Quote of the Day

A comment by ArtChance in response to this NRO piece by Stanley Kurtz:

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.”

23 thoughts on “Quote of the Day”

  1. The left wing media make it very difficult to win such a contest. That is why we are in such trouble at the state level. A corollary is that legislators are always pushed to spend more by similar forces.

  2. it is interesting to note that obama got hammered in the polls because of his approach to the negotiations.

  3. The GOP is different than the Dems, and it’s becoming more different in response to the Tea Parties. This doesn’t mean the GOP is very good, but I think that it’s better on average and that its best candidates are much better than the best Democratic candidates.

  4. for the past few days I have been mulling over the topic of difficult art of negotiation. this is an interesting tactic I’ll have to think about; so much for me to absorb.

  5. … “be reasonable so I don’t have to use it.”

    I’ve re-read Fehrenbach’s ‘This Kind of War’ a few times.

    This comment describes very neatly how the UN dealt with the Communist Chinese.

    The UN sent soldiers to negotiate the truce. They came expecting to meet their opposite number. They would get a cease fire and let the politicians deal with the rest.

    The Chinese sent Communists to the table. Their job was to continue the war in an area where it was possible for the Chinese to still win.

    They went round and round for another two years. Finally the US fielded nuclear artillery. Not _in_ Korea but real close.

    The Chinese got the idea and the war came to a close real quick.

  6. I mean to add to the above …

    I never would have believed a sober commentator would compare a US President to a Communist.

    And that I’d agree with him.

    Or as they said in the Army “Deeds not words.” Mr. Obama’s deeds speak volumes.

  7. I’ve seen a lot of criticism of Alinsky, but the one piece of his advice that I’ve seen quoted just seemed to be a good description of how Jefferson operated.

  8. Eh. I just thought he was this smooth, Teflon-coated fast-burner affirmative action beneficiary, who had shot up the chain of command so fast that he never stayed long enough in one place for the essential fecklessness to show.
    I saw that almost at once in 2008, and posted about it, on the Daily Brief. Still mystifies me how so many professional political prognosticators didn’t see it as well. Lack of experience in the real world, I guess. Or – as I have lately begin to wonder in my more paranoid moments – professional malfeasance and willful disregard of the evidence.

  9. Sgt. Mom – me too. In November’08 I started a new tag: Oh, Bummer. Unfortunately, I had plenty of material to ascribe it to ever since.
    One post under the tag, in particular, has and still have generated the most visitors in the stats – one from March’09; majority of them are mad Dems of vulgar Marxist variety (like one Gerty, whose comment I left undeleted sort of like a scarecrow for others of her flock).

  10. For what it’s worth, I think Hillary would have been almost as bad. She is far more of a Marxist ideologue than her husband. She also has no experience at anything except cattle futures.

  11. For what it’s worth, I think Hillary would have been almost as bad.

    Hillary would have had the benefit of Bill’s counsel: What Would Bill Do? Well, ask him. You won’t loose political cred by getting Bill’s advice.

    The Mister is a rascal, no doubt. But he’s astute enough to not push and if a thing polled badly, change direction to suit.

  12. Unless one was one of the “None is so blind as those who will not see” crowd, everybody knew what Obama was before the election. Both the PROXIMATE problem (i.e., the election of Obama) and our sociocultural long-term problem as it applies to electoral politics is the media/educational system. By now it should be clear to all that the ENTIRE structure of our public education system K-Harvard is nothing but a leftist indoctrination camp. (Why bother with “re-education” camps when one can get it right the first time?) and that the MSM (so-called) is nothing but an un-modulated megaphone for left-wing talking points. Thus with an electorate already in good measure prepared for the leftist statist message and a complicit MSM deep into zombie like group-think parroting of the leftist message 24/7/365–a constant drumbeat of propaganda saturation that never ends, it’s a wonder that ANY conservative of ANY stripe is EVER elected to ANYTHING. Add as icing on the indoctrination cake Hollywood, tv, music industry and much of the advertising world and Harry Winston-world is complete.

    Lets not delude ourselves, the right is fighting a rearguard action at best. The almost insidious total dominance of American culture by the left is a fact that cannot easily be undone even in the 40+ years it took to accomplish such dominance, let alone in the next few election cycles. The ONLY reason that FDRs “New Deal” socialistic programs didn’t stick in totc post WWII was that enough Americans (and institutions populated by them) were alive that were educated in a time prior to the leftist control of the educational system and thus more culturally/intellectually resistant to the siren-song of statist blandishments. The last of THAT generation (and its predecessors)is dying with the WWII veterans and MY generation (the “war babies” –the generational cohort just prior to the baby-boomers and at the historical apex of academic achievment(as measured by SAT scores, which peaked in 1963 and have slid down-hill since)–the most highly “educated” generation in history, (but alas, also one of the most numerically smallest, thus having a diminished impact) is only going to be around in steadily decreasing numbers for 20 years or so (I’m 67.) IOW, the trends are all against conservative politics and, by extension/definition, constitutional government.

