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In the aftermath of the shutdown publicity stunt, I'd like to take a moment for a friendly public service announcement.

This morning, I've seen several examples online where we're inadvertently reinforcing the conservative idea that Democrats "won't negotiate".

Two of the most prominent are a) The New York Times "The Republican Surrender", and b)  the Rachel Maddow chart shown.

I'm posting this PSA because I want to win people over, not "beat" them or force them to surrender. This feeds right in to the idiocy about Democrats not being willing to negotiate.

 photo maddow_example_zps72c2b254.jpg

Remember, the negotiation is still going to happen. Just like it was in April.

If you want to perform a public service and help get rid of this lie, it's easy. Click to see a short example.

Now please, before you write that comment 'you hate Rachel Maddow' or 'you're going after thel NY Times' hear me out for a second.

Because I love Rachel Maddow and I'm a frequent reader of the NY Times.

The Maddow picture, however, suggests we were in a negotiation with Republicans and they received nothing. The Times' article suggests that we won a "war".

Here's what I saw happen this morning:

 photo negotiation_02a_zps3e34d396.jpg

Note how the Maddow chart appears to a conservative who has bought into this idea that Democrats won't negotiate.

Now I could call out directly that this is a lie, but then this person, Bill, would be someone who believes a lie.

So I decided to simply show him how Democrats wanted to negotiate before and how negotiations are still going to happen. Just not while the government was being held hostage.

 photo negotiation_02d_zps2f18f895.jpg

No accusations. No anger. No pointing fingers or confrontation or rubbing anything in his face.

Just simply point out what happened and leave it.

Democrats have been working to negotiate all along and negotiations are going to happen. First though, we end this hostage situation.
As long as we clearly state the situation - the government was being held hostage - we are in the right when it comes to negotiation. No one feels you should have to negotiate in a hostage situation.

You don't have to argue. You don't have to accuse. When you point this out, the person making the claim will typically go away.

Now here's a quick example of how to do it preemptively and show others how to spread the word:

 photo negotiation_03a_zps50f924be.jpg

Why is this important?

You might think it's not. Or you might yell "Meta!"  

I don't care. I want to win people over. It's not that hard to do and this shutdown is a huge opportunity.

Conservatives will try to take the moral high ground by presenting Democrats and liberals in a negative moral light. Here, what they were trying to do was:

Conservatives/Republicans = good = willing to negotiate
Liberals/Democrats = bad = stubborn, intractable, not willing to negotiate
Simply show people who was really trying to negotiate through a normal budgetary process without accusing them personally. Or without reinforcing their preconceived beliefs like Maddow (sorry ... you know I love you, Rachel!) or the Times did.

Show them how Democrats wanted to negotiate a budget all along yet conservatives decided to shut down the government anyways.

Are you going to win over everyone?

Psshhh. Of course not. You've got a better shot though if people see the work Democrats did (BTW- Here's the link to the article about the original budget negotiation agreement Democrats/Republicans struck in April before all this nonsense) and will continue to do in negotiations.

Negotiation is how government should work. Not threats, hostage taking, and demands.

Originally posted to akadjian on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 09:40 AM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I don't care about bringing people around... (11+ / 0-)

    ...but I do want to blunt the press' inevitable move towards false equivalence.  However much the Tea Bagging minority within the Republican party would like us to forget it, the Democrats were willing to negotiate all along, just as many of the Republicans were.  A tiny minority of Republicans extorted the rest with the help of a number of far right advocacy groups, and they, and they alone, broke those down.

  •  It's a difference between negotiation (4+ / 0-)

    and coercion.

    The former is two or more parties bargaining to get a mutually beneficial arrangement.  The latter is sticking a gun to a hostage and demanding payment.

    If you  were to kidnap and then shoot someone's kid after the family refuses to negotiate, you COULD say it is the family's fault the kid is dead because they didn't "negotiate."  Doesn't mean you'd be right.

    The sad part is we have a HUGE chunk of the population today that would agree with the kidnapper.

    Fox News: Math You Do As A Republican To Make Yourself Feel Better

    by Pooter03 on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 09:57:41 AM PDT

    •  It was not someone else's kid. (0+ / 0-)

      What makes the situation more ridiculous is as far as I can tell, Republicans wanted government funded at the levels asked by the clear CR bill, and Republicans also wanted to raise the debt ceiling. So as heinous as it is to point a gun at someone's kid and start making demands, this is much more like pointing a gun at YOUR OWN kid and making demands.

