Happy New Year bla bla bla. In politics and policy, we need a Clear New Year. As Nixon said, I want things to be “perfectly clear.” 2010 was a straight up mess because the Tea Party was running things on the right with small actual numbers but a big swagger. On the left nationally, liberals were eager to get issues missed during the Bush years but with little regard for the cost or national debt (at times, it remotely resembled elements of socialism.) We in the large political center stood idly by like a bunch of busters.
America is a big nation and fitting all voters into two political parties is awkward; the party that flexs to accommodate the moderates should be in better shape. If you noticed, I wrote “voters” because I still can’t believe all the apathetic non-voters who are impacted most by public policy and who are the biggest drain on the governmental wallet.
In 2010, southern Democrats broke their necks running from the national DNC that is controlled by city liberals. However, they had no place to go because the Tea Party Movement was demanding red meat and blood oaths from anyone coming to the conservative side. One thing is clear: the Right’s main mission during the next two years will be getting a GOP president in 2012. President Obama can do nothing to please them and if he passed 95% of what they wanted, they would still want a GOP president behind the other 5%. With that logic, real Democrats are correct in pushing the White House to do what they were elected to do and let the chips fall where they may—let a Democrat be a Democrat.
Southern Democrats are often similar on the political spectrum to California moderate Republicans. I like the new group Nolabels.org that is about the sensible center from both parties working together for good policy. Clearly, the angry folks on the far left and far right don’t want this cooperation because their mindsets have been shaped by media demonization—the goal of those in that brand of media is getting money rather than a better American government.
If the Democratic Party in the South wants to survive outside urban areas, the surviving Blue Dogs must be proactive rather than reactive. They must push for spending reductions and better budgets. Here’s the new twist: rather than doing a cash grab for the regular folks back home, moderates need to explain the debt national clearly and the useful things every American must do to carry themselves in a manner that helps produce new jobs, growth the economy and get us out of this fiscal mess.
Georgia has several great blogs with the latest information on politics; I read those blogs daily. In 2011, this blog will be about our community having a clearer understand of the policy situation, fostering a functional relationship with all policymakers, and pushing personal decision-making that reduces government involvement in our wellbeing and prosperity.
Brace yourself for this one: Thank you Tea Party Movement. The TPM’s success is the blueprint for folks acting on what they feel and think. While Dick Armey and corporate dollars were there, this movement was largely driven by pissed-off regular folks. I know some other pissed-off regular folks—okay, people who are potentially pissed off are the majority of Americans in the center who don’t like bickering, name calling and pitting Americans against Americans. The Nolabels crowd isn’t the counter-balance to the TPM or Moveon.org but the grassroots design techniques of the TPM are useful.
Candidate Obama correctly stated that “we are who we have been waiting for.” Politicians and those who stay paid in the political game need to know that regular folks have had it with their silliness. From education to crime to job training to family planning to faith to good old common sense, we must have a clear and frank discussion about choices, decisions and consequences.