John Feehery: Speaking Engagements

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The Enemy of My Enemy Is My Enemy

Posted on August 1, 2013
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It’s never a good thing when the good cop and the bad cop start fighting amongst themselves.

Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Mike Lee can be called the bad cops.

They are the crazy ones, the wacko-birds, the extremists who are pushing for a government shutdown in order to defund Obamacare.

They are the ones that are trying to physically intimidate the suspect, threatening bodily harm or worse.  They are the ones that are blowing cigarette smoke in the face of the Obama Administration.  They are the water-boarders.

The Republican Establishment figures (and I like those guys) are the good cops.

Richard Burr called the shut-down strategy idiotic.  Saxby Chambliss called it a big mistake.  Mitch McConnell, the Senate Minority Leader, reportedly told his caucus to stop with the shut-down talk, which he believes is counter-productive.

Having a good cop-bad cop strategy can be a useful negotiating ploy.

You might be able to get more concessions out of the other side.  You might get the other side to panic.

But that is all predicated on the good cops and the bad cops being on the same page when it comes to the longer term strategic vision.

When the bad cops start attacking the good cops and when the good cops start attacking the bad cops, the suspect just has to sit back and look for a chance to escape.

When the good cops and the bad cops attack one another, the only real result is chaos.

The right wingers get more energy and more juice attacking Mitch McConnell than they do Barack Obama.  It’s amazing if you think about it.

Mitch McConnell is Obama’s number one enemy.  Theoretically, for Cruz, Paul and Lee, Obama is their number one enemy.

But that is not how the Gang of Three sees it.

Both the Chinese and the Arabs have an ancient proverb:  The enemy of my enemy is my friend.

For the Tea Party, the enemy of my enemy is still my enemy.

With that kind of wisdom, the Gang of Three is going to making a lot of enemies.

The bad cops have to understand that to be successful, they have to work with the good cops.  Otherwise, the whole effort just collapses.