“No Labels” and the ideology of post-ideology

The ideology of the do-something center, permanently encoded as it is in the DNA of political lifers and View-From-Nowhere media institutions, is arguably the single most powerful ideological strain in today’s body politic. This is in part because it sells itself as being beyond ideology—hence, more attractive to those who nurture a rational disgust for politicians—and then so readily adheres to the program of whoever is wielding power. Pragmatic problem-solving means almost never considering the possible benefits of getting the government out of the way of a given issue, since that would A) be yuckily ideological, and B) require walking away from the world’s largest problem-solving tool. And it means never having to say you’re sorry about unintended consequences, regulatory capture, or the broken eggs of individual injustice. After all, by the time those flaws make front-page news, there’s always a new problem requiring urgent intervention.