Friday, August 31, 2007

Sit down to negiotiate or walk away?

Jeffrey Feldman| BIO | I'M A FAN OF THIS BLOGGER
Dems Should Walk Away
Posted August 31, 2007 | 10:12 AM (EST)
Read More: Breaking Politics News, U.S. Republican Party, U.S. Senate, Harry Reid, U.S. Democratic Party, George W. Bush, Dick Cheney

According to the Washington Post, Harry Reid is again 'negotiating' with Senate Republicans about ways to end the nightmare on Baghdad Street often referred to as 'the war in Iraq' (i.e., it's not a 'war'--it's a burned-out military occupation). What's up for negotiation this time? You guessed it: Bush wants $50 billion more for Iraq. Apparently, Republicans are willing to sit down and talk about legislation to get out of Iraq, with just a few conditions: they refuse to use the words 'deadline' or 'timetable' or 'withdrawal.' In other words, the Republicans are happy to negotiation with Democrats about ending the war on Iraq, but refuse to allow any of the words Americans use to talk about ending a war.

Now, I ask myself: would I sit down at the negotiating table if the opposition put forward that kind of condition as their opening position? Let me think...


'Bad Faith' Republicans

I would have to be an idiot to think I was 'negotiating' if the opposition refused to use words that allow us to actually talk about the subject at hand. I would not sit down given that condition because it would not be a negotiation if I did. It would be a bad faith manipulation. To sit down would be to concede first, negotiate later. And if you concede firsts, there is no need to negotiation. So I would walk away. And Dems should, too.

But just to make this point clear enough, I've assembled a list of some common, everyday negotiations to see what they would look like if they were rigged from the start they same way as the Senate negotiations on Iraq.

Read the following situations and decide whether you would sit down at the table or walk away (***answer key included below).

Sit Down or Walk Away?

1. You want to buy a house and call the seller to negotiate the price. The seller says, "I'd be happy to talk with you on the condition that we do not discuss the house or the price." Should you sit down or walk away?

2. You want to ask your girlfriend's father for her hand in marriage. Her father says, "I'd be happy to talk with you on the condition that we do not discussion marriage or my daughter." Should you sit down or walk away?

3. You want to buy a car from dealer and you want to get the best deal possible. The dealer says, "I'd be happy to talk to you a deal on the condition that we do not use the word car, price or delivery." Should you sit down or walk away?

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