Thursday, September 10, 2009

I do my best to not color all of my observations with a sports paint brush, but dammit sometimes it just fits perfectly (that's what she said). Last night I'm listening to Democrats declare victory after Obama's health care speech, and Republicans do the same. Meanwhile, a resolution to this issue seems miles away, and ultimately the American people are left to suffer, while the Congress plays partisan games. This type of posturing goes on in sports all the time. The players want one thing, the owners want another, and both parties go to the media blaming the other. But when these issue arise in sports, they get things done, and how does this happen?

In all labor disagreements that I've seen in sports, the two sides get into a room, and decide we aren't leaving until things get resolved. Neither side really wants a strike or interruption of play (although this has happened and will again) so there is a tremendous amount of urgency on each side. Even when there are strikes and interruptions in play, they never last longer than a year, but eventually a resolution is found. There are arguments, heated discussions, and hurt feelings on both sides, but an agreement gets down. Someone once said that you know a negotiation/resolution is successful when both sides only get 30% of what they want. That means that every has the same amount of happy and unhappiness, and there's a level playing field if changes ever need to be made down the road. It sounds simple, because it is. But in politics you have to posture, play mind games, and drag things out until you get re-elected and its exhausting, and both sides do it. Obama's speech came across as, "look I'm trying to do this, but the other side is holding me back". And the rebuttal by the Republicans sounded the same with less fanfare and audience applause.

So I think the Republicans and Democrats should go on a retreat to Miami or something, sit in a conference room with an endless amount food, drink, alcohol and snacks, for a week, and fix it. Politicians have healthy egos, and nothing feeds an ego more than making history and creating a legacy. Everyone at that retreat who was responsible for designing and influencing the ultimate health care program, would be celebrated for years to come. That supersedes any short-sighted partisan game that can be played. But this is fantasy talk I know. What will happen instead is that we will watch both sides stand firm, antagonize each other, all while assuring tax payers that it will get fixed, when it won't. I could go on, but I'm boring myself here.

Anyway, back to more important matters. The football season starts tonight AND I'm off tomorrow. Good times.

Tell Me All About It - Natalie Cole

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