19 Mar 2011

My main and essentially only interest in politics is arguing for a new political party to replace one or both of the Democratic and Republican parties. In my opinion, something better is possible but it is unlikely to come from either party. The nature of the two political parties is human nature: Who has real power and influence in the Democratic and Republican parties? Outsiders and newcomers? Life-long insiders, hard core partisan ideologues and major campaign contributors? Neutral and objective analysts? People like you? Common sense argues the real influence is with the money and life-long, partisan insiders. The money probably carries the most weight just ahead of (or tied with) the politician's penchant to put re-election above the public interest. Why shouldn't outsiders or newcomers with no money but a good idea get a fair hearing? There are at least three good reasons: First, ordinary outsiders don't have money. Like it or not, Ame...

05 Dec 2010

It's been a long time since an organized force between the two major parties both had an opening as gigantic as the chasm between them now is currently, and had as many reasons to divest themselves from the major options we have and coalesce around something new. The Reform Party was the most recent, but really the most recent that posed a significant threat (this may have been the case with the Reform Party had Ross Perot not let his ego get in the way of the nomination of Richard Lamm in 1996) was over a hundred years ago, with Theodore Roosevelt and the so called progressive movement (not to be confused with how the word progressive is used today, which now means merely a certain type of liberal who doesn't want to be called such). After a strong showing by former president Teddy Roosevelt, under the banner of the progressive Bull Moose Party, both parties smartly adopted many of the positions of the progressives, and the need for a separat...

30 Nov 2010

How much more of a pounding do moderate Republicans need before they realize they aren't welcome in their own party anymore? From Sean Lengell at the Washington Times: Conservative lobbies are pressing House Republicans to keep centrists from controlling key congressional panels, as House GOP leaders gather this week to pick committee leaders for the 112th Congress. FreedomWorks has launched a public campaign against Michigan Rep. Fred Upton, who wants to lead the House Energy and Commerce Committee, saying he hasn't done enough to cut federal spending and has sided too often with Democrats. And a coalition of more than 20 conservative groups has opposed California Rep. Jerry Lewis' bid to become the top House appropriator, saying he has "thwarted many efforts to rein in ever increasing appropriations bills, to cut or scale back wasteful and duplicative programs, or to accept any meaningful reforms." Just more evidence that my prediction ...

22 Nov 2010

We've been hearing for years that the Republican party is becoming a regional party, giving up huge swaths of the country as it becomes more and more conservative. They barely have any congresspersons or senators heading to D.C. from New England or the West Coast, and the ones that are are the few that buck the national trend, sticking to a more moderate tack. But a lesser noticed aspect of that dynamic is the other side of the coin - Democrats are playing catch up to also become a regional party, by giving up on huge portions of the South and Midwest (and rural areas in general). As both major parties pull farther and farther from the center, more each election cycle are finding that the parties have left them. They declare their independence... creating a situation where there are a growing number of states where independents are the ones who are in the majority of registered voters. Earlier this year, John Avlon, the leading centrist indepe...

21 Nov 2010

UPDATE – Nobody has an excuse to not know of something they can help with from now on… CLICK HERE for a post on a new organization that should be everyone’s fallback if they can’t find a candidate or cause that inspires them to action otherwise (and even if they do - it's not like you can't do both. Poll after poll shows that the American people, and those who describe themselves as moderates, centrists or independents, say they want candidates that compromise, work across the aisle and aren't beholden to partisan special interests. But nearly every election most of us end up being the ones compromising, voting for lesser evils that show little to no willingness to actually do so when they get into office. Voting for those lesser evils only enables the extremes. They are less and less willing to compromise, especially in their party primaries. The only real option we have is to choose core ideals that we will be similarly inflexible on. Unless w...

08 Nov 2010

Nick Goebel, on over at The Pragmatic Center, has an interesting post talking about conversations he had about the situation we are in... years ago while he was getting his Masters in Political Science. Here's a taste: Most Americans are not actively engaged in politics so they tend to be less partisan and less ideological. Most Americans only care about better results in the form of more jobs, a better economy and a brighter future, not team politics. Thus most Americans are moderates. However, elections would be between two highly polarized opposites. Mainstream average voters would have to choose between a strong conservative and a strong progressive. So according to my professor the voters would swing back and forth between the parties. I haven't (yet... I'm thinking about it) gone to grad school, but I noticed this trend a few years ago myself. The time between pendulum swings has been quickening in recent times as well, this last one only...

19 Jul 2010

Check out this good polling analysis by Public Policy Polling, showing how deep disaffection with both parties really is. Here is the money quote: The extreme unpopularity of both parties in Congress is a broken record now, but only 33% of voters approve of the job Congressional Democrats are doing to 57% disapproving and for Congressional Republicans the numbers are even worse with 20% approving and 60% disapproving. If anything mitigates Democratic losses this fall it will be the inability of the Republicans to cast themselves as a viable alternative. I couldn't agree more. The Democrats have shown only a willingness to dig themselves into an even deeper hole, ignoring the fact that the disaffection with them from the center comes not just from a lack of better talking points, but actually from terrible results. This would be a landslide election if the Republicans weren't so off in right field. Read more at the Public Policy Polling blog......