As Centrist and Substantial as the Hole in a Bagel
Lloyd, the producer of “Watchmen” and the guy who beat me for Student Council President of my Junior High was in a Facebook uproar:
LLOYD: Enough already. From both sides of the aisleAnalysis: Untruths have consequences in politics - Yahoo! News
AARON: We should get rid of everyone and start over...
JEFFREY TAMBOR: Lloyd, have you read Senator Bayh this morning in the NY Times? interesting--especially coming from an "insider"--
LLOYD: "Goodbye to all that"? And the burgeoning centrist party? Whatever it takes. Let's put people in office committed to getting things done, fixing the mess we're in. We should have no patience for the pointing of fingers and laying blame and partisan politics.
When rich white men, including a substantial portion of the punditocracy, start calling for a centrist third party, usually headed by Michael Bloomberg, one has to ask what they think is missing from our current line-up of choices.
We have lately been faced with populist outrage over Wall Street misbehavior followed by bailouts without consequence and no subsequent reform.
And we have two parties that looked at the bailouts as if they are root canal, because it is, and each split on then internally.One party is headed by a President who sometimes seems incapable of expressing outrage at the financial sector’s outrages, but at least proposes some reforms to the system and makes some efforts at making Wall Street share some of the burdens they‘ve inflicted upon the rest of us.
The other party expresses plenty of outrage at the bailouts their policies made necessary, but cannot muster one lousy member committed to a single reform, or to any efforts to make Wall Street share in the consequences and costs of their actions.The proposed solution: Bloomberg, the kindly avuncular absent minded billionaire, who can’t even remember what happened to the $750,000 he misplaced.
Bloomberg’s centrism is definitely different than the policies of either major party. Unlike the other parties, Bloomberg supported the bailouts enthusiastically.
And he splits the difference elsewhere in a perfect illustration of how bi-partisanship actually works.
Bloomberg combines Obama’s lack of outraged rhetorical with the Republican opposition to any reforms or consequences for the malefactors.
There may be room for a “centrist” party articulating unfocussed populist outrage, but it won’t attract many white millionaires, and it won’t be headed by a man who repealed term limits supported by the public in two separate referendums.
In truth, we have a centrist party; it is called the Democrats. The old liberal and centrist Republicans have been excluded from their own party by extremists desiring fewer and better Republicans, and they‘re pretty much trying to oust the moderate conservatives as well. Meanwhile, as Bill Clinton put it, we (the Democrats) have become Eisenhower Republicans.
Some on the left who understand this also think we need a new party. If we had some form of proportional representation, a system with its own ugly pitfalls, or instant run-off voting, I might say Godspeed, but with our current form of “first to gate” elections, this is just a formula for defeat.
A new party of the center, or the left, is just an invitation to divide and conquer, and a restoration of the American Phalange
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