Patterico's Pontifications

10/17/2021

Constitutional Vanguard: What About a *Moderate* Third Party?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 4:53 pm



Jonah Goldberg started a ruckus on the right by proposing a new Reaganite conservative third party.

Many objected, saying it would throw the election to Democrats.

So I ask:

What about a Moderate third party?

I will illustrate this through a difficult thought experiment, the premise of which you will want to reflexively reject . . . but which I urge you to accept, only temporarily, purely for the sake of answering the hypothetical. Assume for the sake of argument that you had no idea of the relative electoral viability of two candidates. Now assume that one of the candidates is a Generic Republican from Jonah’s Reaganite Third Party. The other candidate is Trump—or, to keep the comparisons generic, a Generic Trumpy Candidate.

For whom would you vote?

Leave you thoughts below or at the link.

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90 Responses to “Constitutional Vanguard: What About a *Moderate* Third Party?”

  1. I’d love to see a moderate third party . . . if it took enough votes from the Democrats that it aided a very conservative Republican candidate to win.

    The libertarian, but not Libertarian, Dana (577408)

  2. “Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. And moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.” — Barry Goldwater

    The libertarian, but not Libertarian, Dana (577408)

  3. Our esteemed host asked:

    Assume for the sake of argument that you had no idea of the relative electoral viability of two candidates. Now assume that one of the candidates is a Generic Republican from Jonah’s Reaganite Third Party. The other candidate is Trump—or, to keep the comparisons generic, a Generic Trumpy Candidate.

    For whom would you vote?

    I look to the Wikipedia biography of a Jonah neo-conservative, Max Boot, to get teh answer as to what that moderate Republican might be:

    In an opinion piece for Foreign Policy in September 2017, Max Boot outlined his political views as follows: “I am socially liberal: I am pro-LGBTQ rights, pro-abortion rights, pro-immigration. I am fiscally conservative: I think we need to reduce the deficit and get entitlement spending under control. I am pro-environment: I think that climate change is a major threat that we need to address. I am pro-free trade: I think we should be concluding new trade treaties rather than pulling out of old ones. I am strong on defense: I think we need to beef up our military to cope with multiple enemies. And I am very much in favor of America acting as a world leader: I believe it is in our own self-interest to promote and defend freedom and free markets as we have been doing in one form or another since at least 1898.”

    What do we have there? A pro-abortion, pro illegal immigration — that’s not what he says, but it’s how it works out — and pro-social liberalism. He’s the kind who would ‘negotiate’ with the hard-line leftists to find some middle ground, which leads only to a continual move leftward, just maybe at a slightly slower pace. These are the kind of guys who would delay the Democrats’ proposals that they’d push the ‘green new deal back from 2030 to 2036, and think that wow, they’ve done something good.

    Mr Boot said that we should “defend freedom,” but he has already advocated vaccine mandates and been actively hostile to an unlimited freedom of speech. Bill Kristol has been another of these guys, who would use the power of government to compel compliance with government goals. If government is to have that power with goals of which they might approve, why wouldn’t government have that same power when it came to goals with which they’d disapprove? Messrs Kristol and Boot want to practically hang the Capitol kerfufflers, ‘insurrectionists’ whose crimes, which President Biden called the greatest threat tro our democracy since the Civil War, were so minor that most of them have been offered plea deals down to a ‘parading’ misdemeanor, all by an Attorney General who hates Republicans with a burning passion because they denied him a Supreme Court seat.

    Yes, I’d vote for someone like Ron de Santis over Mr Trump, due to Mr Trump’s baggage, but if my choice was solely between Mr Trump, a ‘moderate’ third partier, and whatever socialist the Democrats were running, it would be Mr Trump, without question.

    The libertarian, but not Libertarian, Dana (577408)

  4. If those were my only two choices…there’s only one choice. I would vote for the Reaganite candidate.

    More broadly, I could see my way clear even to voting for a candidate who was MUCH more progressive than I am, on a whole range of social issues — provided the candidate in question was a committed constitutionalist and federalist, who would work to rein in the power of the federal government and leave most matters in the hands of the states and the people where they belong. Let California’s choices be on California’s collective head. But don’t let them choose for us.

    But I won’t vote for a centralizing progressive, or even a centralizing moderate, any more than I would vote for Trump.

    Demosthenes (3fd56e)

  5. Bill Kristol just tweeted:

    “Until the democracy is safe and the authoritarians are sent back to their corner, the alliance with Dems is the best option and we just have to put up with the BS. Let’s put on our big boy pants and take the long view. It is a small price to pay.”

    These people would put up with an entirely socialist agenda, just because they don’t like Donald Trump.

    The libertarian, but not Libertarian, Dana (577408)

  6. Since I’ve been arguing for this for a few years now, I think it’s a great idea. There are enough DEMOCRATS who are upset at the far left cabal that seems to run their party that a centrist party would not necessarily lose.

    Consider the hypothetical:

    R: Trump-Cruz
    D: Harris-AOC

    Why would a ticket of, say, Ryan-Manchin lose? The real problem is ballot access, but if the effing Libertarians can do it in all 50 states, then why can’t a much larger group?

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  7. These people would put up with an entirely socialist agenda, just because they don’t like Donald Trump.

