Republicans, Democrats and Trump negotiations: a BATNA Analysis

Negotiation 101: Why Republicans Capitulate on Budget — for Now

Breitbart News-2 mai 2017

The Republicans came to these budget negotiations without a BATNA (1), or with a very bad one. They were not prepared to shut down the government under almost any circumstances. A shutdown in President Donald Trump’s first 100 days would have made him look like a weak chief executive, and might have caused lasting political damage. A shutdown would also have made the GOP-dominated Congress look reckless and incompetent. It was never going to happen.

The Democrats might also have suffered from a shutdown, but they have an institutional advantage, in that the public is conditioned to expect federal spending as the norm, and the mainstream media almost always blame the Republicans for shutdowns. So their BATNA, while bad, was better than President Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan’s BATNA.

America — Trump’s Small Family Business

People’s Pundit Daily-12 mai 2017

Trump’s existential BATNA: Trump is different from every other president with the possible exception of George Washington in that he doesn’t view his presidency as the sine qua non crowning achievement of his life’s work. That distinction is reserved for the Trump Organization with its self-proclaimed portfolio of “some of the leading properties on the planet” and his immediate family.

Trump views the presidency as an unlikely side project; one that he undertook because he could and because he truly believed, as he still does, that he can make one hell of a positive difference for America and for Americans. But if it turns out that he couldn’t, that the forces arraigned against him were too strong, he will not lose a moment of sleep over it. “Trump Force One” is not a downgrade after all and unlike Obama he will not have to smooch private jet rides from anyone.

This excellent global BATNA is what allowed Trump to fire Comey today and meet with Lavrov tomorrow while allowing only the Russian photographer into the meeting. It is the source of Trump’s “in your face” behavior towards those (Democrats, the MSM) that he perceives as unflippable. They’d better buckle in — it’s not going to change.

(1) In negotiation theory, the Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement or BATNA is the most advantageous alternative course of action a party can take if negotiations fail and an agreement cannot be reached. BATNA is the key focus and the driving force behind a successful negotiator. A party should generally not accept a worse resolution than its BATNA

Attractive alternatives are needed to develop a strong BATNA. In the best-selling book Getting to YES: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In, the authors give 3 suggestions of how to accomplish this:

Inventing a list of actions one might take if no agreement is reached

Converting some of the more promising ideas and transforming them into tangible and partial alternatives

Selecting the alternative that sounds best

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