More Or Fewer Parties Ain’t the Solution

In response to:

Do we Really Need Political Parties?

March 3, 2009 by Jonathan Simeone

If there were no political parties Congressional elections would tend to be much more local, because there would be no national parties to pump millions into local races. This change would go a long way to make running for Congress more about ideas and qualifications and less about wealth.

There won’t be “no parties” because the Constitution guarantees the right of free association; to peaceably assemble to petition for redress of grievances. The Republican & Democrat parties are not creatures of the state, nor do they have a state ordained monopoly. They garner the most activist support and money, so they are most able to field candidates and win elections. If no parties existed, their function would probably be assumed by other organizations: unions & the Chamber of Commerce, for example.

If there were no political parties the influence of the wealthy over our nation’s politics would be greatly diminished, because they would not be able to buy off entire parties simply by writing a few checks. Instead, they would have to make direct contact with every politician they wished to influence. Obviously, a more daunting proposition.

In that case, they would operate through section 527 organizations as Soros does already.

If there were no political parties Congressional committee assignments would not be handed out based on ridiculous criterion like party loyalty and seniority. The houses of Congress would individually meet and have to vote as whole groups—rather than parties as it is done now—to choose their body’s leadership and give out committee assignments. As an extra benefit this would do away with the designations of majority and minority; thus, creating a much better climate for compromise.

Differences of appearance, not function. Most of those elected would be incumbents who would maintain their previous associations with like minded colleagues.

If there were no political parties the American public would need to be more involved in the electoral process. No longer could they simply show up on Election Day and pull a lever for the party they have always supported.

Most would vote on the basis of name recognition, the rest would vote based on what the preacher in their church or their union boss directed them to do. Very few would take the effort required to study issues & candidates more extensively than they do now.

If there were no political parties the influence of special interests would be greatly reduced. This has much to do with money, but I thought it was deserving of a special mention because of how important it is.

In the abscence of parties, the influence of special interest groups would be intensified and expanded; they would take over many of the functions now performed by the parties.

If there were no political parties we would be done with stupid polls that tell us how Republicans and Democrats view different issues. After all, the only thing that matters is how Americans view the issues that are impacting our nation.

Polls are a means of metrication and manipulation. In the abscence of parties, they would be sponsored by special interest groups and individual campagins instead of by parties. The news media would also continue to commission voter opinion surveys.

In closing, I strongly believe that our system of political parties, more than anything else, is responsible for the corruption that plagues our system and the polarization that makes getting anything done very difficult. If we want to make sure that the politicians start considering what we want we need to eliminate as many of the barriers that exist between us and them as we can. And while eliminating the party system will not solve all of our political problems it’s a good start in that direction.

Corruption is primarily a function of greed acting upon opportunity. The larger the government budget, the more graft there will be. The founders had ample reason for creating a limited federal government. When the Constitution was largely abandoned, opportunities for graft & corruption vastly increased.

“Getting things done” is supposed to be difficult. The system of checks and balances was designed to slow the process so that the press and public could inspect and evaluate the process and the product. The Founders did not want mob rule, nor did they want important decisions to be made on the spur of the moment without debate & careful reflection on the consequences.

Eliminating barriers between pols & voters is best done by keeping government local: the greatest knowledge, familiarity & interaction occurs in the school district, township, city & county; less at the state level and much less at the Congressional district level.

What you want probably is not best for the nation’s long term welfare; after all, you wanted Obama, which does not testify well to mature judgment and a deep knowledge base. The founders wisely avoided the mob rule attendant to direct democracy by creating a representative republic with limited government powers.

Parties ain’t the source of the problem. Excessive concentration on perceived self interest, ignorance of the system, ignorance of economics and insufficient attention to crucial details are major contributors to the problem. The European multi-party / prime minister system leads to unstable, divided short term administrations. The results of excessively fine divisions are most clearly displayed in Israel & Lebanon.

The reforms we need are in expectations, attitudes, knowledge, information & logic skills. The most important reforms are restoration of the Constitution and the voter qualification examination, in that order.

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By Any Other Name…

Cross posted by Findalis of Monkey in the Middle

Funny how after the election in November all the dirt that is on and surrounds President-Elect Barack Obama is coming to the surface. I guess that he didn’t hide it deep enough.

During the election we heard about Rev. Wright, Bill Ayers, Tony Rezko and ACORN. Now it is the on-going saga of Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich.

The governor has been indicted on conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud, as well as soliciting bribes. He is accused of trying to sell the vacant Senate seat of Barack Obama to the highest bidder. He has been a subject of a Federal investigation for years, including being subject to a wire tap of his phone. And the tapes show a link to the incoming President.

