No Labels even though I respect the goals of their group as far as trying to bring Congress together and get the chambers to work in a bipartisan bicameral fashion, the group has failed at least to this point. As Digby pointed out in her blog now four-years in since John Avalon and others founded this group and if anything Congress is more partisan now. Rabid partisans in the Republican Party if anything hate President Barack Obama even more now. “It was bad enough that someone of his background gets elected President of the United States, but then gets reelected?”
Congressional Republicans and not all of them, but certainly the rabid partisans in the House especially have decided “we aren’t going to work with the President on anything. Instead we are going to stop him whenever possible and try to sue/impeach him on anything that he tries to do without consulting us first. And are going to try to wait out his presidency and wait for the next President”. This is now the attitude of the Tea Party Republicans at least in the House, but in the Senate with people like Ted Cruz. And to a large extent the Congressional Republican Leaderships in the House and Senate are buying into this.
And of course I’m not making the argument that “it’s all the Republicans fault”, but what I’m saying that is neither side is completely innocent and yes I am a Democrat. But I’m right here because Democrats have their own rabid partisan fringe they have to deal with when President Obama just announces any willingness to deal with Congressional Republicans especially in the House on anything. And if anything this environment has gotten worst since No Labels was created in 2010. Because again President Obama has been reelected, Democrats still control the Senate and the Tea Party has taken some losses.
But why has No Labels failed? Their whole notion and strategy was doomed for failure from the beginning. The idea that you take Republicans and Democrats regardless of their backgrounds and put them in a room and expect them to work together. Or somehow having them sit together during joint sessions of Congress when the House and Senate are together like at the State of the Union. That somehow this would bring the sides together and force them to forget that they are Democrats and Republicans and have another election coming up. And that if they work with the other side they’ll get a primary opponent as their reward. Give me a break! That was a fantasy that was never going to work.
Again why has No Labels failed? The country is simply more partisan and divided politically than it was just five-years ago. That by itself is not the fault of No Labels. I blame that both on the political strategists of the Democratic Party and Republican Party at the state levels. And perhaps a certain extent at the national level with the gerrymandering and creating so many partisan House districts. But another problem is American voters themselves voting for the most partisan and ideological candidates possible who do not run for office to govern, but to beat the other side. Instead of voting for mainstream candidates and incumbents in both parties who are there to govern.
I don’t have a solution for the rabid-partisanship of the country other than to say Americans need to wake up and decide do they want their public officials to govern. Or to beat the other side and decide which one is more important. If you vote for people who want to govern and create positive change for the country, we’ll see less partisanship as a result. You vote for the guy or gal who simply is looking to “hold the other side accountable” which is a common phrase with both Republicans and Democrats, the rabid-partisanship will just continue and get worst.