      To put it another way, yeah, a negotiation is where one person wants A and B, and another person wants C and D. So they both get together and say "okay, I get A and you get C." This is much more like one person wanting A, and another person wanting A and B and refusing to give A unless he got B as well.

      •  This was more of a suicide threat than a (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        godlessmath, Hoghead99

        simple hostage taking.

        It was a threat to commit suicide/hostage threat to kill self and others and burn the house down, while refusing to acknowledge the elections, the passage of law, and the decision of the Supreme Court upholding the law...

        This was a suicidal rejection of our representative republic with a separation of powers into 3 parts.

        "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

        by LilithGardener on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 10:25:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  they stall and block anything that will help this (12+ / 0-)

    economy. just so they can say look Obama's economy sucks.

    it's how they tick.

    -You want to change the system, run for office.

    by Deep Texan on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 10:12:38 AM PDT

    •  And the subset who really CRAVED default (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      starduster, Minnesota Deb

      believed, I gather, that kicking the jobs recovery in the balls with a spiked boot, would be the perfect thing to hang the wreckage around O's neck and stop this slide towards multiculti socialism for once and for all.  Deprive their fellow citizens, perhaps for many years, but really for their own good, don't you see.   Not to mention the Rapture.  Oh, and the Gold Standard!  and uh, Agenda 21 and so on.

      Ugh.  We've always had these bunker-building survivalists.  But having a large bloc in the lower House is novel and alarming.   It seems a little too much like a certain chapter in German politics.

      "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

      by lgmcp on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 04:08:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Willful embrace of ignorance, nay, appetite for it (0+ / 0-)

        does scare me.  

        But a few folks can always be swayed, back away from the brink.  It's not ALWAYS irreversible.  We have to try.

        "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

        by lgmcp on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 04:10:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  akadjian you are spot on again... (8+ / 0-)

    you really need to be employed as the Democratic version of Frank Luntz.  You understand language and perspective and would make a great contribution to this nation.

    If debugging is the process of removing bugs, then programming must be the process of putting them in.

    by kharma on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 10:35:10 AM PDT

    •  Hey watchit ... that Frank Luntz thing hurts :) (6+ / 0-)

      Seriously though, I know what you mean and thank you for the kind words.

      I just have a gut reaction to Luntz because he's such a tool and I really don't believe in 'spin' like Luntz does. I don't think anyone should ever try to spin or say anything that they don't believe.

      •  Oh I agree wholeheartedly... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        that honest messaging makes a difference.  How do you tell your Mom you don't like her new hairdo?

        1. Mom I don't like your new hairdo, it makes you look old.
        2. Mom, you look nice but I think you would look so much younger with a hairdo like...

        The whole right-wing message with Luntz and all are based on deception, we absolutely want people on our side based on truth.  

        If debugging is the process of removing bugs, then programming must be the process of putting them in.

        by kharma on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 12:37:20 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  slight correction (0+ / 0-)
      need to be employed as the Democratic version of Frank Luntz. [answer to strategic distortions, propaganda and spin]

      "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

      by LilithGardener on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 10:27:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Normally I wouldn't rec this..... (0+ / 0-)

      .....but you're right. I've tried to reason with my bipolar daughter when she's in a full blown manic's useless.

      To consider negotiating with them would be exactly the same thing.

      I'm really pissed off this time

      by suspiciousmind on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 08:00:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Excellent, KISS principal, and straightforward and (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    martini, lgmcp, splashy, LilithGardener

    honest. I like it. I'll use it. Thanks

    Just give me some truth. John Lennon

    by burnt out on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 12:23:19 PM PDT

  •  just the self-negotiating needs to stop (6+ / 0-)

    Define Democratic positions, fight and come up with a compromise, but don't go into negotiations with what is basically already a Republican plan (like Obamacare)

  •  Will this really help? (0+ / 0-)

    They can always fall back on the "Democrats are spineless cowards so we can't let them lead" story.


    * "Power attracts the corruptible. Suspect all who seek it." - Frank Herbert * (-9.38; -8.15)

    by Selphinea on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 04:38:30 PM PDT

  •  I'm surprised no one so far has pointed out (9+ / 0-)

    that the Republicans, for five years now, have refused to compromise on raising taxes. They even were able to get the Bush tax cuts made permanent.

