Dec

14

No Labels: Speeches About Bipartisanship Aren’t Interesting

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No Labels even provides confusing animal-symbolism to further disorient their now label-less followers! Apparently No Labels jacked this design from http://www.morepartyanimals.com/ourstory.php without getting permission. That doesn't sound very bipartisan of them...

No Labels even provides confusing animal-symbolism to further disorient their now label-less followers!

On Monday No Labels took over Roone Arledge Auditorium, and Alex Jones was there to check out all of the super-exciting bipartisan action.

The event started at the ungodly hour of 8 a.m., and began with an address by the four “founding leaders.”  What followed can only be described as uncomfortable. No Labels commissioned Akon to write a song about bipartisanship‚—because Akon is the post-partisan hip-hop equivalent of Henry Clay, apparently. The crowd (mostly middle-aged to elderly) swayed back and forth to such inspiring lines as, “see a man with a blue tie, see a man with a red tie, so how about we tie ourselves together and get it done.” It was an auto-tuned, bipartisan sight to see.

In case you haven’t picked up on it by now, No Labels is an organization that would like to inspire bipartisan politics. So Democrats and Republicans take off their “labels,” forget which team they play for, and everything works much better. This event was the kick-off for the 2012 election cycle, and No Labels gathered a dozen or so prominent Republicans and Democrats to give short speeches in support of the No Labels ideology.

The speakers, however, didn’t have much substance per se, but instead stayed in the abstract realm of political no-nothings. In fact, it kind of sounded to Bwog like these politicians came here to whine about how hard things are now a-days. So things are difficult now, sure, but does bipartisanship really help at all?  Don’t we just want good-hearted partisanship? How about passing around Oreos and milk during every roll call vote? The No Labels event just doesn’t seem like a profitable exercise if they are only complaining about things going wrong and not proposing a solution.

D-NY Sen. Gillibrand. She rolled a 3-3-3.

Talking about what each speaker said doesn’t seem necessary because everyone just repeated permutations of the same basic argument:

  1. Hyper-partisanship is worse than ever
  2. The people need good government more than ever
  3. We’re basically fucked

If you write those statements twice each on a die, and you roll that die three times, you have just drafted a speech with as much coherency and importance as was given by each speaker. So sleep well knowing that something out there is wrong, and some people are concerned about it, but it’s anyone’s guess how to fix it. Sounds a bit familiar.

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13 Comments

  1. Anonymous  

    I was very curious about this "movement," but after a bit of research last night, I got a similar *shrug* impression of its message as this author.

  2. Anonymous  

    I'll take batshit crazy Ron Pauls and Dennis Kuciniches over Charlie Crist and Joe Lieberman any day.

  3. Eric

    When I was an undergrad, we started a group that aspired to similar principles: Students United for America. Like these pols, we were inspired by core principles and acted in furtherance of those principles. For example, we started the current ROTC-return movement. It is hard to buck the status quo to forge a 'third way', even when guided by clear principles. We were committed, enthusiastic, and active, but we all had to graduate and move on eventually. My understanding is that SU4A faded after we graduated until its last gasp as an innocuous community service organization. Our one remaining legacy is the ROTC-return movement. If any student shares 'No Labels' concerns, I invite you to resuscitate Students United for America: http://web.archive.org/web/20030403211518/http://www.columbia.edu/cu/su4a/mission/SU4AFAQ.doc

    • Eric

      The SU4A website is still active: http://www.columbia.edu/cu/su4a/ Again, SU4A's last incarnation is hardly the group it began as.

      • eww  

        looks like such a milquetoast poop-group now

        sorry for your loss.

        • Hey!

          This Eric fellow has inspired me to found some new student groups:

          "People Against Infanticide"
          "Citizens for the Preservation of Puppies"
          "Students in Support of Cake"

          Never shall we rest in our search for common ground!

          • Eric

            More like common good.

            I do think centering SU4A on values, rather than a tangible purpose, contributed to SU4A's degradation after the group's founders moved on. When we expanded our mission from SU4V to SU4A, some members warned of the risk of the more abstract mission, and they were proved right. SU4A was originally Students United for Victory and formed in reaction to the 9/11 attacks as a non-partisan way for students to come together in support of America in the War on Terror. That was a tangible purpose. But the 9/11 attacks specifically, and our activities in SU4V generally, had expanded our consciousness of a radically and rapidly changing world - competitive, self-interested, and unsympathetic - in which potential future American leaders needed to unite for Nation and People above self and tribe. In short, we realized to protect and advance America's standing in our generation would require more of our generation than the partisanship and prioritization of selfish interests we inherited, or even supporting the military fight against terrorists (though that purpose carried over to SU4A). Ethical transformation is a process; you have to build it, not just paint it with pretty words. Our members' particular beliefs and priorities were diverse so we acted out in a variety of ways; the common theme was using SU4A as our transformative vehicle to strengthen our foundation of core values as future American leaders.

  4. Anonymous  

    Is it just me or is anyone else racially offended by the fact that the turtle in the "Official Poster" has twice as many stars as anyone else??

  5. It's stories like this  

    that make me love bwog so much. "If you write those statements twice each on a die, and you roll that die three times, you have just drafted a speech with as much coherency and importance as was given by each speaker" <--- YES!

  6. this was a great piece  

    dear bwog, i heart u

  7. this article  

    is awesome. i lol'd. thanks bwog!

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