    Bill Kristol, Mike Murphy, etc, would put up with Satan as long as their expense account was covered.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  8. I’d love to see a moderate third party . . . if it took enough votes from the Democrats that it aided a very conservative Republican candidate to win.

    We aren’t expecting your vote.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  9. Mr M wrote:

    Why would a ticket of, say, Ryan-Manchin lose? The real problem is ballot access, but if the effing Libertarians can do it in all 50 states, then why can’t a much larger group?

    And no Libertarian candidate has ever won a single gubernatorial, congressional or state legislative race. They have won a couple of campaigns for township auditor or water commission boards or dog catcher.

    The libertarian, but not Libertarian, Dana (577408)

  10. “Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. And moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.” — Barry Goldwater

    Lost by 23% margin.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  11. And no Libertarian candidate has ever won a single gubernatorial, congressional or state legislative race.

    True, but you miss my point. The point is they got on all 50 ballots. A centrist party’s real obstacle is ballot access. With the major parties running crazy-ass wingnuts, a centrist party has a decent chance to win a plurality in enough states.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  12. Mr M wrote:

    Bill Kristol, Mike Murphy, etc, would put up with Satan as long as their expense account was covered.

    Max Boot, who was born in the USSR, and escaped with his parents when he was seven, once wrote that he’d vote for Josef Stalin over Donald Trump. Considering that he was born into a Jewish family in Russia, that’s a pretty amazing thing for him to say.

    Yet somehow, some way, none of these people who claimed that President Trump was a fascist dictator ever wound up in a concentration camp. It’s almost as though they were wrong about that!

    The libertarian, but not Libertarian, Dana (577408)

  13. Mr M wrote:

    “Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. And moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.” — Barry Goldwater

    Lost by 23% margin.

    Yet Mr Goldwater’s candidacy is often credited for paving the way for Ronald Reagan to win in 1980.

    Mr Goldwater was right.

    The libertarian, but not Libertarian, Dana (577408)

  14. And, I’ve said this before: Even if you lose, you still have something.

    Ross Perot tried this — and led the polls in the spring — but then he self-destructed. And he still got 19% of the vote. This isn’t impossible.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  15. Mr Goldwater was right.

    Mr Goldwater was against civil rights for black folk. Voted against it, too. Is that where you want to stand?

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  16. Who exemplifies moderate generic Republicans? Greg Abbott? Scott Walker? Chris Christe? Ron DeSantis?

    Who exemplifies a RINO? Jeb Bush? Mitt Romney? Lisa Murkowski?

    And who is the second-most “Trumpy” candidate one might consider? Mike Pence?

    Even the blind men were able to describe the mythical elephant in terms of reak things like a snake or a tree trunk. Help us imagine your elephant.

    Pouncer (6c33cf)

  17. Thank you small “l” libertarian Dana. Well said.

    NJRob (1d3b14)

  18. Of course I’d vote for the Reaganite candidate. Reagan was the best president of my lifetime (not counting the short time between my birth and the Kennedy assassination).

    This third party idea is problematic. For one thing, there’s no money in it for the ideological cable channels or talk radio. Few on either medium would dare take a break from the poo flinging, and risk losing market share. And for another, a moderate third party is entirely too rational for many Americans, for whom politics is a passion akin to religion.

    The different schools of thought on how to counter Trump are fascinating. Jonah Goldberg (and perhaps others at The Dispatch) support a third party. Bill Kristol (and maybe others at The Bulwark) advocate voting for Democrats. And then there is National Review, which appears to support fighting against Trump while staying in the Republican Party. Who’s right? Damned if I know.

    norcal (b9a35f)

  19. “The point is they got on all 50 ballots.”

    Sure, imagine if Gary Johnson and Bill Weld had run a serious campaign in 2016? I wanted to like them….and then they started paying gratuitous compliments to Hillary Clinton, couldn’t set aside the wackier elements of the libertarian agenda, and…well….Aleppo. But imagine a strategy that said: a. we are governors with government executive experience that neither of these other two candiates have, b. we will focus on 2 or 3 moderate and modest ideas, c. neither of these other candidates have the temperament for the office, d. we will not embarrass you, e. we will work with both parties to make progress on our 2 or 3 priorities and we will stock our cabinet with people from both parties, and f. we will earn your trust. I’m not saying that they would’ve won….neither man’s personality was especially engaging (not weird)…but it certainly could have been interesting.

    “there’s no money in it for the ideological cable channels or talk radio”

    This is the biggest hurdle. If it’s not another super-rich Perot-like fella, then you would need one of those to finance the 3rd party and create the media access. Of course MSNBC and FNC would be gunning for the perceived interloper…because they are both heavily invested in their narratives. The challenge is finding that right person…or team to run. I think Paul Ryan is a great choice (Mitch Daniels another) but most moderate lefties aren’t probably that thrilled. Both parties have killed off the long-suffering moderates…oh there are a few hanger-ons…but no one with much gravitas. Maybe Kasich?

    “fighting against Trump while staying in the Republican Party”

    Voting Democrat in the current climate just isn’t a real option. Carving out a wing of the GOP….just gives Trump an easy target and a built-in whipping boy. I’m warming to a 3rd party because it conveys that neither current major party is healthy…and there’s no perfuming up the cadaver in the corner….and a healthy middle wants another option. It would also beat holding my nose and yet again writing-in a sane choice. There’s a lane down the middle….cue the armadillo analogies. Average Joe’s are being exhausted by the rhetoric…and the rancor. Some in the media would jump at a new narrative….let’s start tomorrow….

