Win-Win,  GOP style

Win-Win, GOP style

Republicans will keep winning until Democrats — including Obama — learn how to play the game

By Barry Gordon 07/21/2011

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More than 10 years ago, my wife, Gail, started an organizational consulting business called Win-Win Workplace Solutions. The entire mission of the business was in the title — to create environments in which both owners and employees could prosper and business could flourish. The simple theory is that if both sides try hard enough, there is always some common ground to be found.
President Obama and my wife seem to share that belief in win-win solutions. Somehow, in the end, reason will prevail over rhetoric and a deal will be struck that, while not perfect, ultimately reflects the wishes and desires of the American people. And, in Obama’s view, what the people most want is a deal — almost any deal. Certainly, there are lines he will not cross. Turning Medicare into a voucher program is a nonstarter. Deep cuts in benefits from entitlement programs are probably also off the table. But other than the most draconian proposals, Obama is willing to listen to, and perhaps even to negotiate on, virtually everything else.
To some extent, he may be right. Empirical evidence seems to show that we like our presidents to work with “the other side” in a true spirit of bipartisanship. Pundits even now are wondering whether the two parties can meet “in the middle,” even though that territory was ceded long ago. The truth is that if Obama was not president but, say, the chief negotiator of a labor union like the Screen Actors Guild (an organization I have considerable familiarity with), he would have been fired long ago for giving away the store. 
But a president is not a union negotiator, and this president knows that his most essential responsibility is to govern. He can’t risk a strike or a shutdown or a debt default. So, in the end, he will make the best deal he can and try to win reelection so that he can remedy the worst aspects of the bargain. He will also hope that the American people may recover from their temporary lapse of judgment in 2010 and bring back a Democratic majority to the House of Representatives. 
And none of it will matter.
The reason I named my op-ed series “Democracy 101” was that I felt too many people had lost touch with some basic tenets of democratic government amid the smoke of talking points and Beltway punditry. One of those tenets was the idea that in a democracy, especially one with two major political parties such as ours, the majority party was to be able to go to the voters with a philosophy and an agenda for the future and with a set of accomplishments for the voters to either approve or disapprove. The voters could either ratify the majority’s work or give a majority to the opposition party, which would have its own agenda to pursue. The basic role of the minority party was to argue its case to the people and try to win their support. Sometimes, as now, the voters would create a divided government in which one party controlled one or both chambers of Congress and another controlled the White House, the theory being that such a situation forced compromise and moderation from both sides. The key to all of this working was the knowledge of the minority that it could someday retake the majority and pursue its own policies.
So why hasn’t it worked? As regular readers of this column know, I believe that the rules of the Senate are the fundamental reason. The Republicans have learned that they can control the agenda whether they are in the majority or the minority. They have institutionalized gridlock through the frequent use of the filibuster threat. All they need is 40 votes to throw a monkey wrench into the legislative process.
The Democrats, on the other hand, have an almost visceral belief in compromise and in “making the deal.” So when they are in the minority, they bend over backwards to try to find the win-win solution, and when they are in the majority, the prospect of a gridlock leads them to continue bending over backwards, when they could accomplish anything at all. 
Republicans are also far more adept at ignoring facts. Even though it’s been proven time and again that tax cuts don’t actually lead to higher revenue for the Treasury, the Republicans will keep repeating that they do. Even though economists, including those on the conservative side, recognize that tax cuts for the wealthy don’t create jobs, Republicans will not abandon their mantra that the opposite is true. 
Both Obama and the GOP leadership believe in win-win. As I said, the president’s idea of win-win is a lot like my wife’s. The Republicans have a different concept — they will win whether they’re in the majority or in the minority. No matter what the people, or history or “the facts” say. They will win by winning and win by losing. That’s their code. And they will keep winning until the Democrats, including the president, understand how they play the game. 

Barry Gordon is the co-host of “City Beat” and teaches political science at Cal State LA.


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While WDC does its version of an economic kabuki dance, the real reason why America is facing default is because the crooks who stole all its money are not being prosecuted!

(from the WEB)

What happened is simple. Congress members were invested in the Wall Street Firms behind the Mortgage-Backed Securities Fraud; the biggest financial swindle since the Great South Seas Bubble of 1721. Congress passed an $8000 first-time home-buyer credit to lure more suckers into the scam, to front load the fraud with fresh mortgages of questionable worth, and raked in huge profits from the "tulip mania" sales of the MBS.

Then the scam fell apart. Foreign banks and investment companies (and indeed entire nations) were brought to the edge of ruin by the fraud and demanded that Wall Street refund their money. Wall Street does not like to surrender profits, even ill-gotten ones, and neither does the Congress. So Congress voted for the "bailouts", which are actually buy-backs, to use public money (and more funds borrowed from the Federal Reserve) to purchase back the bad paper and cover the credit swaps, dropping the costs of the scam onto the American people. This was done despite 90% of the American people opposing the use of tax money to save the bankers form their own reckless behaviors. (Can you say "Taxation without representation?")

At the same time, in 2008, the White House set a policy that nobody on Wall Street was going to be investigated or charged for this fraud, because inevitably the scandal would envelope all the members of the Congress who had their personal fortunes tied up in the swindle. Obama had Tim Geithner go up to New York to intercede with NY Attorney General Andrew Cuomo to make certain no Wall Street CEOs were investigated in connection with the mortgage-backed Securities scam. (That is obstruction of justice).

During the Bush administration, and accelerating under Obama, tax incentives were created for corporations that encouraged the offshoring of high-paying jobs to other countries. Americans, stripped of their ability to pay their mortgages, became easy prey for banks, who needed the entire value of the foreclosed homes on their balance sheets to stay solvent as the cash flowed out the door to buy back all the fraudulent investment bundles.

In other words, the government took your jobs so the banks could take your homes to save themselves from going to prison for the crimes that made themselves and Congress incredibly rich.
Any questions?

(Michael Rivero's Explanation of the Bank Fraud and why Wall Street and the Banksters are getting away with it)

posted by DanD on 7/24/11 @ 01:44 p.m.
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