Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Peeling back the labels on No Labels

Fans of this blog will recall that yesterdays post examined a new progressive group launched by Mike Castle and a host of other establishment political types.  For those of you who might be reading this blog for the first time and who may not be familiar with the term “Progressive” in politics, please begin your study here.  The term sounds benign, even wonderful, moving the country forward and progressing sounds appealing.  The problem is that along the way, as you evolve the government, individuals lose their personality and individuality.  You will need to understand Progressivism to understand the rest of this post.
Today we will focus on some of the founders of No Labels and their affiliations.  No Labels lists 11 founding members on their website and while each of these founding leaders is indeed linked to Progressive or liberal causes, we’ll examine 6 of them in total and 2 in this post. 
David Frum
American progressives (as you know from the history lesson above) have learned that in America’s political structure, it is imperative that you work within BOTH major parties if you are going to accomplish any REAL lasting changes.  In a Republic built to allow laws to be written, removed and reinstated depending on how the  people feel, it is increasingly difficult (and rightfully so) to fundamentally transform America.  That is why progressives cannot be pigeon-holed into only the Democrat Party.  Look at Teddy Roosevelt, perhaps the biggest Progressive to every become President, who was a Republican!  In fact, today, the Republican Party is nearly as progressive as the Democrat Party.  John McCain, Mike Castle, Olympia Snowe and Lisa Murkowski are just a few examples of Republican progressives serving in Washington, D.C. right now. 
Progressives also understand the need to make their views appear mainstream and accepted across the political spectrum in order to build support on both sides of the issues.  That is why modern progressive Republicans have attempted to call themselves conservatives in order to provide a “conservative voice” who can champion their causes.  Frum is a so called “conservative voice” who is frequently called upon by liberal sources like the New York Times, MSNBC and the Washington Post to provide opinions from “the other side”.   
Frum grew up in Ontario, Canada and his first real political move at age 14 was to volunteer for a member of the Canadian “New Democrat Party”.   After attending Yale and working for the Wall Street Journal and Forbes he did work at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research (a conservative think tank in NYC).  Once President Bush was elected in 2000, the Canadian citizen (he received his U.S. citizenship on 9-11-07) was appointed as a speechwriter for economics in the White House where he worked from 2001 to 2002. Beginning in 2003 he worked at the American Enterprise Institute but was let go in March of this year amid his criticism of Fox News and the conservative opposition to Obamacare. 
This is not the first time Frum had been discharged amid controversy.  In 2008, Frum broke with National Review Online when he started The New Majority which has become a centrist funding arm.  Frum has also categorized younger readers as “a generation often repelled by today's mainstream conservatism” and he has consistently attacked conservative positions that conflict with President Obama’s agenda.  Frum has supported Obama and progressives in feuds with other more conservative columnists like Stanley Kurtz.  In fact, Frum has increasingly bucked the ideas of conservatism in favor of more populist and progressive positions even to the point of being widely considered to be a progressive plant in the media who practices “pragmatic conservatism” which is little more than slower progressivism.  He has also consistently attacked the TEA Party as being “too conservative” or “lacking pragmatism”.  He has joined a slew of progressive Republicans who have rejected the ideas of reducing the deficit by using the principles of Reagan who lowered taxes to drive up revenue and cut spending to balance the budget. 
Frums conservative credentials are weak when viewed in the overall context of his writing and political viewpoints.  It certainly doesn’t help his cause that his wife, author Danielle Crittenden, is a long time Huffington Post contributor.  In the end it’s pretty clear that Frum is little more than a shill for the progressive movement in general and specifically for the Republican Establishment progressives who value remaining in power far more than retaining freedom and liberty for the people.
Holly Page
Holly Page’s credentials from the No Labels website describe her as having spent 13 years at the Democratic Leadership Council (with the last 5 spent as Executive VP).  The site glosses over her real job which is as a lobbyist with Fontheim International.  Let’s go back just a moment and introduce you to the DLC.  It was started in 1985 by Will Marshall and Al From in response to the dramatic losses by Democrats in the 1984 General election when Reagan conservatism paved the way for Republicans.  Reagan’s natural conservatism reached out to the American middle class, a group that had long been courted by and been loyal to the Democrat Party.  Democrats had lost the popular vote badly and From and Marshall founded the DLC and it’s think tank the “Progressive Policy Institute” in order to discover ways to win back the American middle class.  DLC, PPI and their latest initiative “The Third Way” are aimed at using the moderates and the concept of bi-partisanship to push through the progressive agenda and encourage an ever growing, ever more powerful government.
Mrs. Page has played a key role with the DLC and is responsible for “The National Conversation” which is the largest gathering of Democratic elected officials outside of the DNC.  She brokered a deal with Harvard and the Aspen Institute to provide leadership development training to progressive elected officials.  Holly is also responsible for setting up the first ever online town hall with President Clinton in 1998 and a World Leaders Summit for the Third Way.  She is a dedicated progressive who has worked for progressive political candidates for almost two decades. 

This concludes today’s look at the leaders of “No Labels” and gives you an idea of what you will find in the weeks to come as we begin to peel back the label on the people behind the organization.  You will see the progressive roots in each leader and the connections to other progressive organizations.  The media has called this group “MSNBC’s TEA Party” and to prove its effectiveness the leaders spent the last 12 months preparing a launch event that drew 1,100 people to Columbia University in NYC.  By contrast, the 1st ever April 15th TEA Party in Wilmington, Delaware drew nearly 1,500 in the cold and driving rain.  Outdoor events across the state drew nearly 2,500 participants.  New York City is 9 times the size of Delaware in terms of population.  I’m just sayin’.

Next up: Jonathan Cowan and Mark McKinnon

2 comments:

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