Monday, October 22, 2007

The Center is not Weak

The Chicago Tribune ran a story today about the tactics of left wing bloggers trying to squash bi-partisan efforts, especially in regards to Dan Lipinski. Read the full story here, but here are a few excerpts:

Independent ratings show Lipinski, a second-term Democrat representing the Southwest Side and southwest suburbs, actually voted with the Republican president less than 20 percent of the time this year (down from about half the time in 2006). But he has backed President Bush in at least one key vote on the Iraq war -- and he has suggested war opponents are better-served by working across party lines than by sending withdrawal timelines for repeated presidential vetoes.

That, in the new Democratic Congress, is enough to draw Lipinski an Internet-fueled primary challenge from the left.

It's an ageless debate with new technology. Primary fights often turn on the ideological divisions between small sets of voters. Former Rep. Jim Leach (R-Iowa), director of the Institute of Politics at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, estimates that only 1/24th of American voters decide each party's primary -- the most active of the activists, liberal on the left and conservative on the right.

"The center of American politics, in Congress, is exceptionally weak," Leach said.

As constant readers may know I started this blog because I was frustrated with the limited voice of the center – in the media in general and the blogosphere in particular. I think that most Americans hear the chatter at both ends of the spectrum and come down closer to the middle. The center may have a small voice – but I wouldn’t call it weak.


NorthSideSoxFan said...

The center will always be a target for both parties unfortunately. They are the easiest seats to pick off. The need for a third party is becoming more and more apparent, especially here in Illinois when you have a Democratic party that stands for higher taxes and a Republican party that stands for corruption. With financial backing, a throw all the bums out (with the exception of Kirk) campaign may have momentum in 2008. I'm tired of the partisan politics and the media that feeds it. Until we get rid of the Pelosis, Reids, Blunts and Boehners, the middle will never have a voice.

no left turn said...

northsidesox fan....Mark Kirk DOES represent that center, that reasoned and measured approach to government. Now that he's getting his message out there in a way that constituents can clearly understand I think he has a fighting chance. This is going to be very tough and very dirty if what we're seeing now, a year out, is any indication. This is the first time in memory where the idea that the "bums should be thrown out.....but not my member" is not being heard.We're hearing more of just get rid of all of them. That's something that Congressman Kirk needs to focus on during this campaign. He needs to articulate all of his center votes and positions in a very clear manner. People have short memories. He is going to have to restate all that he has accomplished by and through his leadership of the Tuesday Group, the moderates, those who are in the center of the House. Sadly, some of that group lost in 06. Our Congressman needs to toot his own "horn" and keep it up throughout this campaign. I'm not a fan of another party. I AM a strong proponent of a strong bi-partisan system with real leaders who want to help solve our nation's problems. The unwillingess of the current crop of self appointed "leaders" is why you're in favor a a third party. Let's use a nice 'broom' and clean up the mess. I think you will like getting to learn about many of the members of the Tuesday Group. And again, three cheers and more for Congressman Kirk who always has a Democrat co-sponsor for his legislative initiatives. He is an outstanding leader and more than deserves to be re-elected in November of 2008. I'm glad you agree.