Most of us who are trained mediators learned the process of “Principled Negotiation”. It’s the theory behind Roger Fisher and William Ury’s Great work -“Getting To Yes”. It teaches how to negotiate without compromising principles but by examining each parties’ positions and exploring the underlying needs and interests to create options that can help reach fair and equitable solutions and settlements.
Someone in Washington should give copies of the book to President Obama and Speaker Boehner. The President told the Speaker, in no uncertain terms that he would not negotiate. Members of Bhehner’s caucus told him the same thing.
If this were a divorce mediation, a mediator could discuss with each party -in private- what we call WATNA, that is: The Worst Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement. Unfortunately it looks like we’ve already arrived there.
Difference is-in a divorce case, we could threaten to let the case go to trial. Each party would then really have to worry what a dingbat judge might do to them.
Unfortunately the only trial we have available is the 2014 midterm elections. Can we afford to keep the government shut down until then?
I guess it depends on which side you support.
Too bad for the people in the middle.