We few out in the Country who actually practice adversarial public sector labor relations knew what Comrade Obama was the second we laid eyes on him. By “adversarial” I mean work for a Republican government in a union state where you actually have to bargain with unions. In Democrat controlled states, the government conspires with unions against the people and the legislature.
When I saw him make his famous speech at the ’02 (IIRC) convention I said to myself, “I know you, you’re the one they think they can dress up and pass off as reasonable.” He’s pretty much a by the book communist/union organizer and anyone who deals with him should know Alinsky like a Baptist minister knows the New Testament.
Somebody like Obama is almost impossible for “nice guy” Republicans to deal with. The Republicans get their ideas about negotiating from “Getting to Yes” while Obama and his ilk get theirs from “Rules for Radicals.” In the recent debt debate, Obama didn’t want a deal, he wanted a political process that could be played to his advantage, and he was very successful against the “nice guys” in getting that. Typical of an Alinskyite, he never made a concrete proposal, just some pie in the sky positions, and made the Republicans negotiate with themselves to try to come up with something he would buy. Anyone who’s ever dealt with a public employee union knows that game. If you start from the position that a agreement with them is your objective, you wind up compromising yourself into their position, which is exactly what Boehner/McConnell did. Both of them are too much from the “nice guy” tradition to understand that the only way to bargain with a communist-trained negotiator is to start out with a position that if he is forced to accept it, will kill him politically or economically and make it so that the default from his not reaching agreement is having to live under your untenable for him conditions. In other words, you really do have to do what the Ds were accusing the Tea Partiers of, you hold a gun to their heads, a political or economic gun of course, and quietly say, “be reasonable so I don’t have to use it.”