Winning this negotiation isn’t about getting what you want; it’s about making the other guys vote for it. The winner is whatever party’s plan is passed. Coming to a deal on the debt solution in a reasonable time frame with a plan of compromise would certainly benefit the American public and the rest of the world. But a deal might not necessarily benefit a politician’s 2012 election chances, especially if whatever side she is on is perceived as the loser.
The famous quote from UCLA football coach and popularized by Packers head coachVince Lombardi comes to mind: “Winning isn’t everything; it’s the only thing.”I partially agree, but since this isn't a financial or a political blog, I will spare you my view that the Republicans don't truly give a damn about the debt as long as they can dismantle the federal government. It's the Vince Lombardi-ism that inspires comment. Like many famous quotations, this one is probably apocryphal, or at least partially so. I've heard repeatedly that Vince Lombardi didn't actually say "Winning isn’t everything; it’s the only thing.” From the popular biography, When Pride Still Mattered: a Life of Vince Lombardi By David Maraniss
What exactly he meant by that, indeed whether he blelieved it or even said it, has been a matter of debate ever since. His critics blamed Lombard for promoting a win-at-all-cost competetive pathology that led inevitably to Richard Nixons's dirty tricksters at the Committe to Re-elect the President, whose 1972 headquarters featured a sign that read "Winning in Politics Isn't Everything, It's the Only Thing." Lombardi's supporters insisted through the years that he was misinterpreted. What he said, or meant to say, they claimed, was that winning isn't everything, it's the only thnig worth striving for, or winning isn't everything, but making the effort to win is.
There's a big difference between those statements and I think that Lombardi deserves more respect if he didn't actually utter or believe what has become his most famous quotation.