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The Mediocrity of Whining

Posted by on October 3, 2013
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It seems like everyone has an opinion on who’s right, who’s wrong, and who’s ultimately to blame for the current stalemate that has shut down our government.  In reality neither side is actually to blame for it.  Those who have blamed one side over the other are simply the mindless partisan minions of their preferred side in the debate who happen to be clueless about how negotiations are meant to work. 

I’ve spent the better part of my adult life negotiating business deals and the first rule of thumb in two party negotiations is that both parties have a side to defend and an obligation to garner as much out of their position as possible.  We all like to think that negotiations are simple where all that is required is for both sides to acquiesce their position to the middle.  In real life this would be considered a fool’s errand.  As an example, if you and I are negotiating over the price of a car you wish to purchase off me and the real value of the car is around $10,000.  If you offered me $8,000 and I countered at $20,000 do you really want to simply split the difference and settle at $14,000?  If you answered yes, I’ve got a car for sale! 

Like it or not, not budging on your position is itself a valid negotiating tactic.  If you think doing so can force the other party to blink first then so much the better for your position.  For Republicans to blame Obama for not stepping to the negotiating table is wrong, but then again, the Democrats are also wrong when they whine about Republicans refusing to surrender their position.  Either way Harry Reid is definitely wrong when he claims that Obamacare is now the law of the land and we should just shut up and accept it.  Otherwise, good old Harry needs to shut his mouth on things like immigration and gun rights which are ALSO the law of the land. 

The biggest mistake being made here isn’t by either parties negotiating tactics, but by those who keep whining that they just wish both parties would simply hurry up and find a compromise.  I hate compromise because that’s not what we send our leaders to Washington to do.  What I want is for our leaders to find the correct answers to issues regardless of where those answers come from or how long it takes to come up with them.  Compromise is simply the wimpy way out of having to do the tough job of finding the correct answers.  It is completely irrelevant to me whether or not any of our leaders get along.  Nor is it relevant as to who gets the credit for finding the correct answers.  The only thing that is relevant is that the correct answers are what we end up with when the dust finally settles.  Otherwise, when we demand mediocrity out of our leaders in the name of bipartisanship, mediocrity is exactly what we’ll always get.   

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