When you get into any negotiation, whether its for pay raise, haggling on the price of a house, or a car or any other negotiation you go into what tactic is widely considered the most advantageous? You start with an offer you know will be refused that is not so bad that they leave the table.

Lets say the price of a car is negotiable. The sticker says 30k, and you know that more then likely 26.5k is the best your going to get out of it. Do you start at 26.5? Logic to me is that you would start at about 24, get them to counter offer they see you want the car, but don’t want to pay full price. More often then not you will get more then you’d get if you started the negotiation on your side at the price you think they’d give you.

Why do I bring up politics in comparison to a negotiation? I believe the concept is important for any candidate. Yes I understand without super majorities in all three branches of elected government we are not going to get everything we want, but does that mean we shouldn’t start with the best case scenario in the negotiations?

A democratic politician in a negotiation is going to start from the furthest left he can without forcing themselves out of the negotiation. How do I know this? How many times have Eric Cantor and John Boehner walked out on Obama? In government, there is no fully leaving the table unless government will shut down. Liberals all the time negotiate with our leaders, start off with what they want to happen, and then negotiate down to what we’ll accept. At the time it is finally passed, they whine about how they gave up too much, and how their concessions could hurt the country. Why do they do that? Its a tactic to set the other side up for failure. They got exactly what they thought they’d get or more, because they clearly go in with an idea of what we’ll accept, because there is a long history of us accepting crap sandwiches from them even when we have power.

Want an example? Best one I got is Obamacare. They realized throwing down the gauntlet of socialized medicine would take republicans and even a good number of democrats would then check out entirely. So they went with what they believed their best case scenario was, a public option. They did not think it would be accepted, most of them are not that dumb. So, they used bait for the pro-life conservative democrats, and used other tactics to get the most out of it, but in the end they got more then they expected to get. What would have happened if they started with Obamacare as it is constituted today? We would probably not have the individual mandate as part of the law today.

So, they started at the best case scenario not to blow up the whole deal, and got an acceptable level to most pragmatic liberals. Lets contrast this with our approach. Right now every day people are using phrases like “what can pass?” They want to create legislation that will pass, but by doing so, we are then compelled to compromise, and we get less then we thought would pass in the first place.

If a republican gets elected on a pragmatic platform he WILL be forced to compromise from his platform, and he will not get all he wants to get done. But if that same person started from a true conservative stance he would get through the most conservative proposals “that can pass” from the negotiations. It is EXACTLY what Reagan did, and while everyone agrees he did not pass a true conservative platform by running on it he was able to get more then GHW Bush would have ever on his platform in 1980 that was more “pragmatic” and extolled by mainstream republicans at the time.

I challenge you to contest the logic. Every candidate who runs a campaign is going to fall short on what they intend to do according to their platform. Electing a pragmatic moderate assures that we get little if any work done without super majorities. And of course, less with a super majority as well.