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Ben Smith reports from the No Labels conference and notes that there were No Republicans. At least no elected ones:


...the only Republicans present at Columbia University's modern, square Alfred Lerner Hall seemed to be those who had recently lost primary races, such as South Carolina Rep. Bob Inglis and Delaware Rep. Mike Castle, or former Republicans like Florida Gov. Charlie Crist and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. No other senior elected Republican officials were in attendance, though a range of Democrats were present, some of them seeming a bit mystified by the bipartisan cast of the event, like the reliably liberal Gillibrand, and others whose clashes with unions - like Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Newark Mayor Cory Booker - have put some distance between them and their parties. 

I think this reflects an uncomfortable fact for the post-partisan crowd--the hard Left's relationship to the Democratic party, simply isn't analogous to the hard Right's relationship to the Republican party. It's very hard to imagine any sitting Republican administration warring with, and scolding, "the Professional Right." 

Also this:

"No Labels" was initially viewed with skepticism by the two parties as a stalking horse for the third-party presidential dreams of New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who spoke Monday. 

But Bloomberg, who stepped onto the national stage last week with a major economic speech, then abruptly said that "no way, no how" would he run for president, appeared in a dour mood. "It's not clear that the average voter wants what we are all advocating," he said during a panel on non-partisan redistricting, and suggesting the limits of his own third-party considerations. 

"In the end, when you have an independent candidate, not always but almost always, it is the two major parties that get most of the votes." "It's not clear the average person feels themselves disenfranchised or want a lot of things that we advocate," he said. 

I totally agree. But then, what's the point?
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Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

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