Only in a place like New York, where a man can set off a bomb in Times Square and have the mayor blame opponents of Obamacare, could an unserious circle of smug, self-righteous political exiles get together and demand that they be treated seriously — so long as we give them no labels.What the heck? I’m talking, of course, about a new group out calling itself No Labels. It is a group of snobs, elitists, true believers, and other left-of-center Democrats and Republicans who share nothing in common except being rich, pretty white, repudiated by the American political system, and convinced that if they are good enough and, doggoneit, serious enough, they can bring Aaron Sorkin’s West Wing to reality. Oh, and they are very serious. Just ask them.Kicking things off as only left-of-center elitists can, they “borrowed” a logo from a graphic design artist instead of actually creating one of their own.Having contributed nothing to society except a love of ordering society around on a technocratic basis, this Confederacy of Clintonistas and Failed Republicans got together with the all white cast of MSNBC to tell us all that they aren’t really the mostly out of touch, urban, elitist, liberals they are, rather they are the serious people crying out in the wilderness demanding to be let back into power.We can get a pretty good idea of why they are out of power by looking at their issues where we clearly see they stand for nothing and everything at the same time — hardly a compelling way to get into power. It’s like a convention of Unitarian-Universalists.In any event, it is helpful to understand exactly what this group is all about. With few exceptions, the people who compose the group are Clinton and Gore Democrats for whom Barack Obama has no use coupled with a handful of Republican politicos from failed political campaigns — in other words, people who love politics but who can’t make a living in politics without a rich benefactor like . . . oh . . . say . . . Michael Bloomberg. As mentioned, they also share a striking fondness for getting their jollies satiated by believing they can bring the West Wing out of syndication and into reality with Michael Bloomberg as President instead of Martin Sheen and, in fact, I have no doubt that if you watch any West Wing re-runs you’ll see a strikingly similar pattern in both the prognostications and rhetoric of this group.Because all of the people involved have been repudiated by their respective political parties, they have decided that neither party is serious. After all, how can they be serious without these serious technocrats?! And because seriousness means treating these people as serious when they can’t get an invite to a gathering of either the Democrats or Republicans, they have formed their own self-help group where they can treat each other serious and bring along the all white network known as MSNBC to moderate their serious exegesis of seriousness. Have I mentioned just how serious these people are — and not just about living off of Michael Bloomberg’s bank account?In two years, many of them will run back to their respective political parties hoping to get their foot in the door one more time, but some of them will rally to a third party that they hope will raise the conversation in American politics to a serious level, by which they mean they’ll hope to have a seat at the table with Michael Bloomberg’s money at hand.Let’s not, however, kid ourselves. These people are kindred souls to the Democrats, they just can’t get jobs right now in that party because they backed the wrong team in 2008. Likewise, it should be terribly frightening to the Democratic establishment that a group of long time loyal Democrats no longer feels comfortable using the “Democrat” label.At yesterday’s event, Jim Torrey, a rich Wall Street Hedge Fund manager who, like most rich Wall Street Hedge Fund managers, is a Democratic donor — but it is unserious of me to point that out — gave away the game when asked why so few of the attendees were Republicans and all the Republicans who were attending had been driving from the GOP by Republicans.Torrey said,
“Of all the people in the audience, if you drilled down you wouldn’t find that many Republicans,” he said, adding that Obama “aligned with the values of this organization.”
That’s about the extent of the seriousness of the circle. And hopefully we no longer need to take them seriously.I should add, in conclusion, this group starts off in a politically awkward place — the middle of the road, or at least that is what they are pretending. In politics, as in life, the only thing found in the middle of the road are yellow lines and dead skunks.