Here’s a trick.
First you propose a plan that you don’t want. Get lots of talk going about it, find grudging support, then slowly ease in another idea that makes those who supported the first plan look like idiots and regulators. Those who supply the second option look like cooler, more rational heads, and provide a hole for the mavericks who opposed the first outright.
Not subtle at all, but a well-established theory. You offer the worst, knowing you’ll have to settle for less because it’s outrageous. Ultimately, you get what you were really after.
I was trying to be ironic in the title. I see the ploy working in the news.
Here’s a hint from the Times: “But a top aide to Mr. Boehner said it was Democrats who had done the political posturing. The aide, Kevin Smith, said Republicans revolted, in part, because they were chafing at what they saw as an attempt by Democrats to jam through an agreement on the bailout early Thursday and deny Mr. McCain an opportunity to participate in the agreement.”
I see your point in context with the referenced quote. I was forgetting the current political battle and looking at the topic alone.