    I am NOT, needless to say, an optimistic happy camper.

    If your rum drinkers I highly recommend the Haitian dark rum Barbancourt 5-Star. It’ll help one get thru our developing “Blade Runner”/”Clockwork Orange” society (anybody read the Milwaukee newspapers lately?) and help the Haitian economy at the same time.

    Welcome to our once and future jungle..

  13. **”…if you’re rum drinkers…” I’m ALREADY well into my cups early this am–as may be seen by my spelling..lol

  14. Tatyana: You might check out the writings of Professor Gerald Williams of Brigham Young University on negotiation for lawyers. His advice works in all types of negotiation, it just that lawyers do a lot more of it than others.

    He identifies styles of negotiation and separates them into two categories, cooperative and aggressive, then examines the attributes of each and further classifies them between effective and ineffective. GOP congressman and senators could benefit from taking a seminar from Professor Williams. Democrats have negotiation skills in their genes, but it doesn’t come natural for Republicans.

    However, the rules for effective negotiation assume that both sides want to strike a bargain and make a deal. Where one side is not operating in good faith and wants the process more than a resolution, the rules are not as applicable. This is where “nice guys” get their clocks cleaned.

    It may be commendable for the GOP to be “nice guys,” but to be hopelessly naive and even downright stupid has nothing to commend it.

  15. How does this post square with the fact that the GOP and Tea Party won this round hands down? Obama tried all these RfR tricks, and still lost.

    I think it was over for him when Boehner quit negotiations and worked with Congress, effectively neutering the President.

    To be sure, the Dems never quit, and their media lackeys will spin this as a draw or a win for the Pres. So what, the nation knows he lost, and they are starting to call him on his act.

    As for the suggestion that the Rs should take a good negotiation class, I agree. That said, I think they played the “We can’t deal with our crazy Tea Party uncle in the attic” act perfectly, giving the Tea Party AND the GOP establishment a win this time around.

  16. i wonder if obama was maneuvered into taking the hit for the recent bond downgrading.

    hiilary would have done even more damage than obama. she seems a spent force now though…”huma, bring me another louffa, this one is shot!!”

  17. It seems to me that finding ways to “inoculate” against the tactics advocated in “Rules for Radicals” must be one of the first steps in moving against the leftists.

    I have often envisioned various “educational” opportunities to make the average citizen familiar with these techniques, so they can recognize when others are “playing” them.

  18. Sports-fans, whatever tactical “wins” the GOP is scoring now are as of nothing compared to the overall cultural & political trends. The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics will dissipate the force of the Tea-Party over time much as the force of water spilled from a pail dissipates
    as it spreads out over the ground or military offensives out-run their logistical train. In order for conservatives to win they must overcome not only the structural forces I spotlighted, above, but the “inside-the-beltway” mindset of much of the GOP leadership–even the conservative element–not to mention RINOs like Olympia Snow, etc. Now that fully 50% of the electorate pay no income taxes and OVER 50% receive some sort of government check, ALL the stars–economic, current events, the personality & abilities of GOP candidates, good election organizations/game-plans, etc,.–have to be in alignment–iow the “Perfect Storm”–in order to capture both houses of Congress and the Presidency. Add to this the fact that most conservatives, be they ordinary citizens or politicians, have “other lives” that they REALLY WOULD rather be devoting their time and energy to; thus their political attention-span, energy and effort is intermittent at best. To those on the left government and politics is a either a full-time job, i.e., professional politicians (of which W. J. Clinton and Obama are classic cases) or people with either the free time of motivation to devote large chunks of their lives to politics like “intellectuals” in academia, government bureaucracies and the media/Hollywood–or “ordinary” citizens whose financial fortunes directly depend–in part or whole–on government largess. (The only group on the political right whose political antenna could be said to be so attuned are mostly conservative farmers whose very lively-hoods have long been greatly affected by every little minor change in government Ag programs.) As Chris Mathews once said in a moment of candor on his show “Hardball”: “Democrats are like Communists. They live, eat and breath politics 24/7365 and sit through every boring meeting until everyone else has given up and cone home and they’re the only ones left to vote–and I should know, I worked for Tip O’Neil.”

  19. I agree.

    It was and is a mystery to me why the GOP negotiated with this guy on the debt ceiling. They had to know that Obama would just use his media support to make them look bad and since for some reason the GOPs still care about the MSM, why on Earth would they fight on that battlefield of Obama’s choosing?

    imho, back in late June or early July the House should have re-passed Ryan’s budget with a debt ceiling increase attached and gone on recess at teh call of the Chair. If the Senate passed something they could come back for the Conference Committee. But public negotiation when there was no Dem proposal over which to negotiate? I don’t understand why the GOP would play that game.

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