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December 31, 2007


Chris Andersen

The problem is in the definition of "center", not whether we should govern from it. The Unity movement posits that the center is somewhere between the two parties. But what if the center (as defined by what a large majority of Americans actually WANT its government to do) is actually to the left of the Democrats? Then a "bipartisan" coalition between Democrats and Republicans would actually further polarize this country.

damozel. admin.

I'd find that persuasive only if people ceased to send Republicans to Congress to represent them. I realize that the system is corrupt and that corporations pour a lot of ads into political campaigns; even so, it's people who vote, and quite a lot of them still self-identify as conservative according to Krugman himself.

I favor progressive goals, but we've seen the backlash that occurs when an agenda held by a bare majority is shoved down the throats of the rest of America. Those changes don't take.

I DON'T think the Unity people have got it right. I looked at them myself to see if it would work for me, but found that I had too little in common with too many of those people for us to be able to pick a candidate who would meet all our requirements. But that's not what bipartisanship is in any case. Bipartisanship isn't banding together to speak in one voice, but engaging in dialogue and compromise with the opposing view (and recognizing that some of their concerns might actually be valid). Bipartisanship means listening to the minority and considering how you can address their concerns while still implementing your primary goals. In other words, you don't oppress the majority by steamrollering over them the way Bush's Republican Congress did for so long. If half or more of the country is seething with rage, nothing you do will stick because they'll take it out on you in the next election.

If people are truly more progressive in their goals, they have all sorts of ways of getting the message to their representatives. In making changes, it's more important to get consensus than to win if you want to make changes that won't get unmade as soon as enough people are provoked enough to elect a whole different group....Being 50 years old, I've seen the pendulum swing back and forth and this is one thing I am fairly sure of.

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