    AJ_Liberty (a4ff25)

  20. Brett Weinstein’s #unity2020 hashtag tried to push a Crenshaw/Gabbard ticket. It was banned from twitter, and for other reasons went exactly nowhere.

    But that’s a ticket I’d vote for.

    I hope there might be a lane open for candidates who can non-ideologically express strong values and policy tradeoffs, as both of them do. I hope the Pacific is as blue as it has been in my dreams. I hope.

    Marc (586943)

  21. Jonah Goldberg and David French call for a “Reaganite” third party.

    If Goldberg and French had been around in 1976 and 1980 they would have been against Reagan with every fiber of their being.

    DN (181662)

  22. If the choice is between a Reaganite and Trump, of course I’m voting for the Reaganite (as long as he isn’t interested in being a totalitarian dictator).

    My main problem with Trump, first and foremost and above all others is that he seems to want to be a totalitarian dictator. That’s the very top of my decision making flow-chart. Regardless of what else you believe, the number one for me is that the president is and should be an elected position. This is also my problem with Trump’s followers, first and foremost.

    I have some ideological issues with some Reaganite type concerns, but that’s leaps and bounds less important than my issues with someone who wants to over-rule the most basic foundation of the country.

    If my choice is a moderate vs a Trumpist vs a Bernie-ite, I’ll vote the moderate every time. I am not an ideologue. I want people to look at the actual problems and propose actual practical doable solutions. I want real debate on whether proposed solutions are really solving the problems or just feeding money into someone’s pet project (or just gaining them media attention). None of that exists in a world where extremists hold too much power.

    Nic (896fdf)

  23. My main problem with Trump, first and foremost and above all others is that he seems to want to be a totalitarian dictator.

    I know Trumpheads (my favorite term, with apologies to whomever liked “Trumpistas” on the other thread, because it’s similar to “Deadheads”) who don’t see it that way. My family, for instance. They love the Constitution, and don’t consider Trump a threat to it. Crazy, I know, considering what he did after the election.

    The problem with wannabe dictators is they never come out and say, “I want to be a dictator.”

    The sad truth is that when Trump started his campaign back in 2015 he said all sorts of outrageous things, addressing legitimate issues using exaggerated, professional wrestling rhetoric. It was shocking, but instead of being repulsed, many were thrilled, and fell in love with Trump. He took complicated matters and boiled them down to comic book level, and guess who the superhero was? You got it.

    Yes, people fell in love with him, and from them on they were clay in his hands. They believe whatever he says, like he’s some kind of religious (more like cult) leader. They just shrug off the damaging things he says. Like what, you say? Behold:

    “They [immigrants] are rapists and criminals.” Way too broad a brush here, and as a former immigration officer I support enforcement, but this is not the way to talk about the issue.

    “I don’t trust that judge to be fair. He’s Hispanic.” Anybody who says something like this has no business seeking the office of President.

    “They should go back where they came from.” They? Only one of the four was from another country. What an idiotic and divisive thing to say. Even Trump’s friend Geraldo Rivera wouldn’t defend this statement.

    Then there was the tweet where he criticized Biden and laughed it up with Kim Jong-un. How reprehensible to team up with a dictator against one’s domestic political opponent in a democracy.

    And who can forget the “perfect call”, where he said, “We need a favor, though.” Despicable.

    Of all the things Trump said or did, the worst was the claim that the election was stolen. You see, Trump loves calling other people “losers”, so he cannot and will not admit defeat. Ever. He will push this lie until he’s six feet under, at which point Uday and Qusay will probably pick up the baton.

    Any one of these things should have turned people off to Trump, but it didn’t happen, because love is so blind that the lover can’t see things clearly. We’ve all known people who are in love with somebody that is all kinds of wrong, and some us have even talked to them until we were blue in the face, but the person just won’t hear why the object of their love is wrong. Sad!

    norcal (b9a35f)

  24. Ask the green party and libertarian party how easy it is to get ballot access. They spend all their time and money just getting on the ballot. A moderate third party would have new laws passed to keep them off the ballot and court judges are put in office by the two parties. Most advocates for a third party are completely ignorant of the history of the battles of third party access to ballot ;but to the ignorant it sounds great!

    asset (6ed147)

  25. I’d love another opportunity to vote for Romney / Ryan or a similar type of ticket; smart, less corrupt then average for a professional POL, competent,, good personal character, not obsessed with culture war conspiracies or primarily motivated by ‘owning’ the other side.

    It would be great to vote for that ticket.

    In a lot of previous elections I’d vote Libertarian. I knew they weren’t going to win, but I wanted the GOP to see that there were votes to pick up in limited government policies. But they’ve gone a different direction and went after votes front he ethno-nationalists and conspiracy nuts.

    Time123 (9f42ee)

  26. Honestly I think a a 3rd party is way to long a shot. A coalition within the party might have more success.

    Time123 (9f42ee)

  27. All this talk is just talk unless some Democrats are recruited or noisily walk away from the party to this new party…until that time, it will never pass the authenticity test and remain regarded as a DNC cockblock vote split maneuver.

