No Labels, Version 2.0 Seeks Problem Solvers

Founded in 2010, No Labels was originally designed to be a forum for political moderates for the purpose of fostering inter-party communication and cooperation. Its goals originally focused on long-range reforms such as redistricting and campaign finance reform. With its devotion to difficult long-range reform and its call only to those who considered themselves moderates, the group, despite lofty ideals, never took off.

Under the direction of Mark McKinnon, former advisor to Pres. George W. Bush, and with leadership from Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Jon Huntsman (R- UT), the organization is trying again. Both the membership and the goals of the organization will be different in version 2.0. Membership calls will be going out not just to moderates, but to those of any political persuasion in either party who voice a willingness to speak with others across the aisle and participate in practical problem solving governance rather than hyper-partisanship.

In addition to new membership criteria, No Labels in its new form has also changed its goals to workable short term reforms. These include, for example, moving Congress from a three-day work week to a five-day work week, withholding Congressional pay if Congress fails to pass a budget, requiring up or down votes on all presidential nominees within 90 days of nomination, and amending the Senate’s filibuster rules. To foster practical cooperation and problem solving, the group proposes monthly meetings of its Congressional members to develop both personal respect and practical idea sharing.

So far the organization has attracted about a dozen members of the current House and Senate. Their goal is to get to approximately 75 members currently serving in Congress as well as members of the public and leading policy voices. To learn more about No Labels, here is an article from the Washington Post about the organization and a link to their website .

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Author: ELIJAH SWEETE

Contributor, aka tidbits

  • http://themoderatevoice.com/ Ron Beasley

    I’m sorry but this is a futile exercise. As Jim Hightower says the only thing you find in the middle of the road are dead armadillos and yellow stripes. Those on the extreme right make up about 27% of the voters, those on the hard left about the same. That’s a majority and these are the people that vote especially in the primaries. You can’t take the tribe out of tribal creatures.

  • The_Ohioan

    Worth a shot. The new ideas sound good. At least someone is trying to right the ship of state. Maybe the outlier voters will moderate if they see something productive actually being done. And maybe primaries will attract more voters which will advance the changes more quickly.

    They aren’t expecting miracles, just trying to return congress to the way it used to be before it was co-opted by radicals. On the other hand, being angry is more fun than working hard to be productive.

  • sheknows

    At first my cynicism took over and I thought ” Good Luck”, but then I realized I was feeling defeated and hopeless that any politicians would actually work together.

    It is a worthwhile effort, if only to get a dozen or so to actually listen to each other. It’s more than we have now. Baby steps…….

  • ordinarysparrow

    Thanks Tidbits… if only something like this could be…like these goals… good place to start…

    In addition to new membership criteria, No Labels in its new form has also changed its goals to workable short term reforms. These include, for example, moving Congress from a three-day work week to a five-day work week, withholding Congressional pay if Congress fails to pass a budget, requiring up or down votes on all presidential nominees within 90 days of nomination, and amending the Senate’s filibuster rules. To foster practical cooperation and problem solving, the group proposes monthly meetings of its Congressional members to develop both personal respect and practical idea sharing.

    The piece that resurfaces from time to time by Charley Reese since if was first published in 1985 needs to be read at each meeting, much like in AA… instead of “I am an alcoholic”…they would need to say; “I am a congressman, and i am the problem”..

    Charley Reeses’s Final Column on How Washington Operates…

    http://www.examiner.com/article/charley-reese-s-final-column-on-how-washington-d-c-operates

  • Dr. J

    I like the ideas that focus on the product Congress is supposed to produce, like budgets and confirmations of appointees.

    The others look micromanage-y, or theatrical, or both. As if the group intended to make Washington act more like San Francisco. We have a love-hate relationship with our supervisors, making a big show of electing them and then insisting on micromanaging their every move because we don’t trust them an inch. Unfortunately city charter amendments decided by elections every few years are very blunt instruments to manage with, and it works badly.

    No Labels seems keen to further a bad trend: the conversion of our republic into a democracy. As Ron points out, our polarized, dysfunctional representatives are just mirroring our polarized, dysfunctional electorate. We should be trying to create more space for Congress to operate, not to micromanage its seating chart.

  • sheknows

    ” I am a Congressman….” Funny OS :)