Some big players at the game of politics misinterpret the nature of today’s general political discontent, and offer only hollow novelty in response.
Take the “No Labels” movement.
A number of big-name politicians, including New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Indiana Senator Evan Bayh, push the idea of a centrist, can-do spirit, a bi-partisan effort that will transcend the nastiness of the current Establishment Insider/Tea Party Outsider split. Their trendy-sounding “No Labels” label communicates their allegedly co-operative, spectrum-transcendent message. Their slogan? “Not Left. Not Right. Forward.”
According to Linda Killian, of Politics Daily, “the message No Labels is espousing is exactly what a majority of Americans, who are fed up with both parties, say they want from their government.”
This seems to fly in the face of what I’ve gleaned of American disgust. And it distorts the actual landscape of power. No Labels “pragmatism” is as mainstream as you can get, as Matt Welch noted in Reason:
Barack Obama and John McCain both ran for president as post-ideological pragmatists. So did, in their own ways, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton. It remains an attractive pose, and will always draw cheers from the indefatigable problem-solvers drawn to power like cowbirds to cattle.
America’s growing disaffection with politicians springs from the continual betrayals of common sense by both parties — including centrist can-doers.
“No Labels”? Phooey. Instead: “No Bailouts. No Over-spending. No Ignoring the Voters.”
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.