Quotes of the day

posted at 10:41 pm on January 14, 2013 by Allahpundit

Despite a splashy New York launch, No Labels lacked a clear agenda and grassroots support and was largely dismissed as irrelevant. But with new leadership and a sharper focus, the group, which is redeploying with another New York conference on Monday, has shed some of its early idealism in favor of a more pragmatic acceptance of the partisanship that has divided the country and embroiled Washington in recent years.

“We started off thinking there was a broad group in the middle, but quickly realized that wasn’t productive. People have very different notions of what the middle is,” said Mark McKinnon, a longtime adviser to former President George W. Bush and a No Labels founder. “So we grew beyond that, and now have strong conservative and strong liberal partisans who want to participate.”…

“If you carry the No Labels brand, that says something – it means you’re bragging about problem solving, not just bragging about yourself,” Manchin said. “I think you’ll see people climbing aboard and wanting to become part of this.”

***

In response, a new organization—No Labels (NoLabels.org)—has emerged. No Labels is not a “moderate” or “centrist” organization: Its hundreds of thousands grassroots supporters include liberals and conservatives as well as moderates, Democrats and Republicans as well as independents. The organization does not ask its members to abandon their partisan and ideological commitments. (I’m a lifelong Democrat, an identification I have no intention of changing.) Nor is it a third party, or a stalking horse for independent candidacies.

Unlike the DLC and PPI, No Labels’ mission is not to reform a single political party. Its mission is to change the way our government does business and the way the leaders deal with each other. It stands for reform of Congress and the Presidency, for new principles of political leadership, and (most important) for a new attitude among elected officials. No Labels is working to provide a home for legislators—regardless of partisanship and ideology—who are focused on solving problems rather than scoring points, honorable men and women for whom compromise is a badge of honor, not a betrayal of principle…

But aren’t the purists right? Doesn’t compromise mean setting aside one’s principles? It can, but it need not. The core responsibility of every representative is to support only those initiatives that he or she conscientiously believes will promote the good of the country. During times of deep division, compromise is especially hard: it will require each individual to endorse a package that includes elements that he or she regards as bad public policy. A compromise becomes possible when all parties conclude that despite its defects, it represents an improvement over the status quo and helps solve a pressing problem.

***

That leads to the reasons why I suspect we’re on the brink of a major political realignment.

1. Americans are disconnected and frustrated with politics unlike virtually any time in the history of polling.

2. The country is in the midst of a wrenching economic shift from the industrial era to an info-tech economy. The transition coincides with unsettling social change. The nation’s institutions, especially government, are not adapting.

3. History suggests that periods of socioeconomic change in the U.S. lead to political upheaval, including transformation of existing parties and the rise of new ones.

4. Technology gives consumers enormous purchasing power, which has been used to democratize commerce and other institutions. One example: In a few short years, Americans gained the ability to ignore an artist’s album and buy only a favorite one or two songs. The music business was radically changed by we, the people. So why would Americans be expected to settle for the status quo in politics?

***

Michael Bloomberg, America’s most prominent and deep-pocketed advocate for gun control, would rather rehabilitate Republicans than oust them.

“Somebody got them the way they are now,” the mayor of New York said in a recent interview as he sat in the bullpen offices of City Hall, surrounded by a buzzing staff, blinking Bloomberg terminals and clocks telling the same time in each of the five boroughs. “Why can’t you change them?”

“You have to change the people who are in the House,” Bloomberg acknowledged, as he sipped coffee from a recyclable cup under a portrait of Thomas Jefferson in the City Hall bullpen. He said he planned to use his super PAC, Independence USA, to tell the public, “This guy or woman is in favor of leaving guns in the hands of crazies who can kill your kids, the other one is not. I think you should vote for the other one.”

The other one, he specified, doesn’t necessarily mean the Republican.

***

No Labels might be less of a joke if the group’s list of 24 “Problem Solvers,” committed to bipartisanship and civil language, did not include Jon Huntsman (who not only holds no office but regularly smeared Republicans during his presidential campaign with such jibes as “anti-science” and recently accused Republicans of having no soul) or Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.), who is unmatched in his vitriol, penchant for anti-Israel remarks and general incivility.

