Five Quick Things: Stupid Is as Stupid Does in the US Senate - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Five Quick Things: Stupid Is as Stupid Does in the US Senate
The Washington Generals play the Harlem Globetrotters, Arlington, Texas, June 22, 2019 (Michael Barera/Wikimedia Commons)

We keep hoping for the Washington Generals to finally fold up shop on Capitol Hill. Having a decades-long pristine record of political defeats at the hands of the Harlem Globetrotters, after all, can’t be sustainable.

And it isn’t. The Washington Generals are a dying franchise.

But when the Generals sent their starting five of Mitt Romney, Bill Cassidy, Rob Portman, Susan Collins, and Lisa Murkowski to take on the Globetrotters at the White House Thursday, it was clear they had one more defeat left in them.

Which they inflicted on us by agreeing to an “infrastructure” package worth just under a trillion dollars. The Globetrotters win again, even with a should-be dementia patient coaching their side (or at least eating the pudding from the fridge in the locker room).

1. Why on Earth would you do this deal?

Consider the week the Biden administration has been having. Hell, consider the month!

There was a failed summit with Vladimir Putin, which utterly humiliated the country. There was the rolling disaster of Kamala Harris and the border, something the administration had to capitulate on. There were the plummeting popularity ratings. There was the inevitable, but nevertheless catastrophic collapse of the “For the People Act” due to a Republican filibuster. There was the suspect economic performance and soaring inflation. There was the defeat in federal court of Biden’s ban on oil and gas leasing on federal lands. There is the mounting public outcry against critical race theory (more on that below). There is even the fact that Biden made a vague threat to use nuclear weapons on the American people Wednesday while having to address out-of-control crime in cities being run by Democrats (and, of course, the answer is to take guns away from the law-abiding, presumably like this guy).

By Thursday Biden was clearly desperate for some good news to offset a growing public perception that his administration is foundering.

Meaning Biden needed this infrastructure deal a whole lot more than any Republicans in the Senate did. And House and Senate Democrats, who look more and more like an endangered species, certainly needed it more.

Not because they need “infrastructure,” mind you. If these people actually needed “infrastructure” in their states and districts they would have done a deal with President Trump years ago when he was asking for one, and the fruits of that deal would be falling from the political tree now.

No, what they needed was a break in the negative momentum.

Besides, the “infrastructure” was always there for the taking. Biden and his Democrat allies on the Hill have been cooking up a budget reconciliation piece that would blow the bottom out of our fiscal ship, with trillions of dollars in swag not just for roads and bridges but lots of other things that you have to be a slimy liar like Kirsten Gillibrand to consider as “infrastructure.” And the Republicans can’t filibuster that.

So the point isn’t that if the Washington Generals hadn’t come to the table there would be no “infrastructure” deal. It was always there, and it was always going to happen sooner or later.

The point was not to give these people a political victory without exacting a price for it.

And where is that price?

If the price had been to demand Biden forego his trillions for “infrastructure” — like Gillibrand said with a straight face, that now includes free taxpayer-funded child care — in return for this deal, it would qualify as getting some sort of consideration for giving him this win. But nope — Biden said just after the “bipartisan” press conference that he won’t accept this deal unless he gets the reconciliation piece as well.

This is your Stupid Party at work. And don’t come to me with “But muh bridges.” You’re getting those anyway, because the bridges connect cities run by Democrats.

2. Why does this keep happening?

If you read my site, or if you listened to my podcast on Thursday, you know about my theory of why the GOP has had so many terrible negotiators in legislative settings like this.

It’s pretty simple, really. It’s about where Republicans get their politicians compared to where Democrats get theirs.

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.

I wish I had an answer for how to teach these people not to do these things. And I know what’s coming in the comments — it’s that these people aren’t on our side. There is something to that, but at the end of the day that’s not the problem. The problem is they’re sheep amid the wolves.

The good news is the Portmans, Romneys, and Cassidys aren’t the future of the party. The future is the Cottons, Hawleys, and Cruzes, who come from more of a win-lose perspective. They’re less likely to get rolled than the Washington Generals are. But it’s a long process putting the Generals out of business, and clearly it isn’t over.

3. On the other hand, the other side is pretty stupid, too, and CRT proves it

Last week there was a column in this space talking about how the Right is winning on the subject of critical race theory. That’s happening. In fact, it’s pretty clearly gaining steam.

The backlash to this is growing, and we’re getting to the point where it’s the hottest topic of conversation in the country.

How can it not be? This garbage is everywhere. It’s in every TV commercial you see, it’s happening in HR training everywhere, it’s so deeply embedded in the public schools that you couldn’t ban “critical race theory” in the schools without ripping out practically every bit of the curriculum. And it’s completely pervasive in pop culture.

