Friday, August 19, 2011

Jay Severin is Back

Talk-Meister Jay Severin is back in the area, now on 1200 AM, WXKS.

But, while his audience may be the best and the brightest, sometimes he is not.

On this, his second day back on the air, he was making a comparison of the "Right", whose membership is patriotic and the "Left", which is not.  Tacky.  Sure, he is a talk show host and has to stir up his audience, but we should not be denigrating our fellow Citizens regarding their patriotism, no matter how misguided they may be.  It reminds me of one of the cartoons in this week's New Yorker.  It is a living room scene with an angry Mother in one corner and the Father in another, explaining to the son why he and the Mother are splitting up.  "Your mother and I are separating because I want what's best for the country and your mother doesn't." (p 67)

There is a lot of compromising that is going to be necessary to put this nation back on the right track.  While the President of the Senate may think that the members of the Tea Parties are "terrorists", the fact is that they are people who over the last several decades have come to believe that current Federal Programs are not sustainable over the long run and that the duty of this generation (these generations) is to build a solid system for those coming in the future.  These are people who have been shunted aside for quite some time.  They are especially unhappy with President George W Bush, who, with both Majority Democrat and Majority Republican Houses on Capitol Hill pushed forward his "Compassionate Conservative" Agenda and helped give us more debt.  Thus, the election in 2010.  Some 20% of the Nation said "Enough".

The thing is, compromise is going to be necessary if we are to move forward and not have a total collapse of the Federal Government.  I am not saying we wouldn't survive such a thing, but it would be ugly and the outcome could go either way (total rejection of Republicans or total rejection of Democrats, or total rejection of both, at the next election).  For both sides a compromise is in order.

There is a book out there, Getting to Yes, that encapsulate the view of many on negotiations.  I was on the phone with my youngest Brother this AM and he said we need an article on "Getting to No".  His view was that if everyone is happy at the end of the negotiation, someone missed something.  Since it is a negotiation, no one should be happy, but everyone should be willing to go forward together.

At lunch today with three friends, one of whom is a Contracts person for a local defense contractor (not the firm I sometimes work for), I broached this view of negotiations and he was about to demure, but quickly shook it off and said that such is usually the case.  If everyone is happy someone missed something. 

That is what we are going to have on Capitol Hill.  The Tea Parties are not going to be happy with the outcome.  Those on the Left are not going to be happy with the outcome.  No one is going to be happy with the outcome except the Congressional Staffers, who will be able to again relax into just a hectic schedule rather than a marathon schedule.

I think what the Tea Parties should be looking for is a reasonable immediate payoff, but most important, a long term path that looks like it will not be easily discarded.  In the past the ability to wiggle out of an agreement has been the problem.  An agreement that has less wiggle room, even if Tea Parties are not totally happy, will be a successful negotiation.

I hope the 12 "Apostles" will come up with something along those lines.

Regards  —  Cliff

  Sort of a spin-off of Blogger Greg Page's tagline quote on his EMails—"If everyone is thinking alike then someone isn't thinking."  He lifted it from General George C Patton, who probably lifted it from someone else.

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