The collusion is real and it’s spectacular.
The Biden administration on Monday deployed top officials to Capitol Hill in a bid to lock in wavering Senate Democrats against a GOP push for sanctions on a Russian gas pipeline.
Democrats are poised later this week to reject Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-Texas) sanctions bill that would cripple the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which is in the final stages of approval and will send cheap natural gas from Russia to Germany. Cruz’s plan, Democrats argue, would undercut President Joe Biden’s ability to use the pipeline as leverage over Moscow as it threatens to invade Ukraine again.
That last one is hilarious since the Biden administration made it clear that it’s not going to stop Nord Stream 2. Imposing sanctions would actually provide more leverage since the Biden administration would be able to offer to lift them.
But this is a classic from the Ben Rhodes playbook also known as, “It’s not a weakness, it’s a strength.”
The upcoming vote — which Cruz forced after blocking dozens of State Department nominees — will be a difficult one for Democrats, who have previously supported the sanctions outlined in Cruz’s legislation. Few, if any Democrats defended the Biden administration’s move last year to waive those sanctions.
Senate Dems get to live in a world in which they have to keep defending the indefensible from the Biden administration. In this case they have to do it without asking the obvious question, “What’s in it for the big guy?”