I read a comment on a website this morning that I thought was pretty good. The present shutdown/hostage situation that the country is embroiled in is like the schoolyard bully who threatens to punch your teeth in unless you give him your lunch money. Only now the bully is blaming the poor victim because he refused to negotiate.
The House Republicans have now successfully shut down many arms of the government, and they are, as Michelle Bachmann says, happier than they have been in ages. Pig in shit. It is Obama's fault, because he will not fall for their gamesmanship and adopt piecemeal fixes that will fund everything but the President's signature achievement, the Affordable Care Act. So now we get to hear this insipid banter about Veteran's being denied entrance to some stupid monument. All Obama's fault, for not caving in to the demands of the minority, a minority that doesn't give a rat's ass for the opinions of the 200 democratic members of their own house, not to mention the rest of us.
I am so sick about hearing how they are merely responding to the demands of the American people who don't want Obamacare, when polls show that a full 72% of the populace is against defunding it. These Republicans are amazingly tone deaf.
I heard a talking head yesterday opine that they had really switched places with the sixties version of southern democrats and I think that is possibly true. The wheelhouse for the movement is the south. Their hatred for the government is like the barefoot guy at the whiskey still screaming about the dad gum"revenooers." Even though they themselves are the fattest pigs at the trough.
And I still have to wonder if there is a deep seated problem that many whites have taking orders from a black man at the helm of our nation's ship? Of course even the KKK has been put out by the current shutdown.
I guess if there is a redeeming highlight to the shutdown it is that General Alexander and Intelligence Director Clapper over at the NSA are worried sick that their civilian analyst workforce that is now out of a paycheck is temporarily off the job. Clapper said that the shutdown "is a dreamland for foreign intelligence to recruit, especially as our employees, already subject to furloughs driven by sequestration, will have even greater financial challenges.
Well how about that, these stalwart citizens that we needn't worry about pouring over our daily data communication might even decide to go out and work for the highest bidder, maybe in Moscow or Beijing? And we are supposed to trust these guys, the guys that you are suddenly worried about?
This whole episode is making me sick. I can easily visualize it extending through a national default. The last similar debacle cost our country 18 billion dollars and took years to get out of. We are embroiled in a quasi oedipal struggle where the adolescent is trying to grab power and kill daddy, with no thought as to the real world ramifications of their temper tantrum. And the Republicans seem to count on people being either too stupid or too lazy to pay attention to what is actually happening. Not a bad strategy, come to think of it.
All this Speaker has to do, this white shoed, orange skinned, pastel tied, gin soaked, used car salesman Boehner who has to be the weakest Speaker we have ever had, is allow the Senate bill to come to a vote in his house. Straight up and down, let the members of his body decide and stop with all of this horse shit. But he can't do that, because after all, we are in the middle of a civil war, or an uncivil war, and like the last southern general of note, Robert E. Lee. he must go down with the ship. As will, unfortunately, the rest of us.
The President, of course, is not without blame. Democrats and Republicans alike have complained about his aloof and imperial manner. Bill Clinton might have managed to find middle ground in this sordid situation. But it is a different time, the political landscape has even become more polarized, and there is little incentive to reach to the middle in the new America.
The Republicans have given this President less support, from day one, than any President in history, at least by my reckoning. And he is a basically accommodating man, too accommodating for me in fact. Can he be blamed for not bargaining with a group that has done nothing less than try to cut off his balls for the last six years?
I found a website today called How to Negotiate, Negotiation skills for any Situation and gleaned this tidbit. If you are reading this, Barack, you just might want to take note:
How to negotiate with a bully.
Elephants, gorillas and lions all posture as though they think they are all powerful. All it takes is one retort from your trusty elephant gun to shake their confidence!
Bullies are not just kids on the playground or lurking after school. Unchecked they grow up developing the interpersonal traits of the habitual bully. As grown-ups, bullying is often a characteristic of those not in power but close to it. Often powerful managers will have excellent hatchet men as assistants. These alter ego manifestations wield school yard bullying tactics in the name of their patron. Often the assistant is so afraid of failure that they exceed their authority. Such behavior, while effective much of the time, can be a buffered situation that hinders effective negotiations. If you are being 'handled' by such an assistant, find a way to deal directly with the principal.
If you possess the power to dictate terms in a negotiation, do so in a way that does not appear to be bullying, autocratic or dictatorial. You want to structure an agreement that both parties want to keep. It is always good to have everyone leave the table with some self-esteem intact. In business, people change positions and companies a lot. You never know if the person you abused last week will be sitting across the table from you when the power equation is reversed. Build relationships as you meet and deal with people. The relationships you develop along the way will pay dividends in the future.