You Got To Know When to Hold Them, Know When To Fold Them
There are 4 people at the table in the beginning: President George W., Governor Jenn, PM Paul and Premier Dalton. The Bi-national Engineers are dealing the cards. A winner take all game. They put in the pot a JMC Report, a Nine-Point Plan, the kind of things to make it interesting.
They are having a nice friendly session until a young whippersnapper, Mayor Eddie, embolden by the cheers of his Windsorite onlookers, demands a seat at the table. Rather than risk a noisy confrontation with his gunslinger side-kick, lawyer David, they let him in.
He gets to the table and tries to win over his new buddies by building relationships. He doesn't like the stakes, too small for him, too short-term. He got in because he claimed to be a big-time player, in it for the long-term. His new buds do a deal with him. They'll throw out the pot and start over. Phase 1 they call it, to prove that everyone is on the up-and-up.
Well the four friends don't really like how the Mayor plays, too big for his britches they think. He tells them that he wants to make new rules at the table and out of the corner of their eyes, they see his big gun, his 44 calibre Schwartz-shooter.
Well that's not the way the game is to be played so they tell the dealer to start enforcing the rules. Everyone must "respect" the process they say.
It's not getting so friendly as more cards are dealt out. The Big 4 try to psyche him out. Mayor Eddie got so mad at some of the things he heard, especially about trucks on E C Row, that he almost left the table, snubbing a couple of the players. So he decided instead to increase the pot. He threw in his Schwartz Report.
There was an audible gasp and a huge cheer from the onlookers. The shot from his Schwartz-shooter was loud. It was a BIG bang. It took the four by surprise.
Shockingly, Mayor Eddie then backed off. And what a mistake it was! Desperate, the four looked to the dealer to give them time to catch their breath. With a few well-placed winks and nods, they had the dealer try to confuse everyone by adding some subtleties to the game by adding in 15 routes. It gave them the time to regroup. Had the Mayor lost his edge?
Because he seemed not go for the win as expected, playing for the quick, short-term win and not the big, long-term result that everyone had wanted, Mayor Eddie started losing his onlookers as supporters. What he was doing made no sense to them and was NOT why they wanted him at the table. Remember the big cheers that got him in the game in the first place. Well he started playing his cards too close to his vest, not allowing his friends to see or know anything. They started looking at other tables, at other players, gravely disappointed in their so-called champion.
Premier Dalton made the first big bet as a counter. He threw in a border czar, some EAs, a bit of cash and a bunch of workers into the pot supposedly to escalate the matter and get some finality. It was the first big blow to Mayor Eddie.
Then another. The dealer's new routes caused major problems for Governor Jenn, or so people thought. Some of her Downriver backers got really mad and wanted to cut off her funds. Out of the blue, she blinked and caught everyone off guard. Or did she? She threw in her cards so she could play another hand later. In reality, she let the other three know what cards she had so they could play on. Everyone saw her hand: the South Bridge, the Belle Isle Bridge and maybe the DRTP were gone from the deck. The Four were working together after all even now.
Now the PM tried to separate the men from the boys. To "see" the Schwartz Report bet and increase it to put the boots to the Mayor, he had a Cansult Report prepared. That was thrown into the pot too to stir everyone up.
Poor Premier Dalton, he started sweating. The stakes were getting very high and he was becoming a have-not. He was "family" with cousin Paul, both being Liberals, but he had "his folks" in the Mayor's hometown too that he did not want to hurt, niece Sandra and nephew Dwight. Everyone knew it was hard to trust Premier Dalton....he was a big Fiberal. He endorsed Schwartz but later his family flip-flopped saying that the dealer had to be respected. Why he promised to expedite the building of the new crossing but left it to be completed in 2013, the original time-frame. His Windsor nephew promised to put up $500 million but backed off quickly.
The eyes in the room quickly turned to the young Mayor. What was he going to do? Was he going to fold as his Schwartz Report was upped by Cansult? Was he going to increase the ante some more? Did he have something up his sleeve or would he bluff?
We got a hint. Eddie always had a Plan didn't he? He must have one. His buddy laughed nervously as he was backpeddling quickly and said Schwartz was just the "first step." Funny, everyone else thought that Schwartz was the final answer, the BIG BET. A first step that had cost millions so far and taken nine months. Whew, imagine what it would all cost especially if the Mayor lost!
Eddie was spending money as he went out there to get everyone onside with a solution that did not have a problem. Was it all a diversionary tactic to throw everyone off Eddie's real game? Or was he truly beaten and pretending that he had another option to save face?
Eddie even said that he suspected that he knew the cards PM Paul was holding and that the Cansult Report finally flushed it out, in his mind anyway. Funny, others seemed to know the PM's cards.
Was the young gambler still in the game? Did he fool everyone with his Schwartz Report diversion. Was the Mayor really a Hustler, a real card shark or was he out of his league, gambling for his life with the money of others, his future in the balance?
The tension was rising. What was the real story?
"Bartender, a double sasparilla please." All of a sudden, there was a hush in the room. President George W. wanted a drink, a non-alcoholic one. No one remembered he was there, he was so quiet up until now.
He had the best poker face of them all. He had the biggest pile of chips, ready to finance his Governor friend if she needed a few dollars. Why he had just given her $100 million for some important bridge work she needed done. He always held all the best cards: the full house, the four aces, the Royal flush. He rarely lost. When he talked, EVERYONE listened! What was he going to do?
See, what's so hard to understand? It's all a big macho game. We are all on-lookers. Moves are planned long in advance. We are all merely pawns, playing the roles assigned to us. But then that's another game isn't it?