Now that they've been drummed out of their party by the purity police tea partiers, moderate Republicans are creating their own party, the "No Labels" party, hoping to bring some independents and disaffected Democrats with them. Good luck with that.
Have you heard about the new national political organization called No Labels? It’s a ragtag collection of journalists, pundits, and politicians who claim they support civility in campaigning and bipartisanship in government. That sounds great, though it’s mostly an exercise in vanity – nowadays the biggest pat on the back you can give yourself is publicly announcing: “I am a centrist independent, above the ugly fray of politics.”
So far, No Labels does not endorse specific solutions to big problems. Instead, it will hover on the sidelines like a surly Catholic school nun, rapping the knuckles of any candidate or elected official it deems to be extreme. Since it’s not taking a stand for anything besides a vague idea of “common sense,” how does it decide what’s beyond the pale? Most people already know that Tea Party activists who compare Obama to Hitler are idiots. But the radical anti-Obama crowd likely won’t be joining No Labels, so the “Can’t we all just get along?” mantra will go unheeded by the extremists. That means liberals must move even further to the right to appear conciliatory.
And that is exactly the problem I have with these "No Labels" joiners (and a quick glance at the founding leaders show such Republican stalwarts as David Frum and Mark McKinnon, with no similar big names from the left) and it makes me think this is essentially another Republican front group with added bonus of immediately labeling anyone not part of their group as an unreasonable partisan. It is simply not a viable third party option and the only potential candidate it had was Mike Bloomberg, who emphatically denied any ambition to run for the presidency in 2012.
So instead, we have commenters on the side, without skin in the game of governing, able to remark and undermine principled politicos actually fighting to move legislation and do so with the veil of civility and being above it all.
Anyone seeing this as a constructive thing in the divisive political atmosphere we have?