    To DNs point, it’s hard to tell where French/Goldberg would fall in 1976…that was probably a strange election (the last stand of White Southern Democrats, Ohio denying a Wolverine it’s then larger cache of EVs, CA-NJ-IL still big R) but they’d probably be John Anderson stans in 1980.

    urbanleftbehind (d4e48a)

  28. My main point was French/Goldberg in 1976-80 would have opposed Reagan for the GOP nomination in both years.

    The Republican establishment was against Reagan in 1976 almost as much as it was Trump in 2016. By 1980 Reagan had cultivated the establishment. Yes, French/Goldberg would have been for John Anderson in 1980.

    DN (181662)

  29. Bill Kristol just tweeted:

    “Until the democracy is safe and the authoritarians are sent back to their corner,

    I might agree with that if Bill were talking about China. But he’s not.

    We should be more concerned about the vast network of authoritarians who could only gin up about a dozen people (maybe less – can’t get a firm headcount on how many were FBI undercovers or sources) to rally in support of 1/6.

    Hoi Polloi (093fb9)

  30. Nic wrote:

    My main problem with Trump, first and foremost and above all others is that he seems to want to be a totalitarian dictator.

    Does he? Well, who knows what he thinks privately, but in four years in office he never really attempted to be.

    And since then? We have an incompetent numbskull trying to impose vaccine mandates, on everyone, whether they wish to comply or not, who wants to have every banking transaction of $600 or more reported to the Infernal Revenue Service, who wants people objecting at school board meetings declared ‘domestic terrorists,’ and wants to override all state laws on abortion. Just who really wants to be a ‘totalitarian dictator’?

    The libertarian, but not Libertarian, Dana (577408)

  31. Jonah, no thank you. Why not throw in Max Boot, Jen Rubin, David Frum and Bill Kristol too?

    They are so blinded by hate for Trump that they’d willingly turn the country over to the open borders/climate and capitalism are the real problems/anti-Voter ID/defund the police/equity-CRT in all schools and businesses/preferred pronouns or get a fine/vax mandates for everyone revolucion! circus clowns.

    Obudman (3ad45c)

  32. An effective third party is one that would be able to elect ten senators on a consistent basis.

    If a group of disaffected governors and congresspeople were to switch their affiliation to the Green party, it might be possible to achieve this in a short period of time.

    John B Boddie (9f8361)

  33. 30 – it’s the people who think they defended the Constitution and conquered Trump authoritarianism that are shouting for the unvaxxed to be barred from shopping/dining/travel/employment with a straight face.

    Obudman (3ad45c)

  34. New York’s Conservative Party would endorse the Trump candidate or someone close to it but not the George W Bush style Republican.

    I think a moderate center right candidate could well win the presidency in 2024 – but he has to make a decision by early 2023.

    This time around, if Trump announces he will run or endorses somebody generally unacceptable to, let’s say, suburban voters, the picture of who the candidates are going to be (the Democrat would be shaping up to be either Biden or Kamala Harris) in the fall 2024 Presidential election could be clear enough to get someone into the race.

    If that person wins, that’s the end of the Trump Republican party, no matter what happens with Congress.

    Sammy Finkelman (b434ee)

  35. They are so blinded by hate for Trump that they’d willingly turn the country over to the open borders/climate and capitalism are the real problems/anti-Voter ID/defund the police/equity-CRT in all schools and businesses/preferred pronouns or get a fine/vax mandates for everyone revolucion! circus clowns.

    Moderate means closer to open borders, and certainly perriodic predictable amnesty (I.e. a statute of limitations.

    Democrats are actually afraid of this issue but somehow not scared of “equity”

    A moderate party must allow for different positions on almost everything except crazy things/

    Sammy Finkelman (b434ee)

  36. They are so blinded by hate for Trump that they’d willingly turn the country over to

    OR: they believe that it’s up to the voters to “turn the country over” to one party or another for a few years, and that a sitting president who attempts to remain in office after being voted out is a menace to our constitutional system.

    Radegunda (803a6e)

  37. I don’t see a moderate 3rd party happening because abortion is still a political dividing line, but I would join a viable traditional conservative party in a heartbeat. The key word is “viable”.
    However, it would be more practical for something like the NY Conservative Party, a GOP adjunct. I’ll settle for a traditional conservative wing or caucus, in part to serve as a foil to Trump and his Pat Buchananesque brand of nationalism-populism-xenophobia.
    As for Trump, I never have and never will vote for him. Too unfit. I may not vote for the candidate who hews too closely to Trump and his Trumpasms.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  38. Who exemplifies a RINO? Jeb Bush? Mitt Romney? Lisa Murkowski?

    Murkowski lost the GOP nomination in 2010, then won election as a write-in Independent.

    She wasn’t even a RINO, but she DID win.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  39. In a lot of previous elections I’d vote Libertarian. I knew they weren’t going to win, but I wanted the GOP to see that there were votes to pick up in limited government policies. But they’ve gone a different direction and went after votes from the ethno-nationalists and conspiracy nuts.

    Yes, but in the LP case knowing they cannot win makes it a valid protest vote. I would rather have voted for a viable centrist in the last two elections.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  40. The way I put it is like this:

    “Am I compromising with you or are you compromising with me?”

