John Avalon, No Labels founder, is facing quite a storm. Changing the Game sees some positive possibilities with No Labels.
So much buzz and noise about No Labels. My Changing The Game colleague Debilyn Molineaux attended their launch event and reported on her experience (see the report here, just prior to this post). I thought adding John Avalon’s perspective, one of the founders of No Labels, would be good to feature. Here is the opening of his recent article with links to the full article and a link to the No Limits web site. Debilyn and I are inclined to give No Labels some support by helping with the January 13th meeting and perhaps assisting with the local meeting designs and strategy. Stay tuned. Walt
My War With Rush Limbaugh
by John Avlon
Limbaugh is taking nasty shots at me and my new “No Labels” group, and Keith Olbermann named us a “world’s worst”—examples of the all-or-nothing politics tearing the country apart.
According to Rush Limbaugh, I’m a hard-core liberal, no different than Michael Moore who paid the bail for “the serial rapist Julian Assange.” Also, I’m not willing to admit who the terrorists are, and I’m helping to kill Christmas.
It’s all because I co-founded a new group that launched this week called No Labels. We’re Republicans, Democrats and Independents—dedicated to confronting the culture of hyper-partisanship that is distorting our debates and stopping our nation from solving the serious challenges we face.
This idea is threatening to professional polarizers like El Rushbo—which is why he devoted an hour of his show this week to attacking us. In particular, he took personal aim at co-founders Mark McKinnon (a Republican Bush/McCain adviser and fellow Daily Beast columnist), Kiki McLean (a Texas Democrat and Clinton administration alum) and myself. In the process, he again proved the need for No Labels.
Rush’s core concern seems to be that there is no such thing as the center or independent voters. He believes that America is divided between the far-right and the far-left, and he likes to offer only that false choice because he believes it’s a fight he can win. But an emphasis on swing voters or independents—the largest and fastest-growing segment of the electorate—makes the math more complicated. It screws an inflexible ideologue up.
“If we do this right, we can discredit this whole mind-set of the ‘moderate center’ being the defining group in American politics,” said Rush. “Because this No Labels group is going to end up illustrating what a fraudulent idea that whole concept of, ‘There are people who decide issue by issue. On the left they like certain things, on the right they like certain things.’”
So Rush believes that there are no principled Americans who decide what they believe on different policies issue-by-issue. For someone who talks about freedom a lot, he doesn’t have much faith in free will or free-thinking. He doesn’t believe that Americans—especially independent voters—can consider themselves fiscally conservative but socially liberal. You either walk in lockstep as a social conservative and fiscal conservative or you are a ‘hard-core liberal’—libertarians, apparently, need not apply…….
End of Excerpt