    The problem, of course, is that campaigning on just "raise taxes" is a quick road to political; suicide. I think it's better to demand that hedge fund managers be taxed like everyone else, and that Wall Street financial transactions be taxed just like buying shoes in a store are.

    Then you can begin to bring attention around to the fact that U.S. economic performance has historically been best under high marginal income tax rates. There is a good reason for this: the rich do NOT create jobs. Rather, they engage in speculation, usury, and rent seeking behavior.

    And there's the matter of that thirty to forty trillion dollars sitting in hot offshore bank accounts, such as in the Cayman Islands.

    A conservative is a scab for the oligarchy.

    by NBBooks on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 05:09:41 PM PDT

  •  not to worry. I fully expect the Democrats (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chuckvw, Selphinea, starduster

    in DC to continue to negotiate away the last of the New Deal.

    I want Democrats, after handing the Republicans their asses on a platter, to sit down and tell Republicans how it is going to be, not negotiating.  There is NOTHING left to negotiate, as long as negotiate means compromise.  We do not give another inch.

    The pendulum is swinging; dont fight it, push it.

    The campaign of 2014 has already started, and we have to make it 1932, if we want to save enough of America to give to Elizabeth Warren in 2016.  

    don't always believe what you think

    by claude on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 06:55:25 PM PDT

  •  Nice! How abut another one re: whose fault (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I keep hearing "This shutdown is the Dems fault!" and "They wanted this shutdown"

    I know there are some pieces of evidence that show the Tea Party planned and executed this, like the SUicide Causus letter to Boehner.  Any other definitive things we can throw out there to help prove it?  Or better way to phrase what actually happened?

  •  Not only are Democrats willing to negotiate... (4+ / 0-)

    They've already negotiated away a third of the budget - which now resembles (within a few billion) the extreme budget cuts in Mr. Ryan's clusterfuck of a plan. Who won the election?

    In fact, our Democratic President and Congress members  seem to prefer to negotiate against themselves before Republicans have a chance to beat them up.

    That the Democrats didn't negotiate (that we know of) in these latest manufactured Republican crises says more about how little there was left on the table than about some sudden backbone growth on the Democratic side of the aisle. The well was about dry - that's all - except for Republicans figuring out how to at least make it harder for people to qualify for insurance via the ACA by making them jump through more hoops (like they accomplished with the return of Jim Crow).

    Still, I would keep a sharp eye out for any bills actually passed by this terrible Congress and read the fine print for Democratic capitulations while the heat is off both sides. Yeah, I know I'm sounding like a fucking conspiracy theorist but other than respecting Bernie Sanders in the Senate and (maybe) Alan Grayson in the House I trust these pieces of shit as far as I can throw them.

  •  Don't forget the last minute change to (5+ / 0-)

    the House rules which made the government shutdown inevitable by preventing Democrats and "moderate" (read: not quite as odious and crazy) Republicans from bring up a discharge petition.

    The talking points you have to hammer at are:

    1) The Republicans refused to negotiate prior to the shutdown (examples given above).

    2) The Republicans in the House made the shutdown inevitable by preventing Democrats from taking any constructive action to avoid it.

    3) The Republicans seriously damaged the nation's economy and international reputation by picking this fight and then losing it.

  •  If they believe the GOP then screw them (0+ / 0-)

    We are the high ground.

    If anyone wants to join us, fine.

    Otherwise, screw them because they are ones that enable the GOP or are the GOP.

  •  yup. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    win people over, not "beat" them or force them to surrender
    i'm trying just to win one, not "over," but "free from" irrational, lazy thinking... and i'm in no rush, so i've removed the anxiety for myself, of needing to get it done NOW. i've got all the time in the world.

    if, however, i do a good job with it, it will take off on its own and multiply at the speed of thought. ;)

    Addington's perpwalk? TRAILHEAD of accountability for Bush-2 Crimes. @Hugh: There is no Article II power which says the Executive can violate the Constitution.

    by greenbird on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 12:44:45 AM PDT

  •  Thank you for practice and examples (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    with a concise solution.  I have been baffled and horrified to watch the metastasis of "Obama my way or the highway".  They really BELIEVE the House was doing its ordinary duty and the White House was playing economy-wrecking, citizen-depriving Chicken.  

