The Politics of Negotiation

One of the major criticisms of President Obama from Republicans with respect to foreign policy is his eagerness to negotiate and find common ground with other countries, even those generally hostile to the United States such as Iran and North Korea. Republican experts insist that the governments of these nations are implacable enemies of the United States and that they have no desire to negotiate. The only language these nations understand, according to these experts, is force. As such, they recommend that the President credibly put military options on the table, such as air strikes, in order to get those countries to do what we want.

One of the major criticisms of President Obama from Democrats with respect to domestic policy is his eagerness to negotiate and find ground with Republicans, even on issues such as health care. Democratic experts insist that the Republican Party is an implacable enemy of the President’s agenda and it has no desire to negotiate. The only language that Republicans understand, according to these experts, is force. As such, they recommend that the President credibly put parliamentary processes on the table, such as reconciliation, in order to get Republicans to do what he wants.

Since negotiations to both stop Iran’s nuclear program and pass a healthcare reform bill seem to have stalled, it occurs to me that Obama should accept these criticisms. Accordingly, he should threaten Iran with the use of arcane UN procedures to force Iran to shut down its nuclear program. Simultaneously, he should inform Republicans that any attempt to filibuster health care will result in Republican National Headquarters being carpet bombed by the Air Force.

That’s how you break gridlock, baby.

Cross-posted to Heretical Ideas

FILED UNDER: Humor, US Politics, , , , ,
Alex Knapp
About Alex Knapp
Alex Knapp is Associate Editor at Forbes for science and games. He was a longtime blogger elsewhere before joining the OTB team in June 2005 and contributed some 700 posts through January 2013. Follow him on Twitter @TheAlexKnapp.


  1. Hmmm, this may explain why Sen. Grassley’s been complaining of a Predator drone shadowing around Dubuque.

  2. sam says:

    The analysis is pretty good, Alex, but the antidote, at least as far as the Republicans goes, is not harsh enough. I’d inform them, via Reid, that henceforth if they continue their intransigence, the Senate minority bathrooms will be located in the lowest level of the Senate office building. Given the advanced age of a lot of those guys, the prospect of having to high-step to the head might really get their attention. (And since it would be a Senate rule, there’d be none of that 8th Amendment nonsense.)

  3. Herb says:

    Man, you put this in verse and recite it at parties, it would be way better than Al Franken drawing the map.

  4. Steve Plunk says:

    So negotiation and compromise with the elected representatives in congress is similar to negotiating with a rogue regime? Congressmen are similar to Ahmadinijad?

    Our constitution creates a balance of powers that requires negotiation and compromise with the branches of government. There is no such concept for negotiations with foreign countries, we negotiate solely for our national interests.

    Has seriousness left the blog?

  5. Alex Knapp says:

    I swear, I really don’t know why I bother writing joke posts since most people fail to notice the “humor” tag…

  6. Steve Plunk says:

    Alex, For humor I read the funny papers, for political discussions I come here. To be honest can’t tell your serious posts from your attempts at humor.

  7. Observer says:

    So, um, you thought that Alex was SERIOUSLY suggesting that Obama carpet bomb Republican National Headquarters?

  8. mannning says:

    Reverse the penalties: bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities, and get the UN to sanction the Republican Party–our new Security Council leader should help that along!

  9. Steve Plunk says:

    No, I didn’t think he was serious about the carpet bombing but I did think he was trying to be humorous/serious about the Obama can’t win because some say negotiate while some say don’t negotiate narrative.

    Like I said, I read the funny papers for humor. This was lame.

  10. Neil Hudelson says:

    Stupid jerk post making me laugh when I want to be serious…grumble…harumph….

  11. Drew says:

    Yawn. Lame……..