I think many of the rule changes being floated by Democratic Senator Mark Udall of Colorado make a whole heck of a lot of sense. I think it's insane that you need 60 votes to even bring a debate to the floor in the Senate, and why we haven't barred secret holds on legislation already is entirely beyond me.
But the wisdom of pushing for these common sense rule changes might be derailed by the overkill path the Democrats are using to get there.
It's a Free Country contributers dissect the new congress. Solomon Kleinsmith, founder of the political website Rise of the Center; Karol Markowicz, PR consultant and blogger at Alarming News; and Justin Krebs, founder of Living Liberally, talk about the prospects for Republicans and Democrats, and the country's political future.
Although there were some bright spots in 2010, this was clearly a terrible year for those of us who sit around the center of the American electorate. If there is anything to be happy about, it is that conditions have gotten so bad for moderates and centrist independents, that the sleeping giant in the center appears to finally be awakening.
2010 saw the Tea Party, a faction that represents the views of a fairly small percentage of the population and has very little in common with centrists, have a hugely disproportionate impact on the midterm elections. They helped elect what appears to be the most conservative Republican caucus in generations, and to take over scores of seats held by the Democrats - many of which were held by moderate Democrats that closely aligned with centrist ideals. With the loss of so many of these Blue Dogs, the Democratic caucus could be the most liberal we’ve seen in generations as well.
With Obama’s signature achievement, the health care reform package, on its way to being vetted by the Supreme Court, what other options might the government have if the individual mandate is declared unconstitutional?
I've seen some outlandish claims about centrists, and the new political organization No Labels. Keith Olbermann, for instance, apparently thinks we're really conservative wolves in centrist/moderate sheep's clothing. As comical as conspiracy theories like this are, I was genuinely surprised to find similarly absurd claims in in a recent post on this site by Living Liberally founder Justin Krebs.
To be fair, Krebs is spot on in his assessment that No Labels can by no means accurately call itself a movement. They are an organization trying to spark a movement among a large and unrepresented segment of the electorate. Time will tell if they will succeed. Unfortunately, Krebs' post heads downhill from there.
Read a recap of this conversation at It's A Free Country»»
Tea Partiers are upset with establishment Republicans for striking a deal with the president. Obama called out the liberal Democratic base for criticizing his tax compromise. And in a speech yesterday, Mike Bloomberg attempted to find a common ground between the two sides on economic issues. We want to hear from moderates and convervatives – who is talking to you? What do you make of the tax compromise, Bloomberg’s speech, and more? Solomon Kleinsmith, a centrist independent blogger, provides insight from the perspective of the moderate middle.
Why is a staunchly centrist independent blogger from Nebraska flying halfway across the country to go to the launch of a brand new political organization? That...is a heck of a good question.
Maintaining my blog, Rise of the Center, challenges me to keep my finger on the pulse of what is going on in the political blogosphere. Looking at the chatter from the last few weeks, No Labels is shaping up to be the best example of a political Rorschach test that I’ve seen in years.