Chris Beam attacks No Labels, a new bipartisan political group:
No Labels sounds noble in theory. But the group misunderstands what bipartisanship is. It's not two parties deciding to be nice to each other. It's a moment when their self-interests happen to alignmoments that are increasingly rare. Washington does not have a "civility problem." It has a polarization problem. Politicians aren't any meaner now than they were 30 years ago. It's just that over the last few decades, the two parties have become more ideologically coherent. Back in the 1950s, some Southern Democrats opposed racial integration, and some Republicans in the North favored a robust social safety net. Opposition to abortion was a bipartisan affair. There was a Christian right, but there was a Christian left as well. (The first Catholic president was a Democrat, after all.)
All of that changed in the '60s and '70s.
Weigel presents a two-point plan for making No Labels, or something like it, useful.
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