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Gabriel Topor and I attended the No-Labels convention in NYC yesterday. What an event! The No Labels movement is a manifestation of modern Whig philosphy, no doubt in my military mind!
Mr. Jon Huntsman and Joe Manchin, the new co chairs of No Labels, have now met in the flesh the dyed-in-the-wool Yanqui rebels called modern Whigs. In Jon's speech he mentioned the influence of more parties, " libertarians, vegetarians ( laughs)", and I told him afterwards, "no Jon not vegetarians, WHIGS! Although some of us may be vegan!" He was a bit puzzled by this and Garbiel shouts out, " yes WHIGS! WE"RE BACK!" and Jon smiled.
Mr. Huntsman's entire family was present, as were maybe 800 No Labels delegates like Gabriel and I, along with throngs of students! I guess 1500+ folks in all. In fact, one regret is that I did not bring my oldest son. He would have dug it. Quite an event! YOUTH RULES! :)
Like modern Whigs, the No Labels intend to bring civility, compromise and balance back to Washington and all seats of government. Problem solvers! No Labels seek to effect this change by coercing current incumbent representatives to embrace this spirit of bipartisan reconcilation and progress. Plese do visit their site to see for yourself. HEAR! HEAR! www.nolabels.org
No Labels hopes to see many of their tell tale orange buttons displayed on lapels across the room during the next State of the Union address. HEAR! HEAR!
I would encourage all of us to become more involved with this grass roots effort. As Whigs, we should understand that to effect a sea change within will require many groups working in unison. The No Labels message dovetails splendidly with our mission and philosphy. There is no inherent inconsistency in bearing the No labels meesage to your representative as a modern Whig, as the underying spirit is one and the same. Furthermore, our future modern Whig citizen candidates uniquely come from the enlightened place of the "un party" and as such, are natural born no labels.
No Labels provides many civic action tools on their website to help all become more civically motivated and active. Please let us never forget, true and deep sustainable change can ONLY happen if each one of us changes a little bit inside, but in synchronous concert with all of us.
HEAR YE ALL !! HEAR YE ALL !!
Can't stomach that, a party that actually stands for nothing except can't we all get along?
Here is the problem with the No labels. Their goal is....compromise.
Compromise is a process, not a goal.
And any compromise which does not address a solution to a problem in some manner is nothing more than a waste of time, or worse, a pair of rose colored glasses.
Gene, compromise for compromise sake got us a 16 and half trillion dollar debt, and I will bet a silver dollar that it will not hit 20 Trillion by 2018, it will be at, and is on track to, exceed 20 trillion before the next election.
We can compromise on how to reduce the deficit and the Debt, I am all for that. But I have yet seen anything that reduces the deficit or the debt.
Compromise for Compromise sake got us an unplanned and unmanaged cut in expenditures across the board, without any attempt to actually obtain a solution, for another year, an election year, of Bi-partisan kicking the can down the road.
Compromise for Compromise sake avoided the fiscal cliff, with an increase in taxes that might address two weeks of deficit spending…, no, strike that, there was an 80 billion dollar increase in expenditures in that compromise, so about 1 week of deficit spending.
Color me unimpressed with compromise. Hell at least Henry Clay actually identified the issue when attempted the Compromise of 1850.
I do not think the no labels party has even a slight clue about what the problem is.
And I have said before:
Huntsman still does not impress me.
And neither does the “No Labels” movement.
Because I would not shop at a no labels grocery store, and I will not put my faith, or my vote, in someone who cannot define what he stands for.
Duffy, apology(?) not accepted. Man, you've heard of the addage " Ready FIRE aim"? That's what is going on here. Is it collaboration or compromise? At this point, any citizens group civilally holding reps feet to the fire is a good thing. Its a viable movement and better than us sitting behind keyboards and pontificating, which is what most of us 'active' citizens do. Talk. Its only talk. Its now time for action.
I do stand by my little essay on "bipartisanship" as only a second or third best solution, so here I share your concern. But this is how we start subduing the raging bull even as tangential as it may seem. And I will leave my personal, acute observations of Gov. Huntsman aside as irrelevant.( was told I was a very good "reader" back in the day). In fact, modern Whigs dont seek a figurehead at all for other reasons ( everyone seems to want us to though) , so we prefer to borrow others'. Yet, anyone promoting a change in the tone of dialouge without ideological baggage- we're on board.
Its a movement that MWP can easily piggyback on, as our eventual success requires a ballot reframing to put the odds right. Sequencing. Heirarchy of action. Something to move on now to help action-oriented modern Whigs build a network to finally lay this two party cabal to rest and neutralize the grand sell out.
And Duffy, let us say we have identified the core problems, and have also indentified the massive interests at work to maintain the status quo. How does a 'guerilla outfit' take on an entrenched and numerically vastly superior adversary - head on? Not until its no longer guerilla, but heavily massed.
