Posted on September 17, 2011
Label Them Liberal
No Labels, no honesty, no guts
You might remember a Peanuts strip in which scoutmaster Snoopy tries to teach his bird scouts a lesson in survival. "If I were lost in the woods, you know what I would do? I'd open this can of tennis balls," he says. "You know why I'd open this can of tennis balls? Because, when I was packing my gear, I thought it was a tall can of soup." That's the sort of confusion that an organization calling itself "No Labels" is trying to inject into our political discourse.
No Labels, which claims to represent the "vital, civil center" of the political spectrum, aims to "overthrow the tyranny of hyper-partisanship that dominates our political culture today." To that end, it tells politicians to "put aside their labels" and "check their preconditions at the door," so that they can end "gridlock," and get on with the business of solving problems.
To anyone who's seen this scam before, the phoniness of No Labels' centrist rhetoric leaps right off the page. For starters, gridlock is not what ails America. It was during the time that the Democrats were virtually unopposed that trillion-plus deficits and 9 percent unemployment became the "new norms." Had there been gridlock during that time, there would have been no "universal health care," no $814 billion stimulus package, and no Cash-for-Clunkers. Tragically, there was no way to stop the implementation of these economically devastating policies.
No Labels did not even exist during that time, when the hyper-partisanship of the majority party really was threatening the nation. That organization, supposedly having no partisan agenda of its own, was established in the immediate aftermath of the 2010 elections. Only when the new Republican majority in the House threatened to put the brakes on the Obama agenda were the group's founders stirred into action.
Which side is it that shuns labels, anyway? You never hear a conservative complain about being labeled a conservative. It's only liberals, trying to conceal their true beliefs and intentions, who shrink from political labels. Even obviously liberal presidential candidates like Michael Dukakis and John Kerry have protested the use of the word "liberal" to describe them.
No Labels' whimpering declaration that, "We are not labels -- we are people," is clearly meant to abet this deception. It is also a typically liberal statement, in that it is grossly illogical. Of course people aren't labels, but that doesn't mean that labels, when accurately applied to people, do not perform a valuable public service. So spare us the indignation.
According to its August 5th press release, "No Labels places the blame for the downgrade of America's credit rating by Standard & Poor's squarely on elected officials on both sides of the aisle who have been unwilling to compromise, put everything on the table and tackle the tough issues facing the nation." In reality, this pretense of nonpartisanship acts as a shield for the side that is truly at fault. After witnessing a two-year rampage by a party that believes it can stimulate the economy through previously unimaginable amounts of deficit spending, nobody can seriously believe that partisan intransigence is the cause of our dilemma.
Even after the downgrade, and several weeks of pretending to have discovered fiscal responsibility, President Obama has returned with a plan for another stimulus package, substantially similar to his first one, and projected to cost another $447 billion. The "vital civil center" has yet to offer an opinion about this. That's really not surprising, since No Labels refrains from stating policy preferences, but instead focuses on the political process.
If it were really as concerned about the direction of our country as it incessantly claims to be, that would not be the case. No Labels would be demanding particular results, not obsessing over the particular details of how we would get there. If Party A had the right policy, and Party B the wrong one, No Labels should be siding in that instance with Party A, not prodding the two parties to put aside their principles (i.e., "preconditions") in order to broker an unsatisfactory compromise.
The media must realize that No Labels is a phony organization that is running interference for liberal Democrats. If they believed it was just a group of concerned citizens demanding responsibility from their representatives, they would portray its members as a horde of cantankerous, illiterate, sociopathic racists. Instead, they just play along, pretending to be unable to tell the difference between a stealth liberal campaign and a tall can of soup.
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