    In all such previous ‘coffee party’ kinds of moderate compromises, I the conservative am being asked to give up my principles now, and you the liberal promise that maybe you’ll give up some principles later, but you never do, and my principles are gone.

    So how about this? We have a Compromise party where all the people who are socially liberal but economically conservative join the Compromise party for twenty years and the Compromise party votes rigorously Republican so as to get all of the economically conservative and rule-of-law and all those other benefits. They promise to assume that very little will happen on the abortion and other social issues thing – that takes a while. (Whether or not it takes a while in reality depends.)

    How’s that work?

    ingot9455 (64b88b)

  41. BTW, go read the whole thing.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  42. I don’t see a moderate 3rd party happening because abortion is still a political dividing line

    Is it really? The extreme positions (never-ever vs 3rd-trimester secret abortions for minors) garner only minority support combined. There’s a middle 60% there. The problem was never Roe, but the lengths to which later decisions stretched Roe.

    The screaming about the TX law is largely about the 6-week timeframe and the nutbar mob-sourcing, not so much about idea that abortions can be limited in some way. Sure, some have a problem with any restrictions (or any abortions) but it’s not what the middle wants.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  43. What about a Devolutionary party whose main goal is not federal policy, which it remains agnostic about, but in returning power and choices to the states?

    It seems to me that the Trump vs AOC problem is that the choice is between which authoritarian one prefers, when the real answer is not authoritarian. The best way to avoid authoritarian federal government is to make it useless for authoritarians.

    The Founders attempted that with the separation of powers that was designed to frustrate authoritarians (and certainly frustrated Trump, and several in the past (FDR, I’m looking at you)), but there are ways that a concerted effort could overcome that (packing the Court being a favorite).

    So, devolve power. Let the states BE different. Don’t like Texas? Move to Colorado or New Mexico. It’s not that hard and there is always someone wanting to move the other way.

    So, if we had a centrist party, that’s the platform. Let the states decide and return the federal government to its core duties.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  44. What about a Devolutionary party whose main goal is not federal policy, which it remains agnostic about, but in returning power and choices to the states?

    I’d be in. But social conservatives lost interest in limiting government. They might play lip service to it but that’s about it. The dems never wanted to limit government. This isn’t even a principle they pretend to care about.

    Time123 (9f42ee)

  45. RIP: Colin Powell, 84, complications of Covid, with underlying cause multiple myeloma which made his vaccination mostly useless.

    “General Colin L. Powell, former U.S. Secretary of State and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, passed away this morning due to complications from Covid 19,” the Powell family wrote on Facebook, noting he was fully vaccinated.

    A source familiar with the matter said Powell had multiple myeloma, a cancer of plasma cells that suppresses the body’s immune response. Even if fully vaccinated against Covid-19, those who are immunocompromised are at greater risk from the virus.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  46. @40, Ingot, show me the socially conservative fiscally conservative small government candidate you’re thinking of. I’d be interested in that candidate but I don’t see them on the landscape.

    Time123 (9f42ee)

  47. Candidate doesn’t matter, Time123. Only how many Democrats would join the Compromise and vote Republican on that basis.

    ingot9455 (64b88b)

  48. I think ingot said socially liberal, fiscally conservative, small government. Libertarian-lite. The party polarization on social issues makes this a bit hard to discern.

    But how about Condi Rice?

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  49. What about a Devolutionary party whose main goal is not federal policy, which it remains agnostic about, but in returning power and choices to the states?

    So, devolve power. Let the states BE different. Don’t like Texas? Move to Colorado or New Mexico. It’s not that hard and there is always someone wanting to move the other way.

    So, if we had a centrist party, that’s the platform. Let the states decide and return the federal government to its core duties.

    Kevin M (ab1c11) — 10/18/2021 @ 8:57 am

    This is very much like what I was saying earlier (@ #4). I would absolutely be in favor of such a party, and would give it my vote. But I would have to be convinced that at least some of its leaders really meant what they said. I want at least a few people with track records of voting that way, or supporting those positions. (And there aren’t many of those.)

    Demosthenes (dc84c2)

  50. I think a moderate center right candidate could well win the presidency in 2024 – but he has to make a decision by early 2023.

    If that person wins, that’s the end of the Trump Republican party, no matter what happens with Congress.

    Sammy Finkelman (b434ee) — 10/18/2021 @ 7:26 am

    I wonder if two people in the political center, explicitly running as a unity ticket, might be an even better bet. A figure from the center-left, and a figure from the center-right. They might pledge that, regardless of which of them is on the “top“ of the ticket, they would govern as a team. Perhaps their central message might be “We will work with people from both sides of the aisle to find practical solutions to America’s problems. Any person of good will is welcome on our team.”

    Demosthenes (dc84c2)

  51. Sorry, posted too soon. I was going to add: perhaps that might be the end of the extremists driving both buses, not just one.

    Demosthenes (dc84c2)

  52. @20

    Brett Weinstein’s #unity2020 hashtag tried to push a Crenshaw/Gabbard ticket. It was banned from twitter, and for other reasons went exactly nowhere.

    But that’s a ticket I’d vote for.

    I hope there might be a lane open for candidates who can non-ideologically express strong values and policy tradeoffs, as both of them do. I hope the Pacific is as blue as it has been in my dreams. I hope.