By God man, we're trying to actually pull this off. Carefully, deliberately, with effective action. Teaming up with No Labels keeps the mission moving forward. It will not knock us off our non-ideological underpinnings, but provides an expedient battlefield ally to keep gaining ground. The difference between NL and MWP? Maybe Whigs ought feel the need to go "all the way" and share a vision of destroying bipartisanship and the politico-whores that support it once and for all.
In the meantime, the nation will face crisis after crisis that the leadership void has enabled. Someone has to put the figurative "gun" to the heads of reps to get things done and stop behaving like entitled children bickering while the house is burning down. MWP isnt looking for perfect allies in that context.
Ready. FIRE! Aim.
So drink your Pepto-Bismol and lets DRIVE ON!!
Ready Fire Aim?
Sorry, that goes against everything I believe in. It makes no sense. It is action without consideration of what might happen. The first lesson I teach my children, like the first lesson I tried to teach all of soldiers who ever worked for me, is this. When you are contemplating doing something, always consider this; what is the worst thing that could happen if I do this. Then consider what the most likely thing to happen is. This should guide your decision making process.
And that leads to my point. You claim “By God man, we're trying to actually pull this off.”
Pull what off? What are you doing here?
If it is about people from both parties, if in small numbers, wearing the “No labels” labels at the State of the Nation speech , so what? The point of that is what?
Or is it one of the goals of the No Labels party, passing an amendment saying that Congress will get no pay if they do not pass a budget? Yeah, I know about it. So you actually expect a Senate that has not passed a budget in over three years to pass this Amendment? Really? Then we can have Unicorns carrying leprechauns bring this amendment to the state legislatures so it can be passed.
Being civil is kind of like the Geneva Convention. As long as you are civil, the rules of civil conduct should be applied by anyone you are dealing with. When they are not civil, they do not have to be dealt with in a civil manner. When a Senator goes before the National Media and claims that the other party is holding a gun to the heads of Children by not allowing the debt ceiling to be raised to whatever level his party wants. You cannot civilly respond. You need to look the man in the eye, in front of the National Media, and tell him that he is placing the chains of destitution upon the children by spending their earnings before they are born.
Identifying the problem is a more complex task than many will admit, if only because no one wants to admit what the real problem is.
Congress has failed to pass a budget in three years.
Is that the problem? No, it is the symptom. Many will say the problem is the incivility between different ideologies.
Bull. The problem is there is a large group of politicians who do not want the public to know what they are spending Public Money on. And as long as you never have to say what the money is being spent on, you do not have to explain why. So who is blocking a budget? There is your problem. This is not two parties opposing each others budget plan, this is a refusal by one party to even discuss what they intend to spend money on, so they do not have to explain why, and telling the other party that they are being uncivil by complaining about it. They are not even discussing a budget in the Senate.
Oh, and on the no labels party itself. This is not a grassroots movement, it was started by politicians, by definition not grassroots. And while every Democrat wearing, how did you put it? A tell tale orange lapel pin on their chest, speaks of the need to have a balanced non-partisan approach to compromise, none of them have done anything but talk at No Labels meeting about this. They have said nothing on the House or Senate Floors about what the problem is.
In short, I do not think you have identified the problem, so you cannot honestly evaluate what the solution is. And they are using that to astroturf you.
Ok, I grant that grass roots is a bit of a misnomer, as it was started by politicians. But once again, a movement that MWP can piggyback, pure and simple. Pull this off meaning a viable alternative party. Am I being that obtuse? I thought it was obvious what the mission was?
Oh and Duffy, not to be difficult, but all you " ready aim fire" boys are still cleaning your long rifles and getting "angry" to no avail.( or being purely successionist) And most are missing the point way far afield of where MWP is. And this is politics, not real life, so whatever lessons we teach our children for their betterment and survival may not be relevant in the spun reality of politics.
So this isnt some sort of life lesson to teach children, not in the least. Its almost the opposite. Field expedients 101, contextual opportunity sort of thing. Taught in business, btw, so the ready fire aim thing isnt something I coined.
Yet your devil's advocacy is, as always, appreciated.
If "no labels" means standing for nothing in particular, then it's bad. If it means that political labels have become a substitute for thinking and a barrier to listening to other points of view, then it's good.
There are a lot of Americans who know something's wrong with the way things are, but their thinking hasn't crystallized enough yet to move strongly in a particular direction. Our somewhat contrasting two tasks are 1) to give that political vacuum a more definite and concrete direction while 2) allowing people who are groping in the dark and know they're lost to gradually see the light without shining a flashlight directly in their eyes and turning them away from us. We should try to construct a political platform, but not make it yet another purity test for people who have enough intellectual honesty to be repulsed by the purity tests of the two major parties.
I am no seccessionist, Indeed, I do not see sccession as the best option when it hits 38 states out of 50. Then you just tell the other 12 to GTFO and don't let the door hit you on rear while leving. And oh yeah, Many of those Northeast States? Be prepared to lose some Western Counties to the New States of Upper New York, West Pensylvania and so forth. We will also probably have to think about Northern California, Eastern Washington and Oregon.
And as always, respectfully, I am not the one advocating the Devils position.
Well, a year or so into in, and I am wondering if the "No Lables" have any traction whatsoever.