Sunday, April 10, 2011

Responsible Chickens

The recent budget debates that threatened to shut down the government have been compared to a game of chicken. An example of this game was depicted in the movie "Rebel Without A Cause". Two young men race to run their cars off a cliff. The object is to see who jumps out of their car first and therefore is a "chicken".

The budget battle wasn't really a game of chicken. The two guys were risking their own lives in those cars. Politicians were risking the American people and economy.

The two guys in the car were willing participants. They may have been pressured into the game, but they could have said they wouldn't play. Republicans and Democrats had to play the game and reach an agreement or the government would have shut down.

The choice was over the stakes and what the other side would agree on. Republicans chose to set the stakes high and then force negotiations to the eleventh hour to see how far they could push Democrats. This wasn't a game of chicken, it was blackmail perpetrated by Republicans.

This wasn't so much a fight over the budget as a test by bullies to see how much Democrats were willing to compromise rather than hurt the country. Democrats jumped first and further. I guess they are the "chickens".

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