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Ha.  I was driving down the road and decided that I was going to try being a centrist.  I drove straight down the middle and it was so weird because there were all these people in the oncoming lane honking at me and people behind who were looking at me like I was crazy.

Once I got to the grocery store, I parked my cart right in the center of every aisle.  None could pass on either side until I was done with my casual review of the store shelves and putting my selections in my basket.

Later when I went out to a party, I decided to stand in the front doorway.  I couldn't go in entirely, but I couldn't be outside.  I needed to be in the center.  The hostess was somewhat annoyed at having to let her guests in through the back door so as to get them into the house, but I stood my ground.  I did.  

I called my family and friends and informed them of my new found centrist philosophy and explained to them that effectively, from this point forward, that makes me the center of the universe.  Any actions taken by them shall hence forth be moderated by me.  If one of them wants a sandwich for lunch, they only get half a sandwich.  If they want to go on vacation, they have to tell me what their proposed budget is and I will cut it back to an appropriate level as dictated by me and only me.  If they want to wear bright colors, I am going to insist on pastels.

One of the tasks that I most look forward to is moderating when someone is incredibly happy and excited about something happening in their lives.  I will always have a devastating tale of woe on hand, just to moderate the joy.  If they are going to get a really fantastic deal on a car or a house, I am going to call the sales folks and suggest that the deal is just "too good" for them.  Living a life of centerism means that you have to live in moderation no matter what.  For instance, if someone needs a course of chemotherapy in order to assist them in battling cancer, I am going to lobby for them either getting half of what is needed or making sure that they pay out-of-pocket for it.  Because how else will they learn?

As a moderate centrist, I fully support Toyota's apparent plan to address their accelleration and breaking problems by offering a fix that might not fix the problem.  I think that teaching their customers how to drive better so that Toyota doesn't have to go to the great expense of actually addressing what might be computer problems would be a very reasonable compromise.  Because the customers should learn how to protect themselves; and we can't let the corporation go bankrupt or offend the Japanese.  It would be just to extreme to ask Toyota to spend the large sums of money to actually fix the problems with their cars when people could easily adapt to not having control over their accelerators or breaks.

Which brings me to tort reform.  As a centrist moderate type person, it seems to me, that I should oppose people suing people or corporations for wrong-doing.  It is just too extreme to allow someone crippled for life to foist the burden of their life onto others.  Plus, there's the added insult to my delicate sensibilities that these sometimes gruesome court cases and their silly facts reveal.  Americans just don't need to be exposed to those horrific stories. Unless, and this is important, these stories are created by some terrorist and then I am all for plastering the gorey deatils absolutely everywhere.  I'll go down to the local nursery school with graphic photographs of bloodied humans and cute maimed animals and scare the living shit out of those three and four year-olds because, well, they NEED to know.  You may ask how this could be "moderate" or "centerist" and I will tell you how.  Those little tikes think that the world is a pretty nice place.  It is my job to moderate them - bring them to the center of reality.

You see, as a centrist it is my job to moderate everything and everyone.  I define the zone of what is "The Center".  You STFU and follow my instructions.  You are the extremist and you require my guidance.  I am the moderate centrist type person.  That's why you STFU and follow my instructions.  That's the way it works.  Got it?  Okay good.

Originally posted to inclusiveheart on Tue Mar 09, 2010 at 02:46 PM PST.

Poll

Centerism is the ONE and ONLY Way - Even when driving on a windy two-lane road?

41%14 votes
58%20 votes

| 34 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Can anyone imagine what it must be (13+ / 0-)

    like to live with Lieberman, the Nelson boys, Landrieu, Lincoln, Baucus et al?

    Must be a nightmare if they really are the so-called centerists they profess to be.

    •  They're not centrists. They're corporatists. (5+ / 0-)

      Huge difference. I understand the point you are trying to make, but the truth is; being moderate is not a bad thing. These self proclaimed centrists are just shills for certain corporations and industries.

      I'm a centrist Democrat. The reason I'm a centrist democrat is because deep down inside, I'm a socialist. If I lived in Vermont I would change my affiliation to the Socialist Party. I also believe that both parties usually have good ideas. The republicans have been making a liar out of me lately. but that is not to say they will never have a good idea again. I'd like to believe the two parties will find a way to work together without one party being a stumbling block to policy just because they don't like the idea of the other party being in power.