    Marc (586943) — 10/17/2021 @ 9:01 pm

    Now that’d be a fine ticket imo.

    whembly (a23745)

  53. You could start in California with a moderate 2nd party.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  54. Things that will stop most Democrats from joining this center party: A hard line against abortion or gay rights.

    Things that will stop most Republicans from joining this center party: CRT, gun control or a hard line in favor of abortion.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  55. Here’s what the Democrats would have in store for us all, should the nation go the way of California:

    https://www.foxnews.com/politics/california-gas-powered-lawn-banned-newsom

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  56. 55. That’s a minor problem (no gasoline powered lawn mowers)

    Banning fracking and the sale of all new gas-powered cars and trucks in California by 2035 is worse.

    The electricity goes down and now telephones and transportation can go with it..

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  57. Demosthenes (dc84c2) — 10/18/2021 @ 1:06 pm

    Perhaps their central message might be “We will work with people from both sides of the aisle to find practical solutions to America’s problems. Any person of good will is welcome on our team.”

    People will want examples.

    Each pasrty noe tries to prove the other unacceptable. They sometimes want issues even if they win. Then there are certain things they really do waant or feel they need todo.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  58. 38. And then Joe Lieberman in 2006 who lost the Dem oriary but won the election. He couldn;t duplicate that of course after six years..

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  59. That’s a minor problem (no gasoline powered lawn mowers)

    Did you read the actual article?

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  60. “But I would have to be convinced that at least some of its leaders really meant what they said.”

    McCain/Lieberman would have been about as close as this has come. We’ve lost all of the Democrat bluedogs with the reshuffling of the teams of the past two decades (Shelby et al). Gone are the Sam Nunn’s or even Evan Bayh’s. Manchin and Romney maybe….but Romney is past his prime….and Manchin like Susan Collins is more of an odd WVA duck…then a star. It’s unclear whether there is someone with enough personality to carry such a risky opportunity. Probably not…

    AJ_Liberty (ec7f74)

  61. Why does a nascent third party need to start out by proposing a presidential candidate? Why not pick one or two senatorial seats and focus on winning those?

    John B Boddie (9f8361)

  62. If Patterico were sent to San Quentin, he’d be confronted with the Hobbesian choice of joining the Aryan Brotherhood or getting the crap kicked out of him, or worse. In prison, your race defines who your enemies will be. You can pretend that you can, and strive to form the Rainbow Coalition of Prisoners (eg. The Moderate Party), but it would be a futile gesture. Joining the Aryan Brotherhood doesn’t mean that you’re signing up for their racist agenda, it just means that you’re seeking protection. Voting for Trump is like joining the Aryan Brotherhood in jail. When the Democrats are serious about making Puerto Rico and Washington, DC states, and converting 20 million illegal immigrants into Democrat-voting citizens, and enabling corrupt mail-in voting policies nationwide, then the time for moderation has long passed. Don’t bring a knife to a gun fight.

    The Wean Corps (70abd7)

  63. @62 What an idea. Lets use criminals as models of how to govern society.

    norcal (b9a35f)

  64. Kevin M (ab1c11) — 10/18/2021 @ 2:45 pm

    Did you read the actual article?

    I scanned it. It talked about a lot of things.

    It says:

    phase out the sale of new gas-powered equipment using small off-road engines, which can include anything from lawn mowers to backup generators to pressure washers.

    Maybe the other things – I think if it outlaws backup generators that could be a problem, but it apparently only does one type. Making mowing lawns inconvenient or more expensive is a minor problem 0 it won’t make people very unhappy.

    Sammy Finkelman (c49738)

  65. The Wean Corps (70abd7) — 10/18/2021 @ 3:38 pm

    Hmm. Not your best work.

    Demosthenes (3fd56e)

  66. Time to deal with the parade of banalities:

    “I don’t trust that judge to be fair. He’s Hispanic.” Anybody who says something like this has no business seeking the office of President.”

    The number of people on left and right who not only have no problem with this statement and can make a strong, sensible, factual defense of it are far greater than any total number of people who will ever vote for a libertarian candidate. Correction, the number of Hispanic people who can do so (at rates Americans won’t take!) are still probably higher.

    ““They should go back where they came from.” They? Only one of the four was from another country. What an idiotic and divisive thing to say. Even Trump’s friend Geraldo Rivera wouldn’t defend this statement.”

    Was Geraldo Rivera ever President? Maybe Trump knows something fundamental about how national loyalty actually works that those who worship paper certificates and paper positions don’t.

    “Lets use criminals as models of how to govern society.”

    Lots of criminals and ‘criminals’ have actually managed to govern their societies, the only question is whether the model scales or whether it’s a unique product of a specific ecological niche that dies outside it without intervention, like Hollywood pedo networks or Italian mafias or Lincoln Project DC Grifterhoods.

    “But I would have to be convinced that at least some of its leaders really meant what they said. I want at least a few people with track records of voting that way, or supporting those positions.”

    The greatest part of voting for Trump is that you never really had to worry about this. He did, in fact, hate the people we hated, did everything in his power to stymie their efforts, confound their politics, and frustrate their knavish tricks. Which you can only really do properly when fueled by personal experience and personal vendettas against them.

