I’ve read the WaPo profile, looked at their website, watched the two videos below, and I still don’t quite get it. They’re claiming, essentially, to be nonpartisan and less interested in pushing particular policies than in “dialogue” and “cooperation” for their own sake. Which, given the realities in the Senate, is a very thinly veiled way of calling for fewer filibusters and more Democratic — sorry, I mean bipartisan — legislation. Here’s their statement of principles, for what it’s worth; assuming they stick around, it’ll be fun to watch how this changes once the GOP has a majority in both chambers again.
We want the political process broken down into three steps:
1) open and respectful dialogue
2) thoughtful and informed deliberation
3) competent and decisive execution.
The process is so broken, we can’t get past step 1 right now. We demand cooperation, productivity and accountability in government in the same way we would demand it of an employee we might hire for a job.
We want local chapters to have the autonomy to figure out their own legislative and electoral priorities. At the national level, we’ll make recommendations for direct action on legislation. But they will only be suggestions. We value and celebrate diverse opinions just as we value and celebrate diverse backgrounds. All that is required to be part of this movement is a sincere commitment to participating in, and protecting the democratic process.
A friendly reminder from George Will: The American democratic process, especially in the Senate, includes the right to obstruct. Right, Mr. President? Exit quotation from the WaPo piece: “I don’t really understand what they’re about other than ‘we don’t like the Tea Party’ and ‘we’re for a better process.'”