Heads I Win

At The Conversation academic Parker Ellen uses his study of the science of negotiation in considering a way out of the impasse between President Trump and the Democratic-led House:

Although the current political climate clearly amplifies both sides’ competitive approach and hinders a shift from positions to interests, that is the most productive path to an agreement. Unfortunately, we have seen only hints of a discussion of interests to date.

To end the shutdown, both sides should find a way to make that shift. For example, Trump could do more to acknowledge the Democrats’ interest in fair treatment of those who want to enter the United States. Schumer and Pelosi could put more emphasis on the importance of Trump’s desire for increased border security.

And most importantly, both sides should present proposals to end the crisis that satisfy the other party’s legitimate interests. It’s a difficult task, but it’s the only way both sides, and the country, can win.

Hat tip: The Moderate Voice

I don’t think he quite apprehends the present situation. In this instance the actual material of the positions is overwhelmed by the interests at stake and the primary interest is for the other side to lose. Trump must get his wall. The House Democrats must refuse it. There is no middle ground. They are completely incompatible.

In a purely rational world without political considerations a resolution along the lines produced by pundits of both parties would have prevailed. But it’s not a purely rational world without political considerations and the political considerations have overflowed their banks and are threatening to drown the negotiation.

1 comment… add one
  • Gray Shambler

    There’s a line drawn here which is very clear. Five Billion for a wall.
    4.995?, 4.8?. No, traditional give and take will not work. I know many people blame Trump, but is on both sides over a mere $5 B. Loss of face, precedence set.
    Why would Trump want to open the government when the first order of business is impeachment?

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