Marc Thiessen has a few lessons for the House GOP on how to negotiate (and he will negotiate) with Professor Ditherton Wiggleroom — lessons gleaned from Vladimir Putin. Here’s the most important one:
Lesson 3: Obama will take a face-saving way out. In Syria, Putin bested Obama, but he did not humiliate him. He skillfully maneuvered the president into a corner and then carefully guided him to a soft landing — giving Obama a face-saving way out that made it easy for him to capitulate.
Republicans need to do the same on Obamacare. The president is not going to allow Congress to defund his signature legislative initiative. And polls show that while a growing majority oppose Obamacare, Americans do not want to see a government shutdown over it. The GOP could lose not only the legislative fight but also the fight for public opinion.
Instead, Republicans should pursue an achievable goal — delay implementation of Obamacare for a year. This would be a major setback for Obama, but one that — like the Syrian disarmament accord — he could rationalize.
Wiggleroom is extremely skilled at rationalization, so it would behoove the GOP to let him play to his “strength.”