    It makes me want to bash my own head against the wall.

    "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

    by lgmcp on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 03:59:45 AM PDT

  •  I see your point. The negotiation was about (0+ / 0-)

    Rachel Maddow's graph.

    They asked for: Cruz's 21 hour speech. They got exactly what Cruz asked for.



    Only gun owners can control their guns and they say oopsie way too much. I lost it, I forgot it, it just went off. Support Gun Kill Speed Limits and Gun Ownership Speed Limits.

    by 88kathy on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 08:58:34 AM PDT

  •  Maybe a simpler idea... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    akadjian, The Gryffin

    Just ask, What are Republicans offering? Then it quickly becomes apparent that offering "to open government" or "to pay our overdue bills" is not really offering anything and is no negotiation at all. The better way to portray Maddow's chart is: What did they offer? Nothing. What did they get? Nothing.

  •  Well - There Was NOTHING For The Democrats To (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Gryffin

    negotiate, because everything the Republicans were asking for is either non-negotiable, or would have been negotiated AFTER the government shutdown ended. There was no point to the government shutdown. Defunding or delaying any part of the ACA or denying coverage to anyone under the ACA? Non-negotiable.  The ACA was passed into law 2 years ago and upheld by the Supreme Court, and WILL NOT BE CHANGED OR MODIFIED by threat of a government shutdown. The tea party terrorists don't like the law? Too bad - do the hard work, and change it the legal and constitutional way, by getting a Republican majority elected to both houses of Congress and then you can change the law to your hearts content. GET IT IDIOTS??  All the other items on the list? To be negotiated AFTER the government shutdown ends, when Democrats will present their list of counter demands at the negotiating table, including raising tax revenues on the wealthy.

  •  things to add (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Harry Reid offered at least 19 times to have a committee to discuss the Budget

    Republicans in the Senate and Boehner would not allow the committee to happen.

    there's also a lot of talk out there about how the ACA was ramrodded through by underhanded techniques (like the poor GOP has never done that) -  a couple of examples besides the Patriot Act would probably be good.


  •  I Think its a Good Idea if the GOP thinks we will (0+ / 0-)


    The GOP counts on the Dems folding every time.  I hope  hold onto the perception that Dems will not participate.

    Maybe they will bring realistic offers to the table.

    I'm just here for the Mojo!

    by Gator on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 01:54:52 PM PDT

  •  How about Democrats CAN'T negotiate? (0+ / 0-)

    Well, they can always go downward on negotiations :-/

    But even that is something I guess. The president and our congressional leaders and members could to spend the next three months putting up charts and showing how we do most all of the compromising on significant matters. Like the economy since 2009 starting with the proposed stimulus and end with the sequester agreement and the final GOP figure agreed to a couple of weeks ago. And at the same time show the cuts in spending. And bring it up (unasked) all the time, maybe some of the general public will get it.

    But if they aren't going to blow their own horn, trot out the facts and make the case, there's only so much we can do other than insist that they do so. If they want to ask for more they need to show that the GOP doesn't compromise on anything of significance economically. The numbers are public record. They need to challenge the media to show otherwise or to shut up.

  •  2011 quote from John Boehner (0+ / 0-)

    "I got 98% of what I wanted" = you shut down the government because you didn't get 100% capitulation from the Democrats?

    Argument over.  Debate finished.

  •  Sequester level spending (0+ / 0-)

    is everything the GOP wanted , and have always wanted , and the dems have nothing to offer the GOP to end it

    The sequester proves how bad dems are at negotiating

    Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers

    by Patango on Sat Oct 19, 2013 at 04:34:06 AM PDT

  •  Dems already negotiated. (0+ / 0-)

    We started with SINGLE PAYER. We negotiated down to ROMNEYCARE. We delayed implementation--twice, as I recall.

    Romneycare was voted on in the House and Senate and was PASSED INTO LAW.

    Romneycare was litigated and was DECLARED CONSTITUTIONAL by THE SUPREME COURT.

    So, time for negotiation is over, because it's only the Dems who have been negotiating.

    I'm never sure if I've forgotten and left the lid up, or if InvisObama™ is using the loo.

    by The Gryffin on Sat Oct 19, 2013 at 08:34:26 AM PDT

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