We’re awash in it, and people absolutely hate it. The only place it isn’t poison is Twitter, and Twitter, to the everlasting lament of the Left, is not real life.

But the Democrats have staked their whole future on critical race theory — so much so that they’re doing everything they can to inflict it on our military, which is proving to be a disaster.

This will go very badly at the next election, particularly if what’s happening at the local school boards, where things are getting so contentious over CRT that the politicians are kicking their constituents out of the meetings, is any indication.

But here’s an idea where the CRT poison can end up being a net positive: it’s time to unionize public school parents.

The rudiments are already there, particularly with these loosely organized parent groups popping up to fight CRT in the schools across the country. Those are great, but the resources associated with each of them aren’t going to match those of the teachers unions. And if you don’t think the teachers unions are wholly on board with CRT, you are not paying attention.

And relying on the entry-level politicians on local school boards to hold the line here is an absolute mistake.

But unionize the parents and have them become not just a voting bloc but a full-fledged advocacy force that makes big demands on those school boards and threatens to kill property tax renewals and other revenue measures, not to mention circulates tickets in school board races (which is a big deal since lots of school districts hold “nonpartisan” elections and voters have no idea which no-name pols to vote for), and you’ve changed the balance of power.

And think about the havoc you could wreak on the Left’s educational fiefdoms with a good aggressive union: grievances filed against bad teachers, collective bargaining for all kinds of student conditions, demands for educational choice, anti-CRT actions, even student strikes. These people would have absolutely no hope of standing up to that kind of pressure.

It’s an idea whose time has come. And it might even create some of those win-lose negotiators Republicans need so badly.

4. Watch the Twitter lawsuit in California

I didn’t want to let this column go by without mentioning this, because it’s a really big deal.

There’s a quite talented pro-Trump activist named Rogan O’Handley who found himself suppressed and censored by Twitter for expressing things that were fairly tame and within the political mainstream, if certainly not in concert with the main political viewpoint of Twitter (which is, by the way, not real life).

O’Handley decided to sue. And as it turns out, he hit the jackpot in pre-suit discovery through a California public records request. There is such a thing in California as the Office of Elections Cybersecurity, which is essentially an Orwellian Ministry of Truth that spends taxpayer money on private contractors who then attempt to deplatform and silence people who offer dissent to the main narratives the Democrats who run California prefer.

O’Handley’s attorneys, Harmeet K. Dhillon and Ron Coleman, have even uncovered damning emails whereby this Office of Elections Cybersecurity is drafting Twitter into deplatforming conservative activists like O’Handley. Factually, this might be the best case yet for a First Amendment violation based on political bias.

It’s a big deal. The stakes are super-high. It’s probably a Supreme Court case at some point. On the facts and on a conventional understanding of the First Amendment, you would think Twitter has a big problem given that those emails make a really strong case that they’re acting as an arm of the state in censoring political speech.

You can imagine the implications of that. For more on it, see this podcast. It’s well worth six minutes of your time.

5. Book news and Speakeasy news

By now, regular readers of the column know about The Speakeasy, the new social media app yours truly is involved in rolling out. It’s gradually gaining momentum, and there’s now an American Spectator Channel in it where you can find lots of cool stuff from The American Spectator. Definitely check out the app if you haven’t. It’s a free-speech platform like Parler and Gab, but it’s not exclusively political like those and therefore more fun.

But what might be even cooler than that is all the big developments on the Scott-is-a-novelist-in-case-you-weren’t-aware front. I just finished the second edition of my first novel, Animus, which makes it bigger and better, and it’s now available at Amazon in ebook format and will be available as a paperback early next week. Of course, the second and third books in the series, Perdition and Retribution, are also available for sale, and you’ll really want to grab all three to get the full experience.

Work has begun on the fourth novel, Quandary, which will wrap up the series. I’ll have it out by the end of the year; I’m a quarter of the way through the first draft already. And when it’s done, the next project will be a political book or two based on subjects that have made their debut in this column. Stay tuned for that.

Scott McKay
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Scott McKay is a contributing editor at The American Spectator  and publisher of the Hayride, which offers news and commentary on Louisiana and national politics, and, a national political news aggregation and opinion site. Additionally, he's the author of the new book The Revivalist Manifesto: How Patriots Can Win The Next American Era, available at He’s also a writer of fiction — check out his three Tales of Ardenia novels Animus, Perdition and Retribution at Amazon. Scott's other project is The Speakeasy, a free-speech social and news app with benefits - check it out here.
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