I read that NY Congressman Anthony Weiner complained that Obama wasn’t acting like a Commander-in-Chief, but as a Negotiator-in-Chief. I thought, “Not really.”
Weiner was speaking as part of the rebellion by Democrats to the deal Obama was pushing to extend the Bush tax cuts for billionaires.
The tax-cuts-for-the-rich is a bad idea. And I agree with Senator Sanders, who spoke from the Senate floor for almost nine hours on Friday, calling it part of the war on working people.
But as someone with some negotiation experience, I’m not impressed with Obama as a chief negotiator. He sure wouldn’t get elected to our negotiation team for our union local.
Even if you accept the art of the deal, this is a bad deal.
Let me offer some humble negotiating advice to the White House. Humbly.
Rule #1 is you start with “no.”
If you start with “yes,” negotiations are over. “No” allows you to negotiate another day.
It seems to me that Obama fell over himself rushing to say, “yes.”
“No,” would have allowed for getting more out of the deal. The Tpublicans are so single-minded about defending the interests of their Wall Street funders that they will do anything to keep the billionaire tax cuts.
So, why not demand more?
My old friend and Reverend, Walter Coleman, has a suggestion. Include the Dream Act.
Getting it through the Senate would depend on Republicans so the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights is urging calls and letters to the state’s Republican senator, Mark Kirk.
But some DREAM Act supporters call that effort a waste of time. “Kirk is not going to do anything independently of the Republican Party,” said immigrant-rights activist Rev. Walter Coleman, pastor of Adalberto United Methodist, a church in Chicago’s Humboldt Park neighborhood.
“This is something that has to be worked out by leadership,” Coleman said. “Our pressure needs to go on Obama and it needs to go on the Democratic leadership, who’ve been playing us for two years, to finally come through and meet their promises.”
Coleman said that would mean making the DREAM Act part of any deal with Republicans about taxes.
Or as Kenny Rogers once said, “You gotta know when to hold em…”