A man approached me in the street and said he wanted my wallet.
Go %$#@! yourself, I said.
"Look, this negotiation will be more pleasant and productive if you don't force me to use my gun" said the man.
If you haven't already guessed, the preceding incident never happened. As it happens, I was thinking about President Obama's supposed bipartisan health care summit with Republicans. The president is bringing a gun to the negotiations. That gun is reconciliation, a procedural maneuver never before used to enact major legislation. To be sure, it is a concealed gun, the cameras won't see it and the newsies won't mention it, but everyone in the room will know it's there. If the Republicans don't act in good faith, ie handing over their wallets, and yours, then Obama et al will pull out the rec. This is not a negotiation. It is a political mugging.