Triangulation Explained!

These days, given the impending tax bill that’s being debated in Washington, we’re hearing a lot about the concept of “triangulation.” It almost sounds like a choke hold applied by the Nature Boy Ric Flair to an opponent, but it actually refers to a weird kinda “triangle” that’s composed of President Obama, the Democrats, and the Republicans. They’re the political “triangle” in Washington, and how they deal with and play off each other determines what will and won’t get done in Washington over the next couple of years.

During the past two years, President Obama “triangulated” with Democrats in order to win passage of legislation that “strangulated” the Republicans, but since the November elections it now appears that President Obama is going to “triangulate” with Republicans in order to “de-triangulate” the Democrats. Granted, all this makes less than perfect sense to those of us who think in terms of paying power bills and meeting mortgages, but I’m going to try to come up with a better explanation of what “triangulation” actually means so that we’ll all better understand the concept. And I’ll accomplish this by using an example that all of us can fully relate to – The Three Stooges!

Hey, it makes perfect sense, especially given that we’re talking about politics here. Everyone knows and loves the Stooges, and they were the perfect example of triangulation. For example, remember when Curly would start dancing with a lady at a social gathering when Moe needed him to help him work on a leaky faucet or something instead?

Well, in those instances Moe would go over, give Curly a double eye poke, and then grab him by the ear in order to lead him over to the faucet that was in need of repair. Larry, upon seeing this, would then join in and bop Curly on the noggin’ in order to help support Moe’s position.

So, the result was that Moe and Larry “triangulated” Curly in order to get some needed work accomplished. Makes all the sense in the world, if you think about it. And just as the Stooges ultimately replaced Curly with Shemp, and then Joe Besser, and then with Curly Joe DeRita, the exact same thing is about to take place in Washington.

Next month we’ll see John Boehner take over as Speaker of the House, which will then put him into a triangulation situation with Senator Harry Reid and President Obama. Who sweet talks who and who gets his way with whom will set the tone for how things are going to go over the next couple of years. Will President Obama cozy up to upcoming Speaker Boehner?

Or will Speaker-to-be Boehner cozy up with Harry Reid and leave President Obama out at the proverbial front door holding onto his roses? Or will President Obama and Harry Reid try to pull a double trouble power play on Speaker-to-be Boehner and dare him to cross them? There are all kinds of possibilities, and to say I’m looking forward to them is an understatement.

What we’re about to see here is political theatre at its finest, kind of a political version of professional wrestling if you will. And think about it this way – if one evening you’re watching the news and some big political controversy is brewing over some issue up in Washington, and you see one of these three gentlemen extolling their position regarding it, just mull this over in your mind….

“Nyuk, nyuk! A wise guy, aye?” Then, think about Speaker-to-be Boehner giving Senator Reid a double eye poke and President Obama coming up behind them and clunking both their heads together.

You’ll understand perfectly what’s going on – they’re triangulating!

Editor’s Christmas Note: Ed’s new Christmas novel, “ChristmaSin'” is available at

Ed Williams
Ed Williams is a Southern Author/Speaker/Humorist from Juliette, Georgia. He loves Atomic Fireballs, Bachman-Turner Overdrive, and anyone who appreciates honin a good tulip! His new Christmas novel, ChristmaSin' is available at