In any game with risk it is human nature to step back, appear to be polite and invite another to “go first.”  Recently President Obama invited the Republican Party to “go first” when he called on them to “play it straight and treat the process of appointing a Supreme Court Justice with the seriousness and care it deserves.”  He names the game “polarized politics” and the rules he wants to play by are:

  • Norms and customs of political rhetoric and courtesy
  • Playing it straight
  • Seriousness and care

History has shown what kind of “player” President Obama has been in the past.  If you can’t beat your opponent using the rules, you change the rules.  Can you say “Executive Order?”  He once liked the rule of “stalling” approval of a Supreme Court nominee by filibuster.  And now he doesn’t like the “stalling” rule in another form - choosing not to act.

It is a “high stakes” game with far reaching consequences.  Thank you very much for asking us to play. With all due respect, please “go first” by playing by the rules you are invoking.

-Kathy Seei

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