Negotiation – I Don’t Think That Word Means What You Think It Means

Lacking White House plan, Senate focuses on infrastructure (The Hill)

The president also defended his decision not to put a rebuilding proposal at the top of the agenda, telling The Wall Street Journal it would have been a “waste” because it’s a bipartisan issue.

“A lot of people said you should have started with taxes or you should have started with infrastructure,” Trump said, according to a transcript obtained by Politico. “Well, infrastructure, I’ll actually have bipartisan support, and I can use infrastructure to carry other things along. So I don’t want to waste it at the beginning.”

Now see, a real leader, indeed a good negotiator, might have thought it was a good idea to start by working on something that would build relationships and goodwill with the people s/he’s going to be negotiating with in the future. S/He might have wanted a big win that was important not only to his/her base, but also to people across the aisle, and that was relatively easy to get through. S/He might have wanted to show that s/he could work through, again relatively easy, compromises to make a deal that a lot of people were happy with. Then, having a win under his/her belt and good working relationships established, s/he could have moved on to more challenging topics under better terms and with the cooperation of, at least, the happy people in his/her own party.

Instead, DJT’s style of “negotiating” is to go for the throat, to whip and coerce and yell and scream at the people who are supposed to be co-negotiators, planning to beat the dog into submission until it is cowering in the corner and you can throw it a bone later with a bipartisan bill that it will happily accept with a small tail wag and a quick lick of the hand, ignoring all the other crap he’s loaded into the package.

That doesn’t make him a leader or a good negotiator. That makes him an abusive bully, with no skills to speak of other than the ability to crush spirits, yell the loudest, and demean and belittle other people. And sometimes he might find that the dog decides not to cower in the corner.