Emanuel talked directly to gov: source

President-elect Barack Obama’s incoming chief of staff Rahm Emanuel had a deeper involvement in pressing for a U.S. Senate seat appointment than previously reported, the Sun-Times has learned. Emanuel had direct discussions about the seat with Gov. Blagojevich, who is is accused of trying to auction it to the highest bidder.

Emanuel talked with the governor in the days following the Nov. 4 election and pressed early on for the appointment of Valerie Jarrett to the post, sources with knowledge of the conversations told the Sun-Times. There was no indication from sources that Emanuel brokered a deal, however.

A source with the Obama camp strongly denied Emanuel spoke with the governor directly about the seat, saying Emanuel only spoke with Blagojevich once recently to say he was taking the chief of staff post. But sources with knowledge of the investigation said Blagojevich told his aides about the calls with Emanuel and sometimes gave them directions afterward. Sources said that early on, Emanuel pushed for the appointment of Jarrett to the governor and his staff and asked that it be done by a certain date.

At least some of the conversations between Emanuel and Blagojevich were likely caught on tape, sources said.

Full Story

The duties of a Chief of Staff is to run interference for your boss. The Chief of Staff does nothing without the President’s knowledge and okay. It has now come out that Emanuel has been talking to Blagojevich and that a few of the conversations were taped.

I am reminded of Watergate and what brought Nixon down. That started with a 3rd rate burglary, a cover-up by White House staff, and the eventual resignation of President Nixon. This could go the same way. A discredited governor (Blago), a crooked neighbor (Rezko), a candidate for the Senate seat (Jackson Jr.) and a Chief of Staff (Emanuel) all singing a pretty song to the Feds for an deal to keep them out of prison. Which will lead to a sitting President fulfilling his office behind bars in a Federal Penitentiary.

Now that would be a first!

By Any Other Name…

Cross posted by Findalis of Monkey in the Middle

Funny how after the election in November all the dirt that is on and surrounds President-Elect Barack Obama is coming to the surface. I guess that he didn’t hide it deep enough.

During the election we heard about Rev. Wright, Bill Ayers, Tony Rezko and ACORN. Now it is the on-going saga of Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich.

The governor has been indicted on conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud, as well as soliciting bribes. He is accused of trying to sell the vacant Senate seat of Barack Obama to the highest bidder. He has been a subject of a Federal investigation for years, including being subject to a wire tap of his phone. And the tapes show a link to the incoming President.

Emanuel talked directly to gov: source

President-elect Barack Obama’s incoming chief of staff Rahm Emanuel had a deeper involvement in pressing for a U.S. Senate seat appointment than previously reported, the Sun-Times has learned. Emanuel had direct discussions about the seat with Gov. Blagojevich, who is is accused of trying to auction it to the highest bidder.

Emanuel talked with the governor in the days following the Nov. 4 election and pressed early on for the appointment of Valerie Jarrett to the post, sources with knowledge of the conversations told the Sun-Times. There was no indication from sources that Emanuel brokered a deal, however.

A source with the Obama camp strongly denied Emanuel spoke with the governor directly about the seat, saying Emanuel only spoke with Blagojevich once recently to say he was taking the chief of staff post. But sources with knowledge of the investigation said Blagojevich told his aides about the calls with Emanuel and sometimes gave them directions afterward. Sources said that early on, Emanuel pushed for the appointment of Jarrett to the governor and his staff and asked that it be done by a certain date.

At least some of the conversations between Emanuel and Blagojevich were likely caught on tape, sources said.

Full Story

The duties of a Chief of Staff is to run interference for your boss. The Chief of Staff does nothing without the President’s knowledge and okay. It has now come out that Emanuel has been talking to Blagojevich and that a few of the conversations were taped.

I am reminded of Watergate and what brought Nixon down. That started with a 3rd rate burglary, a cover-up by White House staff, and the eventual resignation of President Nixon. This could go the same way. A discredited governor (Blago), a crooked neighbor (Rezko), a candidate for the Senate seat (Jackson Jr.) and a Chief of Staff (Emanuel) all singing a pretty song to the Feds for an deal to keep them out of prison. Which will lead to a sitting President fulfilling his office behind bars in a Federal Penitentiary.

Now that would be a first!

By Any Other Name…

Cross posted by Findalis of Monkey in the Middle

Funny how after the election in November all the dirt that is on and surrounds President-Elect Barack Obama is coming to the surface. I guess that he didn’t hide it deep enough.

During the election we heard about Rev. Wright, Bill Ayers, Tony Rezko and ACORN. Now it is the on-going saga of Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich.

The governor has been indicted on conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud, as well as soliciting bribes. He is accused of trying to sell the vacant Senate seat of Barack Obama to the highest bidder. He has been a subject of a Federal investigation for years, including being subject to a wire tap of his phone. And the tapes show a link to the incoming President.