      Because of people like Sarah Palin we need the word retarded to explain what's happening in America - Bill Maher

      by psilocynic on Tue Mar 09, 2010 at 02:57:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  ?? (8+ / 0-)

        You're a moderate, a centrist, a socialist, you think both parties have "good ideas"?

        You forgot your snark tag.

        •  Centrists are often called moderates. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          inclusiveheart, VelvetElvis, Indexer

          Didn't think the two terms were mutually exclusive. And maybe I wasn't clear enough. I'm a centrist democrat by way of being a socialist, but I'm pragmatic. I want more social programs but I live in a country where that is a minority view point. So while I push for more social programs, I'm contented when there is compromise. Compromise usually means everyone got something they are happy with, and I'm fine with that. The so called centrist in the democratic party are not really centrist at all. They side with corporation and religions.

          But mostly we are all centrist because the definitions we use to create distinct lines of delineation are in constant flux.

          An alternate definition is to assume that the two poles in question (e.g., Left/Right) are well-defined, and then (i) define as 'centrist' any position which the Left considers too far Right and the Right considers too far Left, and (ii) define as a 'Centrist' any person who self-identifies more with those positions than either the Left or the Right. The weakness in this argument is that it is difficult to unambiguously and objectively define both poles at once, but that difficulty affects all political definitions, not just centrists.
          In practice, the two poles can only be well-defined in a specific place at a specific time, since they differ from place to place and change over time. Thus, "centrism" itself means different things in different places (depending on the local political spectrum) and changes over time. For example, ideas that were considered extremist 200 years ago (such as democracy and universal suffrage) are considered centrist today - while other ideas that were considered centrist 200 years ago (such as slavery and racism) are considered extremist today.

          Because of people like Sarah Palin we need the word retarded to explain what's happening in America - Bill Maher

          by psilocynic on Tue Mar 09, 2010 at 03:09:56 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Ahh, so you're saying nothing at all. (4+ / 0-)

            That's clearer. You're saying that a) you're not at an undefinable and non-existent extreme (You're neither a theocrat nor a Maoist), and b) you're not insane, so you'll take what is possible.

            Sure took you a lot of words to say that.

          •  We agree, but at the same time (10+ / 0-)

            your definition is not what the common understanding of "centrist" or "moderate" is right now.  You're a leftist extremist by these people's measure as am I.

            I pick a side on the road.  I can actually drive on either, BTW - have done both quite naturally - that's the good thing about dyslexia.  In any case, the problem we face right now is that people hear the word "centrist" or "moderate" and take that to mean that there is some flexible, non-ideological sensibility behind it when, in fact, some of these folks are operating in the most narrow and inflexible zone in the political spectrum.

            They tell everyone on either side that they are radical extremists, but they are so wed to their tiny plot of ideological land that they are really far more extreme in some ways than either groups on the left or the right.

            •  Like normal. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              inclusiveheart, 3goldens

              Normal is the most unusual, least likely and therefore most narrow existence known, and yet all breadth of expression somehow came to be measured by it's yardstick.

              And those who call themselves normal?
              They are liars.
              Always.

              And yet, they have, by naming themselves normal, the right to say to us: "God forfend if you are not normal; if you refuse to be normal, we might have to destroy you...."

              "In all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder, a secret order." Carl Jung

              by Unduna on Tue Mar 09, 2010 at 05:22:54 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  You just described me perfectly. (0+ / 0-)

            ---
            Toyota: Proof US Union Labor Still Does it Better

            by VelvetElvis on Tue Mar 09, 2010 at 03:49:32 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  I don't agree entirely. (14+ / 0-)

        First of all, the people I cite have twisted the notion of where the center would be in American democracy and that is one problem I mock.  But the first out of the gate - driving down the middle of a two lane road into oncoming traffic is a metaphor for those times in life where there is no real "moderate" answer to a problem.  You must pick a side sometimes - which side is better is sometimes debatable - but there are clearly two sides and no real middle through which to maneuver in some cases.  We've all faced those choices where you can't pick "both" "sort of".  This time in history is offering us some much clearer choices and there are people determined to blend them even when they are like oil and water.

      •  Name a Year Since Lincoln Was Shot When the (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        3goldens, trashablanca

        Republicans "usually" had good ideas.

