Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Dick Morris: Centrists are Taking Over

Writing for The Hill Dick Morris argues that the filibuster deal signals the that Senate power has been transferred from the wings to the center.

The deal to avert a change in Senate cloture rules is more than just a temporary outbreak of sanity in this highly charged partisan accelerator chamber. It amounts to a transfer of leadership from the polarized, party leaders to the narrow but critical center of the institution…

[T]here now exists, in effect, a third-party caucus in the Senate of moderates from both parties. They may offer a chance for us to be rid of the reflexive and revolting partisanship that has led to government shutdowns and presidential impeachments, each equally abhorrent to most voters.
We can only hope that this new middle of the Senate will take the agenda away from the extremes in each party and bring government back to the middle, where it belongs.

Yes, we can only hope. But it is prematurely optimistic to declare a transfer of power. The extremists in both parties are very loud and well financed. For the Center to take hold, we’ll need to see a lot more courage from the Centrists.

Nevertheless, it’s great to see so many recognizing the existence and importance of the vital Center.


At 10:31 AM, Blogger Heiuan said...

If the Centrists want to become more powerful on the national stage, then they need to become more powerful on the local and state-wide stage.

It's my opinion that the American people are ALWAYS going to vote their personal comfort zones FIRST, then worry about the rest of the issues.

Centrists need to start proving their value to their neighbors and local area populations. Let these folks see that a Centrist can be an effective leader, not just someone who spouts great campaign promises.

To borrow an old cliche, the proof is in the pudding. When Centrists start having a positive effect on the lives of the local population, then you'll see them becoming more effective on the larger stages. People will vote for what they know works for THEIR lives.

At 10:41 AM, Blogger Alan Stewart Carl said...

Good point. But I'd actually say that there already are thousands of locally elected Centrists (my favorite politician here in DC is Carol Schwartz, a council woman who is a Republican but very much a Centrist; back in my native state, former Dallas Mayor Ron Kirk is a Democrat but also a Centrist). Centrists just need to be more comfortable identifying themselves as such. Usually they are called moderate Republicans or moderate Democrats. But I think Centrist is probably a more accurate term.

At 11:10 AM, Blogger Jonathan C said...

Another thing that is needed are advocacy groups for centrist issues. (I have a post on that subject here.)

The Left and Right have great machines for getting their message out, centrists need the same to be able to appeal to their base. It should be noted that Centrists that are elected to high office generally have broad public support of even their extremist bases. Look at Bill Clinton.

At 11:12 AM, Blogger Heiuan said...

Terminology is important. I'm a registered Democrat but vote damned near strictly Centrist each election cycle.

I prefer the term Centrist over Moderate, because I feel my beliefs aren't "moderately" one side or the other. They are right down the middle of the road for the most part.

I believe it is time for this third party to emerge. And the only way to do that effectively is for politicians to self-identify as Centrist.

Everybody's always spouting off about the "grassroots." Well, this is where grassroots start.

Those who do identify as Centrist stand a much better chance of election to local offices where it doesn't cost quite as much to run an election. If we can get them elected, then they'll have the chance to prove themselves.

At 11:28 AM, Blogger Alan Stewart Carl said...


That is why we almost never use the word "moderate" on this site. Moderates, in my mind, are just adverse to conflict and seek to keep things calm, even artificially calm. Centrists have a distinct political character which tends to fall in the middle of the spectrum.

CitizenQ: If you haven't already, check out The Centrist Coalition. It's a fledgling Centrist advocacy group.

At 2:01 PM, Blogger Heiuan said...

Alan, then I'm glad I found this site.

LOL...I'm not a moderate anything. I'm a Centrist and as soon as that becomes a choice on the Voter Registration Form, I'll be in line to sign up.

At 4:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a proud Marine, husband, and Centrist. We can be the true defenders of our Republic and I am looking forward to the day that I can serve as a member of The Centrist Party at my local level.
Sgt Duran

At 4:51 PM, Blogger Alan Stewart Carl said...

Sgt Duran,

Glad to hear you have aspirations to become an elected Centrist. That's great. We need people like you.


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