“Idealism increases in direct proportion to one’s distance from the problem. ”
Politics is perception. And the perception of the 111th Congress that just ended is that it was a failure. Progressives think they didn’t accomplish enough. Conservatives think they were out of control and “didn’t get things done for the American people.” But is that the reality?
Dear TPC members & fans,
I want to take this opportunity to tell you about a great new organization that America so desperately needs to succeed.
I recently attended the launch of the political advocacy group "No Labels." The official launch event took place on Monday, December 13th at Columbia University in New York City. 1,100 people from every state came together to help introduce this organization. Journalists, political pundits, and politicians of all political stripes also joined us. Some of those that attended included:
Conservatives often say they like competition in the marketplace, but never acknowledge that government is usually the guarantor of competition. If we leave the market unguided then a handful of conglomerates could take control to become the gatekeepers thus diminishing competition. This has happened numerous times throughout America’s history. And government has repeatedly put in place policies to guarantee that does not happen. The FCC ruling on net neutrality is another one of those anti-trust policies.
A little off topic here.
CNN calls itself “The Worldwide Leader in News.” But have you noticed lately that it is acting less like a leader and more like an unconfident teenager who is trying to get attention and make friends? I’m sure it has something to do with its ratings. Between the first quarters of 2009 and 2010 CNN lost nearly 50% of its prime time viewers. Since then they have been desperately seeking to mix it up and compete with the ideological propaganda machines of Fox News and MSNBC. CNN has introduced new shows and experimented with new marketing. However, they still can’t find their way.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg likes to call our immigration policy “national suicide.” That is because we are allowing the best and brightest to come to the United States to earn an education, but as soon as they graduate we kick them out of the country. In doing so we educate them, but do not gain the benefits of that education. Instead they return to their home countries and become successful entrepreneurs, engineers, scientists or another type of educated professional that American economic success relies on. Mayor Bloomberg also likes to say that every time one of these foreign students graduate there should be a green card stapled to his or her diploma.
The centrist political pundit and author John Avlon once wrote that “centrism springs from the idea that neither party has a monopoly on good ideas.” That is why centrists like myself do not promote one ideology or one party, we focus on effective solutions. I don’t care if a solution is conservative or progressive as long as it is effective. And I know a solution can come from either end of the political spectrum, because no one party or politician has all of the answers. That’s just common sense.
The consequences of partisanship cannot be over exaggerated. Its effects are dire on our political system, political debate, and on governing. But one consequence of partisanship we rarely discuss is how it affects Congressional oversight. And that is where partisanship is the most consequential.
I used to believe in the Tooth Fairy. That was until my father stepped on the Starscream Transformer lying on the floor of my bedroom in his bare feet, and the subsequent cursing that followed as he limped out of the room. You see, the Transformers action figures of 1984 were not the Transformers toys of today; they were made of metal as opposed to plastic and were not pleasant to step on. On this particular night, my dad was running a stealth mission which involved exchanging the tooth I had lost while eating an apple that day for a dollar bill, until one unfortunate step ended the lives of both this fictional character I envisioned procuring children’s teeth via Breaking & Entering AND Starscream (which really should have been taken care of by Megatron long before that).
On December 1st, all 42 Senate Republicans signed a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, vowing to prevent a vote on "any legislative item until the Senate has acted to fund the government and we have prevented the tax increase that is currently awaiting all American taxpayers." I would like to think this approach is due to the laser-like focus and dedication our Senate Republicans have to a robust economy. However, I fear this has more to do with stalling other pieces of legislation these Senators find politically uncomfortable to fight against openly, such as repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and immigration reform called the DREAM Act.