“The decision making process of our elected officials has become so overwhelmingly influenced by special interests that it seems irrational.”
Over the course of the past year I’ve been writing consistently about my frustration with the moderate brand. As I’ve written, most voters think of moderates as wishy-washy; they sit on the fence playing politics; they always choose the most politically expedient option; and they have no character, strength, or principles. I’ve also argued repeatedly that we need to change this perception or else we moderates will never be politically competitive.
He uses non-political terms and ideas that average, moderate, mainstream voters can understand.
Mainstream News Coverage This Week
“It appears my hypocrisy knows no bounds” – Doc Holliday
“We are a grassroots movement full of people who realize something is wrong. People are starting to wake up and realize there has to be another way. Republicans and Democrats are not the government. There are other options out there” according to Andrew Evans. As National Chairman of the Modern Whig Party its Evans’ top priority to make sure Modern Whig candidates are credible “other options.”
I’ve been trying to figure out a way to explain the essential role that government plays in the American Dream. With all of the talk about the Tea Party and conservatives’ demand for government to “get out of the way” I’ve been disheartened. According to most of these conservatives the government is a distraction, obstacle, or evil institution, but never a helpful partner. But that is exactly the opposite of what history has taught us.
When government stepped up under President Lincoln’s leadership in the 1800s, the result was an awakened nation on the verge of great economic and political power. Author Thomas Barnett wrote in his book “Great Powers” the following about Lincoln:
The Blue Dogs are a Democratic congressional caucus that consists of moderates and conservatives. They’re known for promoting strong defense and fiscal discipline. Blue Dogs distinguish themselves from progressive Democrats by favoring compromise and bipartisanship over ideology and party discipline. In the 2010 midterm elections the Blue Dogs were wiped out. They accounted for 50% of all Democratic losses in the election and two of their four leaders lost reelection.
The progressive blogosphere and cable personalities like Rachel Maddow perceived this as a repudiation of the Blue Dogs. According to them, if the Blue Dogs had been progressive and fought harder for progressive goals then they would not have lost.
Obama has no other option than to move towards the center. In the short term, he must move towards the center to compromise with the newly empowered Republicans if he wants to accomplish anything in the next two years. And in the long term, he must move towards the center to win back independents. For any Democrat to win the presidency he must win 60% of the Independent vote which Obama obviously did in 2008. However, analysis of the 2010 midterm elections reveals that the Independent vote flipped. Close to 60% of Independents voted for the Republican candidates in 2010.
How can Obama win back those Independents? He must do what he hasn’t done.
Grassroots movements are all fun and games until they reach Washington. When they finally do they realize that they don’t have the institutional structure to support them. This is true of the Tea Party and it was true of the “change” movement that swept Obama into office in 2008.
Grassroots movements are good for creating enthusiasm, attracting attention, and winning votes, but they are bad at actually changing policy. The power of grassroots movements usually recedes on the Capitol steps. In Congress, grassroots movements rarely make any waves.