Thursday, December 16, 2010

Media gets it wrong again on No Labels

As usual, the media flubs it. Linda Killian has a piece running on in the AOL political section today on No Labels, a new progressive front group founded by some of the top progressive establishment types in America (and Canada). Sadly, her piece misses the mark on so many levels. For one thing, she claims that there are “nearly 40 percent of American voters who consider themselves Independents”. Now, in reality, about 18% of Americans are registered Republicans, 23% are registered Democrats and about 14% are registered independents. Those who consider themselves “Independent” who are not registered, registered as another third party or even registered under one of the major parties bumps the number up to about 33%. However, a closer inspection of the American ideological spectrum through actual data shows a stark contrast between her context and the political realities. Even giving her the benefit of the doubt in claiming that 40% of the nation is “Independent”, the ideological breakdown done by Gallup way back in June of this year (2010 for you progressives out there) shows that the number of people calling themselves “Conservative” or “Very Conservative” has actually risen 2% from this time last year and the number stands at 42%. Another 20% consider themselves liberal or very liberal and political moderates are down to 35%. Additionally, of those registered Independents, 36% consider themselves politically conservative and disenfranchised with the parties while 41% consider themselves politically moderate.

None of this means that moderates aren’t important mind you. The TEA Party groups that sprang up across the nation tapped into the spirit of bipartisanship and reaching a MAJORITY of American voters by focusing on jobs, the economy and placing limits on the federal government. There is absolutely room for us to have discussions WELL across the political spectrum but that is not what progressive groups like No Labels see to do. These groups seek to stifle public debate and keeps the decision making process amongst an elite few. This group has been created by an army of progressive supporters of President Obama because these folks have decided that somehow America wants progressivism despite overwhelming data to the contrary. 51% now say they are worse off under Obama and 66% say the country is heading in the wrong direction under progressive leadership. Jobless claims are hovering just around the 10% mark and there is little urgency by the political class to do anything about it. The American people are not that stupid. That is why Americans rejected the founders of No Labels resoundingly in 2010. Mike Castle and Charlie Crist are founding politicians of the group and both were ousted in their own party primaries (Crist switched to the Independent line just before the primary he was clearly going to lose to Marco Rubio) and Indiana Senator Evan Bayh is stepping down from the Senate because his own reelection chances were slim. Kirsten Gillibrand from New York held on to her job in Washington and NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg spent $85 million of his own vast fortune on changing the rules to run for a 3rd term.

All of this begs the question, If such an overwhelming majority of Americans want bi-partisanship and efficient government, why did they oust candidates like Castle and Crist who have a lengthy record of crossing the aisle to work with increasingly liberal Democrats? The answer may lie in a recent survey that was pointed out in The Hill back in April of this year (2010). The study found that 4 in 10 TEA Party members was either a Democrat or an Independent. 57% of the TEA Party members were Republicans while 41% were Democrat or Independent. With the media having spent a great deal of time painting the TEA Party as a vast right wing conspiracy and a group of far right wingnuts, you would expect the numbers to be a little more weighted than that right? Further evidence that political moderates by and large actually find the TEA Party more than palatable is found in the same study which saw 2/3rds of the TEA Party considering themselves conservatives, 26% moderate and 8% liberal. So, No Labels considers itself a counter to the TEA Party and a moderate progressive voice for a majority of Americans yet, 26% of moderates agree with the TEA Party and consider themselves a part of the movement? That makes no sense.

So who is No Labels really out to support? The political class (these are big government, progressive, establishment types). This group is out to support a full 14% of the American population. They see power slipping from their grasp and they won’t let it go gently into that good night. They see their backroom deals in smoke filled rooms dissipating before their eyes and it scares them because if they lose this, what else do they have? It’s sad to see people who began their careers with the best of intentions, slip into such dark and lonely places. Thank God the majority of the American people are too smart to fall for these kinds of tricks.

Peeling back the labels on "No Labels"
Castle joins other progressives in creating "No Labels"

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