Thursday, March 11, 2010

Bob Corker challenges Chris Dodd to single combat

I was struggling to remember what this reminds me of:

March 11 (Bloomberg) -- Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd said he will release his version of legislation to overhaul financial rules, signaling that talks on a compromise with Republican Bob Corker have collapsed.


“I have been fortunate to have a strong partner in Senator Corker and my new proposal will reflect his input and the good work done by many of our colleagues,” Dodd said. “Our talks will continue and it is still our hope to come to agreement on a strong bill all of the Senate can be proud to support.”

...and I finally put my finger on it.

The Democrats have a lead in the House of Representatives of 253 to 178. To put it another way, there are nearly three Democrats for every two Republicans. By historical standards it is a fairly large numerical lead, greater than any advantage Republicans ever had while Clinton and Bush were presidents. And yet to Dems like Dodd, being "bipartisan" means one Democrat negotiating with one Republican.

What it reminds me of: In George R. R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire book series (coming soon as an adaptation on HBO!!) many characters frequently challenge one another to single combat. This actually has a historical basis: sometimes during a war, the outcome would be determined by each side selecting a champion and letting them fight one other to the death. In some cases, the armies would agree to abide by the resolution of the fight, and the side with the losing champion would simply forfeit the battle.

There is a scene I love early in the third book, A Storm of Swords. Jaime Lannister, a prominent sometimes-villain of the series, is being pursued in a boat by agents of the enemy Tully family, who intend to catch him and bring him to justice. With capture imminent by a small squad of Tully warriors, Jaime taunts the captain, asking if he is brave enough to face him in single combat. Unsurprisingly, the captain shouts back words to the effect that he isn't that gullible, and he elects to keep his forty or so soldiers in the fight against three people.

Chris Dodd is that gullible.


  1. Yeah, I agree. It reminds me a bit of this video:

    I think it is fine to listen to your opposition and adopt any good ideas they may have. Sadly, the opposition does not have that many good ideas (which is why I am on my side and not on their side). But republicans have done a good job painting the picture of Americans as you described, two equally matched sides. When instead on issues of financial reform and health care, the american public is actually more liberal than the democratic majorities would suggest in both chambers of congress.

    I was hoping that because Chris Dodd is not running for re-election it would free him up to pursue a more liberal agenda on both banking regulation and health care. Sadly, from what I have heard him propose with regards to banking regulations, it does not appear that is the case.

  2. "HAHA I have squarely secured defeat! They won't know what's coming!"

    What did those jokers learn strategy from Zap Branagan?