Nowhere has President Obama lost more support than among independent voters. So, now Mr. Obama is talking up bipartisanship. But his focus is too narrow. He needs to think more about NONpartisanship — or, perhaps, “transpartisanship.”
Take for instance the Federal Election Commission. The FEC is governed by six commissioners — three Republicans and three Democrats. As Theresa Amato, an attorney and author of Grand Illusion: The Myth of Voter Choice in a Two-Party Tyranny, wrote recently in the Kansas City Star, “[M]ake no mistake that the FEC is a partisan body.”
Amato — who serves on the board of Citizens in Charge Foundation, this program’s sponsor — explained that the FEC’s partisan make-up is not caused by “the demands of the law, merely the outcome of a ‘bipartisan’ rather than ‘nonpartisan’ appointment process.”
Amato suggests an easy way to break the partisan gridlock at the FEC and to reach out to the majority of Americans who identify as “independents”: Appoint the first non-Republican, non-Democrat as commissioner — someone independent, or a representative of a third party.
Months ago, leaders of IndependentVoting.org wrote to the president also urging him to shake up the FEC in exactly this manner.
It’s bad enough for a federal agency to regulate political campaigns and political speech. It’s worse to allow the two major parties to control such an agency. We need more independence — and thus independents.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.