One gets the sense the group is not so much interested in getting rid of labels as in getting rid of conservatives

If No Labels is indeed interested in solving problems, they should start not with the politicians but with the people who put them there. The voters, God bless ‘em, do not punish the Jim Moran types but return them to office again and again. They vote for divided government. They are upset about the debt and about every measure to fix it except taxing other people (now we’ve done that) and cutting foreign aid (which is a ludicrously tiny amount of the budget). They self-segregate and tune in only to left-leaning and right-leaning media.

***

In part, it’s the self-congratulatory, schoolmarmish earnestness surrounding the campaign. No Labels actually gives out a label: the “Problem Solvers Seal” for candidates who have committed “to join a group of Problem Solvers.” It’s as cloying as a “Mean People Suck” bumper sticker and promises to be just as effective.

No Labels demands that “at all joint meetings or sessions of Congress, each member should be seated next to at least one member of the other party.” They pushed this idea before last year’s State of the Union and got more than 200 members to look for a cross-aisle BFF to sit with. If that led to an outpouring of legislative comity in 2012, I missed it.

Indeed, much of the campaign is warmed over Beltway pap. Pressed by ABC’s George Stephanopoulos on the gun issue, Sen. Manchin could only sputter something about a federal “commission about mass violence” staffed by “experts from all different fields.” How bold!…

Our problems are legion: unsustainable middle-class entitlements, overextension abroad, the world’s largest per-capita prison population — and most of them stem from past occasions when “problem solvers” got together in chummy bipartisan fashion. We may need a little less collegiality to get out of this mess.

***

***


***

I’m telling you that the way to understand this debt limit thing, for example, the way to understand the fiscal cliff deal, the way to understand anything going on in Washington right now — I mean this from the bottom of my heart — is to understand that the objective, the political objective inside the Beltway is to eliminate any effective opposition to the Democrat Party. And yes, Republican moderates are complicit in this because they, too, dislike conservatives. Republican moderates hold out hope that the Republicans will win the White House again someday, and they will be in charge of all the money. A Republican moderate doesn’t talk about reducing the size of government, doesn’t talk about reducing spending. They just say they’re smarter and better at it, and they won’t go into debt as fast, but the conservatives are the problem.

The conservatives — and the latest example is Richard Mourdock. See, if you let the Tea Party and the conservatives handle this, they’re gonna nominate losers in the primaries. They don’t have any prayer of winning. We had a seat there, the Lugar seat, we lost it because the Tea Party conservatives are a bunch of neophytes and idiots, plus they’re conservative. So the objective, the moderate Republicans — and this isn’t new. I’ve mentioned this to you on previous occasions — really want to eliminate the conservative wing of the Republican Party. Don’t like ‘em, pro-lifers, churchgoers, that sort of thing. The Democrats don’t like ‘em for different reasons, but they don’t like ‘em, don’t like conservatives. And Obama modus operandi is to not have any opposition.


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Wow I notice Moby Grape has a bunch of clips I will have to investigate!

Something tells me you like this band. Apparently Burt Bacharach hated their version lol

Love – “Little Red Book”

Anti-Control on January 15, 2013 at 2:55 AM

“Hey Grandma”

Anti-Control on January 15, 2013 at 2:51 AM

I almost chose that one instead of Omaha. Nice.

4Grace on January 15, 2013 at 2:57 AM

Lou Reed: Perfect Day

(Too difficult to choose a LR favorite)

4Grace on January 15, 2013 at 2:59 AM

Lou Reed: Perfect Day

(Too difficult to choose a LR favorite)

4Grace on January 15, 2013 at 2:59 AM

“Walk On the Wild Side” is always a good choice, as was yours!

