I see the New Center, simply, as representing what the vast majority of Americans want. I don’t know if this is true or if you would characterize it this way, and it sometimes seems that you see the New Center as splitting the difference between the two parties. At worst, I would see a New Center as splitting the difference between where the American people are and where Washington is, and I think it is clear that Washington as a whole is far more representative of the monied interests than they are of the American people, and that goes for both parties. I think the parties–because of the influence of money–are much closer to each other than they are to the American people. I’ve written in the past months about many of the ways that is true, and will continue to do so.
For now, just a couple examples. The American people clearly want to see the wealthy taxed more, and despite Obama’s lip service to the Buffett rule, actually enacting such legislation isn’t allowed to even enter the discussion in Washington. And Obama extended the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy. Sure, he has said he won’t do it again, and he did it for two years, and I’ll believe what happens when it happens. During the health care debate, polls showed that at least half the country supported some kind of single payer plan or at least a public option. In the end, it wasn’t allowed in the discussion of actual legislation that was passed. (If it had, the whole issue the Supreme Court just heard arguments on would be moot). A new center would at least allow the sentiments of half the country to be part of the conversation.Until we get money out of politics, I don’t think it will be possible for Washington to accurately represent the will of the American people.
A tangential and related issue is the utter lack of knowledge about even the most basic things in our politics, as shown by the PEW poll you sent me a few days ago. It really is astonishing that 29% of Americans don’t know which of the two political parties is more conservative. Of course, as I’ve said often, all you need to know about America is that only 2 in 5 Americans can correctly name the three branches of our government. That fact makes the New Center hard to define and even harder to make reality.