Seth Abramson @SethAbramson Attorney. @Newsweek columnist. NYT bestselling author of a book on Trump's Iran policy, Proof of Conspiracy (Macmillan, Professor. Dec. 20, 2019 1 min read

Great news for Democrats. Don't really care if this is a bluff by McConnell or he just hasn't realized yet that the pressure on him won't come from Pelosi but Trump. In any case, Democrats lose nothing by delaying a fake trial in the Senate⁠, with much to gain from a long delay.

I've been unclear for a long time on whether McConnell is actually a strong negotiator. Coming out publicly and declaring that you don't mind a long delay when the whole country knows that your boss does sort of makes McConnell seem weak and out of his league in this negotiation.

There's *zero* chance Pelosi is going to be swayed by the oldest trick in the negotiator's book, and one of the stupidest, which is being disingenuous about your needs and values. Trump is a *massive* albatross around McConnell's neck in this negotiation, and *everyone* knows it.

There's only upside for Pelosi now. She has nothing to gain from a sham trial and nothing to lose by declaring that the House will move to other business if the Senate can't hold a real trial as Americans are demanding at a 71% clip. She'll just keep investigating and litigating.

One of the things McConnell fails to understand, which suggests he's not much of a *negotiator*, is that if you're not offering anything your negotiating partner wants, crowing about the fact that they don't have leverage shows you're a schmuck who doesn't understand negotiation.

So kudos to @tribelaw and @JohnWDean for pushing this strategy. (To be clear, I'm not saying that McConnell doesn't know how to press his advantage in a conniving way when he's facing no compelling reason to negotiate. I'm saying that's *different* from being a good negotiator.)

You can follow @SethAbramson.


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