Do you like any of John Cale’s solo stuff? This one is a classic

John Cale – “Paris 1919″

Anti-Control on January 15, 2013 at 3:02 AM

Love – “Little Red Book”

Anti-Control on January 15, 2013 at 2:55 AM

I’m only familiar with a couple of their songs, but I like them.

4Grace on January 15, 2013 at 3:05 AM

Dang! My internet connection is running so slow tonight! Frustrating.

4Grace on January 15, 2013 at 3:07 AM

I like this one a lot – with Bettie Page clips!

Lou Reed – “Vicious”

Anti-Control on January 15, 2013 at 3:08 AM

Do you like any of John Cale’s solo stuff? This one is a classic

John Cale – “Paris 1919″

Anti-Control on January 15, 2013 at 3:02 AM

Confess I have not listened to his solo stuff. I’ll definitely listen to some more of his stuff!

4Grace on January 15, 2013 at 3:11 AM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H2Cfg3swvbc

SparkPlug on January 15, 2013 at 3:04 AM

lol

Turtle chases cat

Anti-Control on January 15, 2013 at 3:13 AM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H2Cfg3swvbc

SparkPlug on January 15, 2013 at 3:04 AM

ROFL. So, that’s NO to real fur and NO to eggs?

4Grace on January 15, 2013 at 3:14 AM

Turtle chases cat

Anti-Control on January 15, 2013 at 3:13 AM

He was a persistent little thing. lol

4Grace on January 15, 2013 at 3:20 AM

Dang! My internet connection is running so slow tonight! Frustrating.

4Grace on January 15, 2013 at 3:07 AM

What’s it doing? Have you pinpointed the exact cause?

He was a persistent little thing. lol

4Grace on January 15, 2013 at 3:20 AM

lol yep!

There are at least 2 better “turtle chases cat” videos out there I am aware of, I will have to find them again.

Anti-Control on January 15, 2013 at 3:22 AM

Ok this is one of them

Turtle chases cat

Anti-Control on January 15, 2013 at 3:24 AM

Anti-Control on January 15, 2013 at 3:22 AM

Everything else is running fine, but opening YT, or even searching within YT is slower than molasses.

4Grace on January 15, 2013 at 3:24 AM

Eric Burden and War – “Spill the Wine”

Anti-Control on January 15, 2013 at 3:27 AM

I wonder why the turtle chased the cat.

The turtle seemed to like the cats tail more than the cat.

SparkPlug on January 15, 2013 at 3:28 AM

Everything else is running fine, but opening YT, or even searching within YT is slower than molasses.

4Grace on January 15, 2013 at 3:24 AM

Have you restarted your computer recently? Tried a different browser to see if that one is slow, too?

Anti-Control on January 15, 2013 at 3:29 AM

This one cracks me up. Dragon Baby…

4Grace on January 15, 2013 at 3:30 AM

4Grace on January 15, 2013 at 3:07 AM

Well if your screen freezes I have a tech tip for you.

Let it thaw out. Hehe.

SparkPlug on January 15, 2013 at 3:31 AM

I wonder why the turtle chased the cat.

The turtle seemed to like the cats tail more than the cat.

SparkPlug on January 15, 2013 at 3:28 AM

Maybe they were being territorial, or, maybe the turtles saw the cats as 0dumbas or Dumbocrats? :)

Anti-Control on January 15, 2013 at 3:32 AM

Turtle chases cat

Anti-Control on January 15, 2013 at 3:24 AM

Oh, yeah, that one IS better. Funny stuff.

4Grace on January 15, 2013 at 3:34 AM

This one cracks me up. Dragon Baby…

4Grace on January 15, 2013 at 3:30 AM

That onesie made me think of the 6 million $ man.

Anti-Control on January 15, 2013 at 3:35 AM

Well if your screen freezes I have a tech tip for you.

Let it thaw out. Hehe.

SparkPlug on January 15, 2013 at 3:31 AM

Oh my gosh. Tech Tips!!! I forgot about those. LOVED them.

4Grace on January 15, 2013 at 3:36 AM

Pit bull crying like a baby

Anti-Control on January 15, 2013 at 3:38 AM

That onesie made me think of the 6 million $ man.

