Thursday, July 26, 2007

Tough Guys Negotiate

Those who pay attention to the ephemera of the blogosphere know that Hillary Clinton has been attacking Barack Obama for being willing to meet with "America's enemies." Obama has cannily responded by pointing out that Clinton is just continuing the moronic identity politics of Dick Cheney. Negotiation is just communication with adversaries in non zero sum games. It is not a reward for virtue.

In light of this min-controversy and in service of my overweening ego, I have decided to republish a comment celebrating James Baker I left at Legal Fiction back when it was still active. Apologies for the macho sexism. It's in a good cause:

You know who's an actual tough right-wing-WASP-son-of-a-bitch unlike those faux macho warblogger dweebs? James Baker. That guy could make Dick Cheney his personal bitch anytime he wanted. When the family has a real problem -- an inconvenient body, a court-ordered recount or a no-win war, they call the Bakerman.

And the Bakerman has explained your point, well, Publius. Tough guys talk to their enemies. Every hardass litigator I ever knew loves the without-prejudice settlement discussion almost as much as making a witness cry in cross-examination. Tough guys love to negotiate because they love to explain calmly how solving their problem solves your problem.

Think tankers, interns and other luncheon attenders hate negotiating because they know they don't have the stones to do it.

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