Commentary Magazine


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Those at No Labels Have No Next Step

This afternoon on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol, a group of 75 “protesters” gathered to protest politicians. Or the debt. Or the nature of politics in general. The event was organized by “No Labels,” a non-partisan organization designed to overcome the partisan aspect of politics and encourage politicians to look beyond their reelections to instead focus on what’s best for the American people.

Before the rally a tourist asked me what the group’s stance was. When I told her, she responded, “Oh, so they’re liberals.” The desire to just get things done absent a clear strategy is classic liberal behavior. Without deciding what one stands for, how can a settlement be reached on any issue? One of the group’s manufactured chants, yelled meekly in the glaring 90+ degree sun was “Wanna get a deal. Wanna get it done!” These pre-manufactured chants, along with pre-manufactured signs, were staged for a group of camera crews who were reporting not on a rally, but on a photo-op.

After the “rally,” some participants from New Jersey rested in the shade. One asked, “So, what’s the next step?” Another replied, “We’re stepless. We’re done.”

Despite disagreements between Democrats and Republicans, there are deals on the table. Those on each side know what they stand for and they’re fighting to get the best agreement possible for their supporters. Those at No Labels have no next step, because they have no base from which to demand action.