talk balloons

Insane, simply insane

| Let's think about what happens when someone is taken hostage. The hostage-taker siezes the hostage and then makes a demand: Give me what I want or the hostage gets it.

But, that's not how the Repugnicans are doing their current hostage-taking. They're saying Give me what I want and the hostage will get it! And, If you don't give me what I want the hostages will get it anyway!

This is no way to achieve your aims through hostage taking!

And don't get me started on "negotiating" (OK, too late, I'm there).

In a negotiation, you offer the other person something that person wants in the expectation that they will offer you something you want.

But that's not the Repugnican approach to negotiation. They say, "Here's what I want and I'm giving you something you absolutely do not want!"

In short, they lard their proposals with poison pills, with things their interlocutor can't possibly accept. So far, this has played out as follows:

  1. We'll agree to fund the government for 6 weeks — but you have to give up ("de-fund") a government program you worked for 50 years to get enacted. Rejected.
  2. We'll agree to fund the government for 6 weeks — but you have to delay the program for a year, take away provisions for women's healthcare, and repeal one of the taxes to pay for it. Rejected.
  3. We'll agree to fund the government for 6 weeks — but you have delay the requirement for individuals to buy insurance  ("individual mandate") for a year and congressional employees cannot have their employer (Congress) subsidize their insurance (like virtually everyone who gets insurance through their employer). Rejected.
  4. We insist that you talk to us about funding the government — even though the government is already shut down. Rejected.

This is not a negotiation. This is just another form of coersion, trying one odious threat after another.

Furthermore, negotiation requires two parties. Who, specifically, is Obama supposed to negotiate with? He's tried several times to negotiation with Speaker Boehner, the logical negotiating partner, but Boehner has either walked out or taken a deal back to his caucus and been overruled by the TPE. He may be speaker, but he really has no power to speak even for his own party, much less the House. Obama is certainly not going to negotiate with the junior senator from Texas (Ted Cruz).

Maybe House Speaker John Boehner is a genius and he's following a brilliant master plan to let the Tea Party extremists shoot all the arrows in their quiver so he can say OK, we've tried it your way and it hasn't worked. So now we're going to do it my way (ie, bring up a bill the Democrats can vote for too). Unfortunately, I don't think so. He's painted himself into a corner and is beholden to the TPE for his very speakership; I doubt that he has the courage to put his job on the line for the sake of the country.

Last updated on Apr 29, 2016

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