        We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

        by Gooserock on Tue Mar 09, 2010 at 04:10:27 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  A socialist moderate? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        inclusiveheart, 3goldens

        Oh.
        My.
        Well.
        Hhhrrmmm.
        I, ummmm, well.
        Ok!

        "In all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder, a secret order." Carl Jung

        by Unduna on Tue Mar 09, 2010 at 05:15:50 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Hahahahaha! (12+ / 0-)

    Made me laugh right out loud.  You go, girl!  And the poll was a hoot!   Being called a "centerist" should be one of the most insulting things that could be tossed at anyone.  

    Trying to talk sense to crazy people never works.

    by 3goldens on Tue Mar 09, 2010 at 02:57:03 PM PST

  •  heh. i think you've outcentered the centrists (11+ / 0-)

    good job in exposing the limitations - and the hypocrisy.  plus you made me laugh.

  •  Just remember, without the center there (5+ / 0-)

    would be no snap, and without a snap,
    there would be no fumbles.

    "Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." -- Benito Mussolini

    by enhydra lutris on Tue Mar 09, 2010 at 03:02:13 PM PST

  •  Yellow stripe, Dead Possum nt (5+ / 0-)

    Die energie der Welt ist constant; die Entropie der welt strebt einem Maximum zu. - Rudolf Clausius, 1865

    by xgy2 on Tue Mar 09, 2010 at 03:05:41 PM PST

  •  It never ends... (7+ / 0-)

    Like a dog chasing its tail.

    My Jim Bunning is inflamed so I have been forced to use that toilet paper with the lanolin in it.

    by Bob Johnson on Tue Mar 09, 2010 at 03:16:12 PM PST

    •  I thought you'd be funnier than that. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      badger, conchita, Unduna

      Didn't you like the line about the pastels?

      Sheesh.  Tough crowd you are these days.

      •  Watching two groups here... (7+ / 0-)

        ... desperately trying to shove their thumbs into each others' eyes gets tiresome.

        My Jim Bunning is inflamed so I have been forced to use that toilet paper with the lanolin in it.

        by Bob Johnson on Tue Mar 09, 2010 at 03:24:48 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well, Bob, the reality is that (8+ / 0-)

          each of the groups is relevant, but neither is a panacea.  Right now, the centrist claim that they must moderate everything - most especially what they deem to be the "left".  Their enforcement of "moderate" policy has been anything but moderate and it has been impractical on a lot of fronts.

          I think that is worth talking about because if the Democratic Party is to actually govern effectively they will need to understand when moderation is appropriate and when they are required to step up to the plate and take bolder action.  We all make this decision daily in our own lives.  Most of us do not thow down the gauntlet every day, but most of us do not moderate as if it is the one and only way to live and survive.

          Some days we eat the whole sandwich and others we only eat half.  If we figure out how to use the factions of our coalition where they will shine rather than applying one or the other universally regardless of the situation we face, then we will have won more than half the battle.

          •  But it's not "either/or." (5+ / 0-)

            That's not what's going on here. The issue is way more complex than that.

            Yet, to read diaries like this and the rest of the self-righteous bloviating that filled the rec lists today, one would think we were right back to Dick Cheney days when every question had onlytwo side:

                        "You're either with us, or you're with the terrorists."

            Health care, out of any issue our elected officials are likely to tackle, has the most moving parts. Frankly, it's too complex for many folks to fully grasp, including many folks in Washington, apparently.

            So this constant back-and-forth between two camps here seems to me to be missing the point. We don't even discuss the issue any more. We just talk about who called who what name and what that name means. The discussion on "left," "centrist, "moderate," etc. has become more arcane than the legislation, itself. (Same goes for the "Obamabot-Lefty bomb-thrower" inanity.)

            All of these diaries become, essentially, Israeli-Palestinian diaries.

            Nothing is actually resolved, but plenty of personal epithets are hurled.

            Waste of time...

            My Jim Bunning is inflamed so I have been forced to use that toilet paper with the lanolin in it.

            by Bob Johnson on Tue Mar 09, 2010 at 03:56:51 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I agree that it is not either or and I happen to (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              conchita, Bluesee, 3goldens

              think that the elbowing of all of the constituencies of the Democratic Party - and others - is not helpful at all.  I could have picked a different day to go after the self-righteous centerists who are bound and determined to have it their way in this party, but today was the day that this diary wrote itself.  Today was the day that I got tired of being told that anyone and everyone who didn't walk in a straight line exactly perfectly on that double yellow stripe is "ignorant", "useless", "unrealistic", etc.

