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