Yet another metaphor attempting to explain Democratic capitulation to Bush
I'm not sure whether the poker player vs. haggler framework is the best way to view this problem, but the matter does scream out for some kind of explanation. Maybe Congress can de-fund the war and bring an end to this whole "fishing for the right metaphor to explain Democratic capitulation" industry.
Haggling with a poker player just doesn't work and almost never ends well. As Cernig reminds us again today, it's foolish and positively dangerous to try to haggle with George Bush.
Democrats in Congress really ought to think long and hard at some stage, maybe soon, about the implications of seeking to reach a middle ground with a man who sees politics as a game of poker, where there are only winners and losers.
Bush is not a good poker player. In fact, he was exposed long ago as godawfully bad. By this year he had run out of cards to play, in any round, other than the veto. With Bush it's always bluff, bluff; and bluffing doesn't normally succeed when you've been exposed as a perennial bluffer.
So it's remarkable that the Democratic Congress manages to keep finding ways to lose in what should be a completely uneven match. Democrats hold both chambers of Congress, which the public gave them on the promise that they'd call Bush's bluff. It's tempting to put these repeated failures down just to timidity and cluelessness. But there's also a clash of cultures. Many Democrats in Congress cling to a culture in which true negotiation is the norm, a culture that rewards compromise. It's a culture that Republican leaders rejected a generation ago, but Democrats stubbornly refuse to see any culture but their own.
And where are Obama, Edwards, and Clinton on this? Instead of telling us you would end the war, why don't you just end it? (Well, Edwards isn't in the Senate anymore, but the other two are in a position to do a lot more than just blather.)