I swear I have a good post brewing about the ACA, but the Maine op-ed pages are just too enticing these days. So…
Unsatisfied with merely whining about two-party hegemony in the actual government, Alan Caron takes up the cause of NoLabelsOneMaineEliotAngusAmericansElectTomFriedman in today’s BDN with a lament about the lack of non-Party voices in the commentary section of the news. In sum, Mr. Caron’s argument goes like this: Parties are bad, but the news media is shutting out the Voices Of Reason And Common Sense because…their approach is “outdated.”
A couple responses that hopefully add something to my existing body of work in the anti anti-party topic area:
First, can we all get a grip on the facts about people “leaving the parties?” Everyone knows that “unenrolled” has overtaken either party in Maine, but do you know how many of poor, beleaguered Democrats remain huddled around a few burn barrels along Marginal Way?
So, no, we are not teetering on the edge of a membership apocalypse. These numbers basically rise and fall with the popularity of our top-of-the-ticket Dems.
Second, this is most irritating:
“Where do voters go within the two-party framework, for instance, if they want to see government made more efficient and tax loopholes closed but also support abortion rights and gay marriage?”
They go to the Democratic Party, Alan! Who in their right mind can say that Democrats haven’t been pushing for the closing of tax loopholes? I’ll do the homework for you, since you’re not interested in the actual facts. The top four articles that Google gives you after searching “democrats closing tax loopholes” are: here, here, here, and here. People like Seth Berry and Joe Perry have been relentless in pursuing tax loopholes here in Maine. The vetoed tax reform package of 2010 was little more than a massive attempt to close loopholes.
Maybe efficiency is your game? How about Democrat John Baldacci’s record? He got rid of 8.8% of the state workforce. And don’t even get me started about abortion rights and gay marriage.
There really is only one conclusion from this. The Alan Caron’s of the world have a view about politics, but it’s a view based on their own rigid ideology (ironic, isn’t it!) and unburdened by the facts. The difficulty for the rest of us that is that this particular view is cloaked in so much sanctimony.