Tuesday, February 10, 2009

negotiation 101

this should not have been a learning experience:

what has this experience with the stimulus led you to think about when you think about these future challenges?

obama: now, just in terms of the historic record here, the republicans were brought in early and were consulted. and you'll remember that when we initially introduced our framework, they were pleasantly surprised and complimentary about the tax cuts that were presented in that framework. those tax cuts are still in there. i mean, i suppose what i could have done is started off with no tax cuts, knowing that i was going to want some, and then let them take credit for all of them. and maybe that's the lesson i learned.

never open with a compromise. always make your counterpart earn every concession, especially when he isn't bargaining in good faith. your initial generosity won't be acknowledged as a concession to be reciprocated and will be treated as a giveaway, as it predictably was: it won obama zero republican votes. his initial plan might as well have been to nationalize the economy and imprison all the bankers for all the support it got from across the aisle. it would have been at least a better hand to start with.

if nothing else, the gambit for "bipartisanship" helped expose the republicans as the "know-nothings" and "do-nothings" they've devolved into, at little cost to obama's popularity.



seventy-six percent of those questioned in a cnn/opinion research corp. survey released monday gave obama a thumbs-up on how he's performing his duties, while 23 percent disapproved.

... three out of four poll respondents said that obama is doing enough to cooperate with republicans in congress, but only 39 percent feel that congressional republicans are cooperating enough with the president.

six out of 10 approved of the way democratic leaders in congress are handling their jobs. but only 44 percent of those questioned approved of the way republican leaders in congress are performing. overall, only 29 percent said they like the way congress is handling its job, with 71 percent disapproving.


  1. Interesting post. Although I liked it better when Kos posted it--he's better grammatically than you are.

    Be sure to pay Kos his royalties for copping it off of him.

    Try and come up with something original next time. Think reeeeeally hard...