Monday, December 20, 2010

Labels schmables: Another lukewarm political challenger

Posted By on Mon, Dec 20, 2010 at 3:11 PM

Have you heard the news about the "No Labels" party? No? Here's a snippet from NewsChief.com:

A high-minded group of political types met in New York last week and formed a group called No Labels that is dedicated to improving today’s poisonous, hyper-partisan atmosphere. Can’t quarrel with that.

The group believes, probably correctly, that there’s a large number of Americans in the political middle who are increasingly disaffected by the shrill stridency of the far right and far left. They should be, but - face it, people - shrill stridency sells.

Oh, yeah! Our heroes have arrived! Or, have they? Check out Jill Lawrence's take on PoliticsDaily.com:

There are lots of big names associated with this group -- senators, mayors, media celebs and more. But I'll be honest, I've been skeptical. You only have to listen to actual no-labels types to understand why. A few days after the official launch of No Labels, four of them offered eye-opening accounts of real life in the House and Senate. They all indulged their centrist impulses and this year they all lost -- two Republicans in primaries, two Democrats in general elections.

"There's a new definition of bipartisan in Washington -- it's called former member," 10-term Rep. Chet Edwards (D-Texas) told an amused audience this month at the Bipartisan Policy Center.

He added, "I hope it doesn't become a requirement."

And now, let me suggest this op-ed, by Frank Rich, in Sunday's New York Times: The Bipartisanship Racket.

Instead of heroes and new parties, can we just find politicians who care more about the people they're representing than their wallets and snappy new marketing gimmicks meant to do nothing more than bolster their political careers? Or, am I dreaming again?

And, of course, we've got everyone's favorite comedian, Rush Limbaugh, claiming the "No Labels" movement is racist ... and using an example from our state to prove his point.

Rhiannon "Rhi" Bowman is an independent journalist who contributes snarky commentary on Creative Loafing's CLog blog four days a week in addition to writing for several other local media organizations. To learn more, click the links or follow Rhi on Twitter.

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