May 12, 2011

YOU CAN TELL THEY'RE EXPERTS BECAUSE THEY DON'T UNDERSTAND NEGOTIATIONS:

Battle over national debt ceiling has negotiation experts shaking their heads (David A. Fahrenthold, Published: May 11, 2011, Washington Post)

"There are ways to do this. There are tried and proven ways to deal with difficult negotiations,” said William Ury, who helped found Harvard’s Project on Negotiation and co-wrote the negotiation-lit classic “Getting to Yes.” “They work daily, in difficult hostage negotiations. Why not apply them?”

“The country,” Ury said, “deserves better negotiations.”

This negotiation is about raising America’s credit-card limit. If the debt ceiling isn’t raised beyond the current cap of $14.3 trillion, administration officials say the nation could begin defaulting on its debts in early August.

But the Republicans who control the House have said they won’t automatically vote to raise it. On Monday night in New York, House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) laid out his party’s demands.

“Without significant spending cuts and changes in the way we spend the American people’s money, there will be no increase in the debt limit,” Boehner said, in an address to the Economic Club of New York. [...]

On the Republican side of the table, Ury — the “Getting to Yes” author — said Boehner chose a strategy that might leave him trapped in a political corner. The problem, he said, was that Boehner had issued a threat to do something unusually drastic: possibly allowing the country to default.


Their livelihood depends on the notion that the process matters, whereas the reality is that the winner has already been decided at the point negotiation begins. Raising the debt limit is just a formality, which the GOP was always going to accede to. They've managed to force Democrats to agree to budget cuts as well. The only question is the size of the cuts, a triviality given that they're just symbolic.


Posted by at May 12, 2011 7:03 AM
  

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