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  • It’s great that Unity08 is becoming more and more prolific.

    Some commenters wondered in the past how effective Unity08 will be, but I think that it’s safe to say that U08 has become, again, quite prolific and really seems to be on the path to accomplishing something.

    Also important to point out, from the Unity08 website:

    Award-winning actor Sam Waterston, star of NBC’s Law and Order, will announce to America that our nationwide drive for Delegate sign-ups is on! Sam will appear this evening at 5:45pm ET with an interview by Hardball’s Chris Matthews on MSNBC-TV.

    It doesn’t hurt to say, btw, that I’m a Law and Order fan.

  • Paul Silver

    I signed up and look forward to participating in this novel movement.

  • “Some commenters wondered in the past how effective Unity08 will be, but I think that it’s safe to say that U08 has become, again, quite prolific and really seems to be on the path to accomplishing something.”

    “on the path”? Sry, Michael, but this means that Unity 08 hasn’t accomplished anything yet. D’oh.
    I guess you at least can show some evidence that it’s really “prolific”?

  • Maybe they can get Fred Thompson to run… 🙂

  • Btw, aren’t there federal and/or state laws on the Primary process of parties? Doesn’t this mean that Unity 08’s internet nomination idea is DOA?
    :-/

  • I’m a little frustrated that Unity08 has not spelled out its positions on major political issues. It’s almost as it they’re purposely holding off on crafting a political platform out of fear that they’ll alienate voters on the left and right.

    And I’m not sure how a split Democrat-Republican ticket is going to pan out. What happens if the Democrat and Republican selected by the voters don’t agree on anything? Does the VP candidate simply keep quite and go with flow, supporting policies the he/she doesn’t really support?

    Having said that, I applaud Unity08’s efforts. This country is desperately in need a third party. Waterston hit the nail on the head about having to chose between “the lesser of two evils” every four years. The vile attack adds that are aired by both parties before each election is proof positive that politicians are more interested in making their opponent seem like a horrible human being than actually presenting a principled and coherent argument in defense of their own positions.

    If Unity08 wants to attract even more voters, they ought to explain in their adds how the two parties have written the ballot access laws in such a way as to virtually ensure that they have no competition at the federal level.

  • kritter

    I like the concept, but agree that getting candidates from two different parties to agree on anything will be a challenge.

    Even those in the Senate who seem to get along, usually split along party lines when push comes to shove. Look at the surge vote. There were all kind of bipartisan efforts, until the WH exerted some pressure, and the vote to debate the issue came down by party. Maybe the parties have split too much on issues to work together on anything.

  • domajot

    UNITY certainly sounds good. Maybe I’m particularly dense, but I don’t get what this really means.
    If the unity is simply ‘equal representation’ for both parties, then the party arguements will just continue.

    I would be more excited to see a slate of unity, i.e. compromise, policy positions.

  • Paul,

    I was thinking: I think that it might be extremely interesting for you to get more involved in U.08

    What do you think?

  • Paul Silver

    Michael,
    I am involved in Unity08. They accepted a few of my blog posts.
    Meanwhile they are in a state of evolution. There concept, it seems to me,is to provide a place for people to vent their frustration with politics. What I would prefer would be a National Centrist PAC that would take the next step of converting frustration into action. I would prefer to participate in a community that put their money and effort into supporting those candidates who are relatively more committed to public election finance, redistricting reform, and other process issues that make the government more transparent and less controlled by special interests.

  • kritter

    At first I supported this idea as a way for the country to move past its partisan battles and focus on common goals and challenges. I have to say that I have more recently, come to see this as a dangerous option. While I respect Sam Waterston, and believe he is promoting Unity ’08 as a patriot, the law of unintended consequences may be relevant here.

    If you have a member of each party in the WH, who would conduct investigations if either of the occupants breaks the law? Who would voters pressure if they didn’t approve of their policies. I’m trying to apply this model to our present situation. Would we really be better off if we had say Bush/Lieberman in office? What about Bush/Clinton? How would accountability be handled, if there was no opposition? How would the candidates compromise on tax cuts? The war? Immigration issues? I’m now thinking it would be a mess, with the parties still blaming each other for any policy failures.

  • Paul Silver

    kritter,
    That is a fascinating set of challenges that I would like to see us deal with. It would shake up perfunctory patterns and behaviors and expectations.
    We may be at a threshold of shifting political identifications. Instead of simple liberal and conservative we may be evolving into idealist/realists or some other distinctions. The Dems got the message and are shifting towards more pragmatism. It might be healthy for most donors and voters to re-evaluate who they are and what they support.

  • kritter

    Paul-I have no problem with a realist/idealist distinction, and actually welcomed the Democratic party’s shift towards more moderate, pragmatic positions. If a healthy opposition is maintained, I could support the idea.

    What we don’t want is to remove all partisanship, because then you can’t use one party’s extremes to balance off the other’s. What you could end up with is two parties who are very similar, who cooperate with each other and work for special interests, rather than the national interest. Nader thinks we have that now.

    Excessive bipartisanship has the added sin of enabling cover-ups. Take the House ethics committee, which literally ceased to function despite numerous scandals during the past 6 years. It is composed of equal numbers of representatives from each party who “cooperate”. Of course, there is much resistance to ethics investigations being conducted by an outside agency.

  • So you want a third party? Why a democrat ans a republican? Why not a well spoken blue collar guy? (I’m available) Seriously, what we need is someone with a common sense approach to the issues that does not feel the need to pander to special intetrest groups, THAT CAN GET ELECTED!
    For instance, immigration (the unrecognized big issue of 2008): 1) A ten year moratorium on ALL immigration untill we can secure our borgers and REMOVE all illegal immigrants and ‘sleeper cell’ enemies of this country. 2) National Health insurance for all as most citizens of this country want. 3) A moratorium on ALL foriegn involvement, other than the defense of this country, until Social Security is properly funded and the national debt is paid. There’s more but I’m running out of room! So what do YOU think?

  • It’s four years since we first attacked Iraq. George Bush and a lot of other national figures are reassuring America that we will still win.

    Jesus.

    We’ve already won! The issues were WMDs, Saddam Hussein, and a democratically elected Iraq government. We got there and found there were NO WMDs. (Actually, there were: chemical weapons and Saddam himself.) But that is now resolved.

    Saddam succumbed to the hangman.

    Maliki is now the head of a democratically elected government.

    So. Why are we still there? It seems our only military duty now is to referee an Iraqi civil (read that religious) war. I don’t recall the commander-in-chief specifying that as one of the missions.

    Here’s how we get out: Send the ships and transport aircraft back which took us there and have them bring us back. It’s a no-brainer.

    I’m a registered independent living in the state of Arizona. The democrats are worthless, the republicans are a bunch of crooks, George Bush is incompetent, and Dick Cheney is dangerous.

    Let’s change the American political scene. What can I do to help?

  • Paul R.

    At its core, Unity 08 is looking for Jesse Ventura as president. As a Minnesotan, I can asssure you you really don’t want that to happen.
    Paul R.

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