that Mitch McConnell and his Usual Suspect pals don’t think they’re surging on the generic ballot because we’ve discovered some new appreciation for their brilliance.
This doesn’t mean this is a do-or-die situation. Maybe you can’t stop this nominee from being confirmed, and if she is, the Court won’t have changed one little bit. But you have to at least rough her up some, and you have to make it absolutely clear that it’s being done as a matter of principle and not personality. Or, as the morons on the left will charge, “racism.”
If nothing else, the nominee must be challenged on the question of her acceptance of the nomination as a diversity hire, and whether Joe Biden was wrong to select her under so poisonous a process, and to force her to answer for the implications of that on an aspirationally colorblind society. Those are questions she’ll be in an impossible position to answer, and the only honorable way onto the Court under such circumstances would be to eviscerate Biden for his terrible conduct to date.