08 Apr 2018

Owl looking askew - for post on Modern Whig Party and national centrist party stategy
I don't talk about this much because, well - I don't see the point in beating a horse that is not only dead, but has been dead for nearly 170 years, as the Whig Party has been. But one of the Modern Whig Party's most active proponents asked, and it tied in with in a guest post by Mike Wallach a couple weeks back, that I promised I'd respond to, so here we are. -SK Not Critiquing the Right-Leaning to Centrist Modern Whig Party I'll preface this by pointing out that I'm not critiquing the Modern Whigs here, or the center-right in general, but rather just responding to a question and another blog post. Do I have strategic constructive criticism for the Modern Whig Party organization? Sure, and maybe I'll get into that some other time, but this conversation is about a big picture idea - namely: Where a centrist party wants to pitch it's political tent on the American political spectrum, and why. I initially had the question in question (that's ...

21 Feb 2018

I don't read the Journal, save for a rare link that comes across my feed - like this one. I've heard that it's gotten worse over the last few years, so maybe this isn't as far from their norm as it seems like it should be, but when someone sends you an article, ostensibly about centrists, from a major newspaper - authored by someone who works at Brookings no less... I just didn't expect to find something so overflowing with completely false information about what centrists think, who we are and blaming moderates for things we aren't even involved with. I had to respond.   The Democratic Ideal & False Centrist Stereotypes The first few sentences seemed to be headed in a good direction. He began by speaking about how respect for the outcome of elections is on the decline (I agree), but then first goes off the rails here: "...disrespect for democratic outcomes has become particularly acute on the center-left." That just plain isn't true. ...

02 Dec 2017

centrist republican Susan Collins
The idea that a few independent centrists in the US Senate could block the worst hyper-partisan legislation is a great medium-term goal, and should work sometimes. Ultimately though, we need more than just a few votes - especially if we want it to do more than just stonewall the worst legislation or be a 'caucus of no'. The Centrist Fulcrum Strategy - Our Medium Term Goal I'd heard of the concept now called the 'fulcrum strategy' before, but Charles Wheelan's book 'The Centrist Manifesto', subsequent writing and media appearances, as well as The Centrist Project (dark money group that supports independents running for office) organization he launched have definitely done more to convince people of its merits than everyone else put together (and then some). There is nothing faulty about the concept itself, and the core concept it sound. A few centrist votes in the US Senate could block either side from a majority, block them from pushing throu...

22 Nov 2017

banner for term limits post
The argument for term limits is one of those rare cases that you can accurately apply the label of 'transpartisan'. For as long as I can remember, since I began engaging in political activity in the late '90s, polls have shown a super-majority of US citizens - myself very much included - support this idea, but apparently scientific studies in recent years now lend objective, measurable credence to the old truism that 'power corrupts'.  Research Shows Keeping Power for Long Dulls Empathetic Neural Processing A wonderful long-read article on the subject, by Jerry Useem at The Atlantic, outlines several lines of research that all point to the conclusion that there is a strong correlation between the collection of power (be is political, social, economic, etc) and a range of negative behaviors. These negative behaviors aren't merely bad habits, but - according to the evidence collected - stem from measurable neural impairment. That's right - powe...

16 Oct 2017

quote of centrist Republican Susan Collins on why she decided to stay in the Senate
[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text] The last decade has been an unmitigated disaster for independent centrists and moderates on both sides. For every Angus King, Susan Collins and Joe Manchin, there has been a dozen Elizabeth Warrens and Ted Cruz'. As the two major parties have abandoned us and created a vacuum, the political center in the U.S. has been in disarray. With a fraction of a percent of the funding the two major parties have at their disposal, having to start from close to scratch, without an organizational infrastructure or army of trained staff like we used to have when we were still welcome under major party tents - even though conditions are better than ever for a centrist movement to be sparked, we're still seeing very little electoral progress. While there are miles of electoral hurdles the two major parties have put up to make it harder for independents (centrist or otherwise) to participate equally in our increasingly undemocra...

16 Sep 2017

two-faced Trump is no independent
None of us can do much more than speculate over what President Trump's motivations were for siding with Democrats over the short term debt ceiling deal, but we can say that doing so doesn't magically make him an independent (much less a centrist), no matter how many absurd articles claim otherwise. Trump is a Nontraditional Republican - Not Centrist or Independent Donald Trump is as much of an independent centrist as water is dry. Not only is he a member of a party, which precludes someone from being an independent - by definition, but he's the leader of that party. Him not being the leader or a member of one of the two primary factions - establishment mainstream conservatives or Tea Party right wingers - doesn't mean he's not a Republican. Like it or not, he's a Republican. He defeated a slate of people who are what those pretending that Trump is a centrist and/or independent in a Republican primary. Millions of Republicans flocked to his ra...