Anti-Control on January 15, 2013 at 3:35 AM

I guess that would have to be $6 trillion man in today”s economy. (Was going to add a smiley face, but that’s really more sad than funny, huh?)

4Grace on January 15, 2013 at 3:39 AM

Pit bull crying like a baby

Anti-Control on January 15, 2013 at 3:38 AM

That was some bizarre noises that dog made!

4Grace on January 15, 2013 at 3:42 AM

I guess that would have to be $6 trillion man in today”s economy. (Was going to add a smiley face, but that’s really more sad than funny, huh?)

4Grace on January 15, 2013 at 3:39 AM

Well, we should never forget to have a sense of humor.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FfgmngYqK4A

They had this on “Red Eye” a few years ago

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xa9Ql53xuys

Anti-Control on January 15, 2013 at 3:43 AM

This one is old, but it cracks me up every single time.

4Grace on January 15, 2013 at 3:46 AM

Anti-Control on January 15, 2013 at 3:43 AM

Aww, those were so cute!

4Grace on January 15, 2013 at 3:52 AM

That was some bizarre noises that dog made!

4Grace on January 15, 2013 at 3:42 AM

haha right out of Art Bell! :)

This one is old, but it cracks me up every single time.

4Grace on January 15, 2013 at 3:46 AM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w0EkwhAj93Y

Anti-Control on January 15, 2013 at 3:54 AM

Since I’m still recovering from The Worst Flu Ever (On the mend, but it was 8 days of hell), I better get to bed.

GOODNIGHT, A-C. GOODNIGHT, SPARK. It was a pleasure!

God bless & have a great Tuesday.

4Grace on January 15, 2013 at 3:55 AM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w0EkwhAj93Y

Anti-Control on January 15, 2013 at 3:54 AM

Sweetest sound in the whole world.

Goodnight, A-C!

4Grace on January 15, 2013 at 3:58 AM

no labels=pathetic…

the let’s get along crowd….

wake up idiots…

cmsinaz on January 15, 2013 at 5:43 AM

dear leader whining because he’s called a big spending socialist?

waaaaaaaa

cmsinaz on January 15, 2013 at 6:02 AM

news alert-the nra is run by extremists…

according to morning joe…

another rant on guns….

cmsinaz on January 15, 2013 at 6:05 AM

cmsinaz on January 15, 2013 at 6:05 AM

Mornin’, Ma’am!

One man with a gun can control 100 without one. – Lenin
My take.

kingsjester on January 15, 2013 at 6:47 AM

kingsjester on January 15, 2013 at 6:47 AM

morning KJ

indeed, our imperial president…

the slippery slope of EOs, will they actually be enforced?

cmsinaz on January 15, 2013 at 6:54 AM

cmsinaz on January 15, 2013 at 6:54 AM

The very act of circumventing the Constitution is scary…and treasonous, enough.

kingsjester on January 15, 2013 at 6:57 AM

There is something about tans in a bottle that make one crazy.

Blake on January 15, 2013 at 7:04 AM

kingsjester on January 15, 2013 at 6:57 AM

yessiree

and yet, he’ll get away with it…

another what if a gop president did this part 4,213

cmsinaz on January 15, 2013 at 7:06 AM

“If you carry the No Labels brand, that says something – it means you’re bragging about problem solving, not just bragging about yourself,” Manchin said. “I think you’ll see people climbing aboard and wanting to become part of this.”

A ‘redeployed’ mutual-admiration-society, a professional advocacy group in search of a constituency. A pretty apt symbol of how pathetic politics has become.

Midas on January 15, 2013 at 7:51 AM

♩♫♬ Look for the

Union

No Labels label…♪♫♪. lol

See, we like everybody! Aren’t we amazing?

I will label them schmucks.

Fallon on January 15, 2013 at 8:28 AM

One more try…

♩♫♬ Look for the Union No Labels label…♪♫♪.

Fallon on January 15, 2013 at 8:29 AM

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