    You can vote for Mythical Libertarian Candidate X to take Pie-in-the-Sky Position Y motivated only by Love Of Pure Ideology Z, or you can vote for a human candidate appealing to other humans who has a history of enabling a large advancement of common-sense positions, common-law judges and commonly-held prosperity.

    Russobot 47 (8132c1)

  67. An argument FOR the Reaganite alternative is that, after throwing the Presidential election to the Democrats, the second party that survives might not be the Trumpist one. Also, there is no certainty that House and Senate elections would be greatly impacted, although incumbents would probably have to pick a side.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  68. @64: It give a long list of actions that add up to a nightmare. It also leaves out a lot of things that are also bad.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  69. Why not pick one or two senatorial seats and focus on winning those?

    Or House seats. A Reaganite alternative in a R+30 district does not necessarily elect a Democrat. Liz Cheney might well be a good candidate in Wyoming.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  70. 61. John B Boddie (9f8361) — 10/18/2021 @ 3:37 pm

    Why does a nascent third party need to start out by proposing a presidential candidate? Why not pick one or two senatorial seats and focus on winning those?

    The reason a lot of people would want a third party is because of what’s happened to the choice of presidential candidates.

    They could go after Congress, too.

    Sammy Finkelman (c49738)

  71. The greatest part of voting for Trump is that you never really had to worry about this. He did, in fact, hate the people we hated, did everything in his power to stymie their efforts, confound their politics, and frustrate their knavish tricks.

    No, he did not.

    He TALKED a lot about doing such things, and he led a good two-minute-hate, but the other side ran roughshod over him because he didn’t have a fracking clue how the system worked. Not one thing he did, other than raising my taxes, stood up — it was either deep-sixed by the courts, by Congress or by Biden on his first day in office.

    He may have been the man-on-the-horse, but he insisted on riding the horse sideways, and blamed everyone else when the horse kept stumbling.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  72. 69.

    https://trib.com/news/state-and-regional/govt-and-politics/the-push-to-bring-runoff-elections-to-wyoming-isnt-finished/article_36837df8-04b7-568e-88bc-3ac087c6e9b8.html

    The Joint Committee on Corporations, Elections and Political Subdivisions voted in June to draft two election reform bills. If passed, one would institute a “jungle primary.” The other would institute a ranked-choice system.

    However, the committee deciding not to draft legislation that would necessitate a runoff election if no candidate achieves a majority of the votes. And at the end of the meeting, it seemed as though the committee had shelved the idea of runoff legislation until further notice.

    But Rep. Chip Neiman, R-Hulett, who is not a member of the committee but has taken a lead role on the runoff effort, requested that the Legislative Service Office draft a runoff election bill that would go into effect in 2023, in time for the 2024 statewide elections.

    Sammy Finkelman (c49738)

  73. The reason a lot of people would want a third party is because of what’s happened to the choice of presidential candidates.

    Yes, although much the same has happened in Congress, too. It could be argued that legislators can change, but Trump and Bernie and AOC cannot. Many legislators blow with the wind and currently the wind comes from Vichy.

    If you really want to defang the extremes, we need structural changes. The easiest one, requiring no federal Constitutional change, is to elect multiple House members in each district, with each voter getting one vote. In many districts this will result in a spectrum of Representatives who will better represent the mix of people in their district.

    This could be applied to the state legislatures, too, and can be done state-by-state. There may be a federal law that has to change; not sure about that.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  74. You could start in California with a moderate 2nd party.

    Kevin M (ab1c11) — 10/18/2021 @ 1:48 pm

    It would still lose.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  75. @72: The changes sought in Wyoming are regarding party primaries, to prevent Liz Cheney from winning the GOP primary with a plurality due to too many challengers. The ranked choice or other runoff procedures don’t apply to the general election.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  76. It would still lose.

    I know moderate California Democrats who dislike the direction their party is taking, but have some litmus test issues (e.g. abortion) that the GOP candidates cannot meet. The hard Left is in control in California and is opposed by a rump plurality of non-Democrats who are focused on social issues almost exclusively. The GOP in CA behaves like a 3rd party, with purer-than-thou politics at the state level.

    Schwarzenegger won twice in CA with a lot of Democrat votes. This was one of the reasons the state Democrat machine did its level best to destroy him — they feared his inroads.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  77. A “moderate” third party (whatever that means) can never be successful because both major parties would see it as a threat, unless it was led by a charismatic personality. Political moderates certainly don’t have the motivations that extreme ideological voters have to participate.

    A “third party” in our electoral system can only exist when one of the major parties is in terminal decline (Republicans replacing the Whig Party), something that is not happening now.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  78. Schwarzenegger won twice in CA with a lot of Democrat votes.

    Purely on the power of his personality, no Republican politician could have pulled it off. The current tally of votes in the recall have Newsom winning with 61.9% of the vote.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  79. The current tally of votes in the recall have Newsom winning with 61.9% of the vote.

    Because the alternative was the typical GOP whackjob who was far more interested in leading the Trumpist choir than getting elected. Typical 3rd party politics.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  80. A “third party” in our electoral system can only exist when one of the major parties is in terminal decline (Republicans replacing the Whig Party), something that is not happening now.

    It has been going on in California for decades. There is utterly no hope that a GOP candidate will win any statewide office in CA in the foreseeable future. It’s not declining, it has hit bottom. Which is why I say start there.

