16 Oct 2017

quote of centrist Republican Susan Collins on why she decided to stay in the Senate
The last decade has been an unmitigated disaster for centrists and moderates on both sides. For every Angus King, Susan Collins and Joe Manchin, there has been a dozen Bernie Sanders and Ted Cruz'. As the two major parties 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 undemocratic democratic republic, by far the biggest thing holdi...

30 Dec 2010

Through the recent tax bill vote and through reactions to the Simpson-Bowles deficit-reduction plan, we are able to begin sorting the "Deficit Hawks" from the "Deficit Albatrosses" in Congress.  We'll start today with the Senate deficit hawks. December's compromise tax bill raises deficits on both ends -- decreased tax rates and increased spending.  Only 19 Senators and 148 Representatives voted against this Deeper Deficit Bill, as it might be called.  Also in December, the Simpson-Bowles Debt Panel released its final recommendations -- many spending cuts with some tax increases.  While Congress as a whole has not been forced to vote on Simpson-Bowles, a number of Congressmen and -women have availed themselves of the opportunity to support it or to denounce it. The good news is that at least 25 Senators out of 100 have now taken tough stands for cutting the deficit (not counting those leaving office next week, and not counting a couple of mayb...

30 Nov 2010

The United States could have an instantly strong centrist party if Blue Dog Democrats and Main Street Republicans came together in a centrist party.  This third party would ally with Democrats on some issues and Republicans on others.  The United States does not need an either-or two-party system.  The United States suffers increasingly for this system. Many of Europe's political parties were born of such party splits. Heath Shuler's recent intra-party challenge to Nancy Pelosi drew more interest than connoted by his 43 votes.  We could add to that the 28 Blue Dog losses in this year's House races.  Comparable centrist Democratic Senators who might be interested include North Dakota's Kent Conrad. Of course, there aren't many center-right Congressional Republicans any more.  But if Blue Dog Dems led the way, a few of Congress's less dogmatic Republicans might be enticed.  Thirty-eight-year-old Shuler himself, a former star quarterback, woul...