Emanuel talked directly to gov: source

President-elect Barack Obama’s incoming chief of staff Rahm Emanuel had a deeper involvement in pressing for a U.S. Senate seat appointment than previously reported, the Sun-Times has learned. Emanuel had direct discussions about the seat with Gov. Blagojevich, who is is accused of trying to auction it to the highest bidder.

Emanuel talked with the governor in the days following the Nov. 4 election and pressed early on for the appointment of Valerie Jarrett to the post, sources with knowledge of the conversations told the Sun-Times. There was no indication from sources that Emanuel brokered a deal, however.

A source with the Obama camp strongly denied Emanuel spoke with the governor directly about the seat, saying Emanuel only spoke with Blagojevich once recently to say he was taking the chief of staff post. But sources with knowledge of the investigation said Blagojevich told his aides about the calls with Emanuel and sometimes gave them directions afterward. Sources said that early on, Emanuel pushed for the appointment of Jarrett to the governor and his staff and asked that it be done by a certain date.

At least some of the conversations between Emanuel and Blagojevich were likely caught on tape, sources said.

Full Story

The duties of a Chief of Staff is to run interference for your boss. The Chief of Staff does nothing without the President’s knowledge and okay. It has now come out that Emanuel has been talking to Blagojevich and that a few of the conversations were taped.

I am reminded of Watergate and what brought Nixon down. That started with a 3rd rate burglary, a cover-up by White House staff, and the eventual resignation of President Nixon. This could go the same way. A discredited governor (Blago), a crooked neighbor (Rezko), a candidate for the Senate seat (Jackson Jr.) and a Chief of Staff (Emanuel) all singing a pretty song to the Feds for an deal to keep them out of prison. Which will lead to a sitting President fulfilling his office behind bars in a Federal Penitentiary.

Now that would be a first!

Will These Democrats Resign?


Or will they be promoted to a Chairmanship on some committee?

Fraud and corruption is not something out of the ordinary for the Democratic Party Leadership.

From Fox:

Democratic state Assemblymen Mims Hackett Jr. and Alfred E. Steele were among those arrested, along with Passaic Mayor Samuel Rivera, a law enforcement official said.

The chief of staff to Newark’s City Council president was also arrested, the official said, along with Passaic Councilmen Jonathan Soto and Marcellus Jackson and five Pleasantville school board members.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity so as not to upstage a formal announcement, said the arrests were related to insurance contracts for local governments.

The arrests were first reported Thursday by WNBC-TV in New York.

Initial court appearances were scheduled in federal court Thursday afternoon in Trenton.

The U.S. Attorney for New Jersey, Christopher J. Christie, and FBI Special Agent in Charge Weysan Dun have scheduled a 3:30 p.m. news conference at the courthouse.

The arrests are the latest in an anti-corruption campaign waged by Christie’s office, and mark the second major corruption roundup this year.

From CBS:

More than 100 public officials in the state have been convicted on federal corruption charges in the last five years.

Thursday’s arrests were the latest in an anti-corruption campaign waged by Christie’s office. Two other Democratic state senators, Wayne Bryant of Lawnside and Sharpe James of Newark, are among others facing pending corruption charges.

The question remains…will they be condemned or be granted membership in the Good Old Boy Scandal Club of the Democratic Party?

More at meme...and here…and here

cross post by Snooper

Will These Democrats Resign?


Or will they be promoted to a Chairmanship on some committee?

Fraud and corruption is not something out of the ordinary for the Democratic Party Leadership.

From Fox:

Democratic state Assemblymen Mims Hackett Jr. and Alfred E. Steele were among those arrested, along with Passaic Mayor Samuel Rivera, a law enforcement official said.

The chief of staff to Newark’s City Council president was also arrested, the official said, along with Passaic Councilmen Jonathan Soto and Marcellus Jackson and five Pleasantville school board members.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity so as not to upstage a formal announcement, said the arrests were related to insurance contracts for local governments.

The arrests were first reported Thursday by WNBC-TV in New York.

Initial court appearances were scheduled in federal court Thursday afternoon in Trenton.

The U.S. Attorney for New Jersey, Christopher J. Christie, and FBI Special Agent in Charge Weysan Dun have scheduled a 3:30 p.m. news conference at the courthouse.

The arrests are the latest in an anti-corruption campaign waged by Christie’s office, and mark the second major corruption roundup this year.

From CBS:

More than 100 public officials in the state have been convicted on federal corruption charges in the last five years.

Thursday’s arrests were the latest in an anti-corruption campaign waged by Christie’s office. Two other Democratic state senators, Wayne Bryant of Lawnside and Sharpe James of Newark, are among others facing pending corruption charges.

The question remains…will they be condemned or be granted membership in the Good Old Boy Scandal Club of the Democratic Party?

More at meme...and here…and here

cross post by Snooper