    Traffic. Water. Energy. Crime. Homeless-magnets. Whitebread issues. Take a middle position on social issues (i.e. live-and-let-live and “it’s a federal issue”), stop with the immigrant-bashing and accept that 40% of the voters are (or soon will be) Hispanic and Catholic.

    Neither party is doing this now, and there is a need for a “Fixing our problems” platform rhather than the two parties’ message of radical change.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  81. For someone who has left California you still seem obsessed with it.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  82. The greatest part of voting for Trump is that you never really had to worry about this. He did, in fact, hate the people we hated…

    Russobot 47 (8132c1) — 10/18/2021 @ 9:24 pm

    Really? Xi Jinping? Kim Jong-un? Vladimir Putin? He LOVED those guys!

    Oh, Socko, you used to be better. #GetWellSoon

    Demosthenes (d84ff8)

  83. “He TALKED a lot about doing such things, and he led a good two-minute-hate, but the other side ran roughshod over him because he didn’t have a fracking clue how the system worked.”

    More prattle.

    The other side has been in power for a grand total of 9 months and their massive and complete failures on all public counts are too numerous to recount here. THAT’S what ‘running roughshod over common sense and experience’ looks like, THAT’S what complete abandonment of principles looks like, THAT’S what ‘rule by experts without the input of the plebians’ looks like. When Trump was in power, they were scared, they had hostile eyes on their every action, and we got excellent performance from them as a result! When Trump was gone, all hell broke loose.

    “Not one thing he did, other than raising my taxes, stood up — it was either deep-sixed by the courts, by Congress or by Biden on his first day in office.”

    As it turnes out, in Washington DC, the people enforcing the rules matter and personnel is policy, wow, what a shocker. Why would anyone ever vote for Democrats when they know the DNC slate is going to be in every key position afterward, then? Why should we make any pretensions at bipartisanship when we know they don’t intend to rule as anything but partisans? How does any of this support your position?

    “He may have been the man-on-the-horse, but he insisted on riding the horse sideways, and blamed everyone else when the horse kept stumbling.”

    Whatever, two-face, ‘he constantly passed up opportunities to charge the cannons head on’ is a complaint only our enemies make. So is every other complaint you enumerate. Trump was good for the common people and good for the little guy, and not a single institutional Republican that disavowed him has proven trustworthy in representing anything but their own interests and their own interests alone.

    Rejoinderman (8ce97c)

  84. For someone who has left California you still seem obsessed with it.

    As I’ve repeatedly said to you, I consider myself an expatriate. I would love to see it come to its sense before it crashes and burns, but I had to get myself out of harm’s way.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  85. It would be interesting to see how a VPN blocker would clean up the site.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  86. Rejoinderman (8ce97c) — 10/19/2021 @ 12:19 pm

    Socko wants to be known as Disjointedman now. I admit that’s a cute effort at rebranding, but…

    #OriginalFlavorSocko #AcceptNoSubstitutes #WeLoveYouSocko

    Demosthenes (3fd56e)

  87. Mr M wrote:

    For someone who has left California you still seem obsessed with it.

    As I’ve repeatedly said to you, I consider myself an expatriate.

    Am I an expatriate, given that I moved out of the Pyrite State after finishing the 2nd grade?

    Of course, expatriate normally refers to someone who has left his native country. Perhaps you are saying that California is no longer really American?

    The libertarian, but not Libertarian, Dana (577408)

  88. Informative discontinued blog (in 2009) by writer Deborah Lipstadt

    http://lipstadt.blogspot.com

    She wrote a good book:

    https://www.emory.edu/news/Releases/lipstadt1102718492.html

    She recounts her internationally publicized British libel trial in 2000 with a Holocaust denier in her forthcoming memoir, “History on Trial,” set for publication in February by HarperCollins.

    Lipstadt made headlines around the world when she was exonerated in a British court on libel charges bought by David Irving, a noted Holocaust denier. At issue were passages from Lipstadt’s 1993 book, “Denying the Holocaust,” in which she named Irving as one of the most dangerous proponents of the denial movement. While the result was a resounding victory for the truth of Lipstadt’s words, the road to triumph was anything but easy.

    Sammy Finkelman (c49738)

  89. Blog that ended in 2013:

    https://sashinka.blogspot.com

    There’s lots of god stuff buried in the web (this was the person who helped Deborah Lipstadt start her blog.

    Sammy Finkelman (c49738)

  90. Rejoinderman (8ce97c) — 10/19/2021 @ 12:19 pm

    When Trump was in power, they were scared, they had hostile eyes on their every action, and we got excellent performance from them as a result!

    When Trump was in power, we had other experts, who often had to get around him. What you say could be somewhat true of the FDA and the CDC, partially because they had politically appointed superiors but actually Trump gave it to some things where he shouldn’t have.

    He pushed the vaccine. He only gave a mild push to the neutralizing monoclonal antibodies and as a result they were underused and under-supplied. To the antiviral pills he gave no help at all. If he touted some useless or inadequate ideas, he stopped promoting them after a while. He demagogued about Covid restrictions, but he didn’t stop any, and they were a combination of nearly useless, and somewhat useful things with important things left out and could only buy time and freeze the situation, Trump’s motive was the economy.

    Sammy Finkelman (c49738)


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