Comments: The Politics Of Professional Mediators: Are We As Neutral As We Pretend: A Rejoinder To Critics of ‘Obama As Negotiator in Chief’

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Judith , Fullerton CA     01/19/11
"Neutral" does not mean 'indifferent," is the way I explain my reserving the right to decline to participate in what seems to me overreaching or an oppressive agreement. As to Obama, I would suggest a person needs strong advocacy of proposals of one's own presumed constituency before sitting down to bargain away any of them on behalf of the affected citizens.

Merri Hanson, Williamsburg VA   01/18/11
Robert, Provocative and right in line with my thoughts du jour. I am working on an article on a similar theme....will email to you for comment. Are you still in Portland? Merri Hanson Merri

Richard  Morley Barron, Flushing MI   01/18/11
I quite agree with Mr. Benjamin's thesis. Our current Congressional implosion has been caused in principal part by the growth of a belief on both sides of the aisle that, as a matter of principal, they are righteous and that the other party is not. Since one's policies are correct and the other parties' are not and are based upon bad motives, there is consequently no need or point in negotiating with the other party. Perhaps we should replace the bodies' chaplains with an on-call mediator? Politics is the art of the possible and no major legislation can be passed without negotiation. One could argue the the Congress needs less principled representatives not more. In any event, voters need to insist on more reliable data and less rhetoric from their representatives. Richard Morley Barron