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...

27 Jul 2011

annoyed woman throwing paper at a man
Something struck me while reading a post on over at Teagan Goddard's Political Wire. After talking about how negotiations between the White House and congressional leaders had broken down, Goddard commented that it wasn't so much surprising that the talks broke down, but more that so many thought a significant compromise deal "was even possible". How sad is it that the American people's supposed representatives that we've sent to represent us in Congress are so out of touch with reality that they can't even come together to make any sort of meaningful compromise when faced with big, complicated issues? They seem increasing, and mistakenly, convinced that they should either get almost everything they want or just do everything they can to stop anything from happening. It's as if the two major parties are teenagers, in a tussle with each other over whose turn it is to do some chore. These kids have become so unruly that the American people (pare...

01 Apr 2011

Found via Damon Eris at Poli-Tea You've got to read this great op-ed from the Houston Chronicle, about how the "Great middle of America has no place to call home". Here's a taste: But if you believe both that Roe v. Wade should not be overturned and that the federal government needs to balance its budget, you have no political home in today's bifurcated partisan political landscape. I do not think that I am alone in feeling disaffected in the current bipolar political dynamic. ...it seems likely that the current dissatisfaction with the contemporary political landscape so dominated by bipolar extremism will find some form of expression. Whether that takes the form of the rise of a third party, more independent candidates or a repositioning of one of the two dominant parties, I cannot predict. But the great middle of America has time and again served as ballast for our ship of state, keeping her from listing too far to port or starboard. T...

06 Jan 2011

This quote from Gallup sums up recent momentum towards what I call the independent groundswell: Although 2010 brought some major legislative successes for the Democratic majority, it was not a good year for the party politically. In addition to losing control of the House of Representatives and seeing the number of Democratic senators and governors reduced, the party saw its support among the general population drop to tie its 22-year low. However, even as Republicans were enjoying great electoral success, the percentage of Americans identifying with the GOP, the core base of the party, barely increased. Instead, the major movement in American politics since 2008 seems to be away from the Democratic Party and toward independent political status, rather than alignment with the GOP. Still, the Republican Party appeared to capitalize on many independents' frustration with the majority Democratic Party, in much the same way the Democrats capitalized...

24 Dec 2010

In my latest post on over at WNYC's 'Its a Free Country' site, I was asked to talk about how 2010 treated centrists. For anyone not trying to pull some major spin, its pretty clear that it was a terrible year for us. Here's a sample: One major silver lining is that, as ideologues push moderates out of each party and look to keep centrist independents out of power, more and more of us are finally getting fed up enough with the way things are going. Perhaps we'll start doing something about our frustrations. As favorability ratings of both parties continue their decline, each cycle sees more of the electorate declaring political independence. And while the right has taken the lead in extremism as of late, the left is beginning to sound just like the far right did during the Bush years. They’re blaming their failures on their own moderates and calling for a more rigidly liberal and combative tact. With so few moderates left in the party, they ar...