Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is no fan of President Donald Trump and he has no qualms making that abundantly apparent. However, for all the hatred and vitriol, Cuban is still wise enough to consider that frustrated Democrats should not allow their emotions to get in the way of solid, tested negotiation principles.
Many Democrats have made it clear that they will do whatever is necessary to impede President Trump from pushing through his appointment of 10th Circuit Judge Neil Gorsuch as newest member of the U.S. Supreme Court. Cuban thinks that is a poor decision.
"The Democrats are blowing it," says Cuban. "I think ... look, I'm an independent, I'm not a Democrat. I don't have a vested interest in the Democratic Party at all. But, what I will say, at least from my perspective, everything that was wrong with Republicans during the Obama administration was built around obstructionism."
In the book Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In, Roger Fisher, William Ury and Bruce Patton suggest that you should always treat your partner in a way that you hope to be treated. If the Democrats seek to obstruct President Trump's nominee for U.S. Supreme Court not because Judge Gorsuch is unqualified for the position, but because they wish to get in the way of President Trump whenever possible, then Democrats should expect to be treated in similar fashion by the Republican majority.
"[President Trump ChiefStategist Steve] Bannon is praying the dems take the same approach," Cuban Tweeted. "They will use it to expand their base and demonize Dems. 'See, they hate you & progress.'"
Cuban suggests that, on the issue of Judge Gorsuch being appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court, Democrats would be wise to make a deal with President Trump to give him "bragging rights."
Deals makers do love to make deals, and Democrats do not wish to be obstructed for the next four years. Cuban is correct that Democrats cannot push hard against every move made by President Trump, or else the party may dig itself a deeper hole.
Wise negotiators first think about their interests before taking positions. They invest heavily in "What if" questions. Democrats should spend the time questioning what will occur if they choose to fight President Trump on every decision as opposed to giving in to his desires on occasion.
Sometimes you have to play ball to get what you want. Democrats should not simply waive the white flag on all issues, and they should make it clear that they will not be pushed beyond certain limits. But they also have to show some flexibility or else there will be no negotiations and the majority will typically prevail, which is not a promising sign for Democrats over the next four years.