OPINION — Take it from a professional mediator: Both the president and Congress have engaged in bad bargaining practices. They have said and done things that create obstacles to reaching agreement on a Southern border “wall” and on ending the government shutdown. Of course, political considerations are diverting each side from making a reasonable compromise. But without compromise, each sides’ political standing will suffer.
What’s gone wrong, and how can the process of resolving such disputes be made to work? As a labor-management negotiator and mediator in hundreds of disputes, I have some ideas. Here are 7 basic tenets of bargaining that are essential to the process have been totally ignored and violated: