Tuesday, December 14, 2010


"What work are they talking about getting done?"

There's another left leaning movement trying to counter the Tea Party movement again. Its called "No Labels" and this one seems to have actually picked up some momentum. A lot of people are attracted by the "we aren't the extreme of either party, we have no labels" concept, but when you dig deeper you find that its largely more of the same.

They've tried over and over with efforts such as the Coffee Party which went no where despite major media coverage which was massively disproportionate to their attendance and interest levels. The No Labels Facebook page only has about 26,000 people "like" it so far, which is pretty tiny, but people are talking about it more.

Here's the thing: it was founded by a group of Democratic Party consultants and political pollsters. The main people behind it are Nancy Jacobson who is a Democrat activist, married to Mark Penn, Democrat pollster, Mark McKinnon, who worked with McCain and W, but worked most of his career with hard left political operative Paul Begala, and Kiki McLean, senior Clinton adviser.

Still, it has managed to attract some Republicans - left leaning moderates such as Joe Scarborough, Charlie Crist, and David Frum. "The folks who are in the center of the Democratic Party, the folks who are in the center of the Republican Party, probably agree with each other more than they do with the extremes of their own party," they say. And they're probably correct but does that make them right?

Simply being moderate doesn't make your positions correct, wanting to avoid extremes doesn't make you right, it just makes you cautious. Maybe you are right, but the presumption here is that holding strongly to a political position is sinister, suspect, and problematic. The Founding Fathers went to war over their political positions. Moderates at the time said we should work with the British inside the system which was totally controlled by a demented king and power hungry parliamentarians in England.

When it comes to actual policy positions, what would the No Labels movement want? So far all they really stand for is "we're not those icky extremists" and "we want to stop the bickering." OK ending all the partisan bickering sounds great, but then what? What will you try to accomplish, who would you want to push for candidates? In the end, everyone ends up being extremist in some areas to others who disagree. Mayor Bloomberg wants to be part of this movement, but he's the guy who wants to ban salt in New York City and control everyone's diet. That's not extreme?

I think this one will get further than the previous incarnations but won't ever have the power and breadth of support the Tea Party movement has simply because its being created by political operatives rather than generating naturally out of frustration and concern by ordinary people. I have no doubt that all the people in politics who are convinced they're smarter and better than you will end up gravitating toward, but will just plain folks?

And how much sense does it make to create a logo and call yourself by the label "No Labels?"

1 comment:

Marie said...

"No labels" is a label.