This year's Unity08

Kathleen Parker of the WaPo is excited about a group that calls itself No Labels. Problem is, there's no obvious difference between No Labels and early 2007's Unity08, a group that was being touted by David Broder, that centrist "Dean of the Press Corps." The problem that both Parker and Broder cite is that neither group has/had a leader who had anywhere near the popularity of Jesse Jackson or Ross Perot. But the real problem that both pundits ignored was that the centrist voters who don't like either party, but who will vote for a mushy compromise party is a real group, but it's a very, very small one that will only have clout in a closely-divided electoral contest.

Parker's thesis is that both of the major parties are just so awful. Her evidence that the Democrats are now extremists consists of Speaker Pelosi's opposition to the absolutely awful group led by Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson. Yes, one is a Democrat and the other is a Republican, but they've both richly earned their group the name of the "Cat Food Commission" as both persons obviously despise Social Security recipients and clearly want to see grandma and grandpa living on scraps retrieved from the garbage dump.

Her charge that Republicans are extremists has a good deal more substance to it because Republicans really are extremists who really have put the squeeze on moderates in their party. Remember, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R) said: "The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president." Dunno about you, but that sounds like an awfully extremist statement to me. The Senate minority is even opposing the ratification of the START Treaty. This is quite serious as the treaty is what allows the US to inspect Russian nuclear armaments. With the treaty being allowed to lapse, inspections have ceased and they will not begin again until and unless the treaty is ratified. Yet, Republicans appear perfectly content to allow the treaty to remain a dead letter. Again, that sounds pretty darned extremist to me.

No, America doesn't need a centrist party. What it needs to do is to see to it that Democrats get a spine-stiffener and to toss Republicans out on their keisters.


Rich Gardner said...

Kathleen Parker continues to push the line that she's a "centrist" and that America is a "center-right" country. Neither assertion is true as "There's not a lick of difference between [Parker's] economic policy positions and those of Dick Armey and the Koch brothers." And as to the "center-right" idea, the term is a hopelessly muddled one and of course, dramatic shifts in voting like between 2008 and 2010 are not explicable by using such sweeping generalizations.

Rich Gardner said...

Y'know, perhaps Americans are disturbed, not by ideological solutions, but by insiderism? Could it be that the real problem is with all the inside players trading influence and money and advice and engaging in slick campaigns and showing absolutely zero real courage? A really and truly courageous group would protest Republicans breaking off from the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission and producing their own report that lacked any villains other than Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and naive, deadbeat homeowners. Real courage would consist in naming the true villains behind the near-collapse of the world's economy, but that's obviously well beyond the David Broders and Kathleen Parkers of the world.