A new centrist blog, The Bipartisan Rules, run by two soon-to-graduate law students, finds plenty to berate on both sides of the aisle. Comes at the right time for me, having just vented in the comments that "I HATE BOTH PARTIES!!" A random sampling of their evenhanded spleen:
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I am not a partisan. I did not agree with much of what the Bush administration did. It spent too much. [...] It used a "51% majority" strategy to drive away the same swath of moderate Democrats that Reagan was able to win over. [...] Dissent was discouraged in what was perhaps the most partisan administration in modern history.
But Barack Obama is supposed to be different.
He sold himself to voters as some sort of transcendent post-partisan. If he fails to gain a single Republican vote from either house of Congress, it further cements to me that this carefully crafted image is a fraud.
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I am sick of Rush Limbaugh. [...T]he conservative movement will be in a perpetual state of intellectual discord as long as Limbaugh is its preeminent voice. (And with an average listenership of 20 million, El Rushbo isn't going away.)
This last from a guy who says, "I probably agree with Limbaugh 70% of the time." Good heavens! People call me center right -- I can't stand to listen to Limbaugh long enough to figure out what percentage I might agree with him, but I very much doubt it reaches 50%. And I certainly don't agree with "the Commissioner" and "the Chairman" all the time; I don't see how the "shrinking middle class" is a "complete and utter fallacy" (these guys often write with the absolute certainty of the young), and I would exempt college scholarships from their scathing list of Democratic agenda items that don't belong on a stimulus bill. But their willingness to let both sides have it is refreshing.
And depressing. Because if you don't like either available flavor of Kool-Aid, really, where is there to turn?
The Strategic Targeted American Recovery and Transition Act (START) [...] is a $170 billion “bare bones” pure stimulus approach that would put $100 billion immediately into the pockets of low- and middle-income Americans, then use the other $70 billion for basic infrastructure projects that create jobs. START requires that all funds not spent by 2010 be returned to the Treasury. START also stops stimulus spending when the nation’s Gross Domestic Product increases in two of three previous quarters, and all START payments are required to be posted on a public website. [...]
"We’ve got to get this economy moving again, but we’ve got to do it in an effective way without saddling our children with $1 trillion in debt,” Minnick said. “If we’ve got to spend, every nickel needs to create jobs, and create them quickly.”In other words, START is everything the Senate and House stimulus proposals are not - targeted, timely and temporary.
WHY NOT??? Well, you know why not. From Bipartisan Rules:
On Meet the Press, David Gregory cited a quote from a top Democrat aide, who remarked this week that, in effect, the Democratic Party, with a perfect storm at its back, had the chance to do what President Reagan did a generation ago -- implement the party's entire agenda.
How refreshing that someone like Minnick is still thinking clearly and independently. How depressing that it doesn't make any difference.