              You know, Bob, it really is safer for a whole host of reasons to walk on either side of the railroad tracks - not down the middle.  The notion that the middle is the ONLY way is bullshit and countre-productive to solving real problems.

              Again, this goes back to actually governing as opposed to campaigning and placating.  There are real moments where the middle is the very best course, but it is not the one and only way every single time you face a challenge.  The world poses complex problems and the best of the best are flexible and smart about problem-solving.  Instead of putting the ideology first be it left, right or center - the solution to the problem should come first.  The meltdown you are seeing is a result of our leadership's inability to look at the problems and respond honestly with effective policy rather than ideology.  That's a problem.  Sorry.

  •  Need one say more? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    inclusiveheart, blueoasis

    I think not

    Who you jivin' with that

    by cosmic debris on Tue Mar 09, 2010 at 03:19:00 PM PST

  •  Um.... (0+ / 0-)

    Drive down the left side of the road, and you're still going to be very unpopular with oncoming traffic... So I can only conclude that this is an appeal for folks to veer to the right?

    •  Depends on which country I am in doesn't it? (4+ / 0-)

      Actually, the reality is that on some things either of the two extreme routes would likely fare better than the center route would and that's the point.  I prefer the left, but oddly sometimes you will find that a middle of the road approach will actually be more damaging than a left or right solution might - and that is largely because a purer solution - again in some cases - not all - will reduce the potential for conflict that could create damage - aka unintended consequences, etc.

  •  Let's all draw up our camps and get our (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mnguy66, the mom in the middle

    guns out. Anybody who's not with me shall be shot. Anybody who's with the other side, shall be shot. Anybody who wants to get something done, shall be shot.

    Let's just shoot everybody and get it over with and have a beer, ok?

    •  I said nothing about shooting anyone. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      3goldens, blueoasis

      I am slightly - no pretty - offended that you'd raise that terrible option.

      There are places where moderation makes great sense and then there are places where it doesn't.  That's all I'm pointing out here.

      •  But that's what it comes down to, isn't it? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        inclusiveheart

        "Pick a side or you're damned!" The problem is, which side and what are the sides? Is there even a side to be picked?

        Bah. I'm sorry if I misrepresented your position, but I'm sick of the "you're with us or against us" rhetoric around here. Anybody uprating a comment is considered and "apologist" and a "felloe traveller" for the "other side". Anyobody who's a "pragmatist" is a DCL sellout.

        I'm tired of it, and I apologize if I took it out on you.

        •  It is okay. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Unduna, Indexer

          That's the liability of communicating via snark.  lol

          From where I sit, everyone needs to take a chill pill and understand that their particular ideology isn't going to be useful or practical in every single situation.  What's useful and practical in my mind are actual solutions to the problems that will work.

          I do not believe, for instance, that HCR is a left, right or center question.  I believe that it is a problem that requires serious consideration and well thought out solutions.  Unfortunately, leadership and penny-ante players across the political spectrum have reduced the debate to the lowest common denominator of political punditry and gamesmanship.  The Democrats - my beloved party - have made the mistake of putting ideology before policy - and that is a problem.

  •  What you call centrism in New York or California (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bluesee, mnguy66, jarhead5536, angelajean

    They call as liberal as hell down here in the south.

    The definitions of what is conservative, liberal and centrist change with geography.

    I consider myself pretty damn liberal for Nashville and middle TN.

    Plop me down in the middle of Berkeley and I'm a centrist if not a neocon.

    ---
    Toyota: Proof US Union Labor Still Does it Better

    by VelvetElvis on Tue Mar 09, 2010 at 03:47:41 PM PST

    •  Not if you look at your options in (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      churchylafemme, Bluesee

      the context of practical applications.

      I doubt that you're driving in the middle of a windy road "just because" - that usually has to do with something being wron with one side or the other.  And you only take the middle in that case - take the risk - if it makes practical sense to do so.

      What we are seeing with some self-identified centrists and moderates amongst the political elite is an insistance on driving in the middle regardless of what the risk-reward proposition really is - and much of their particular form of political thought is based on relativism - not firmly held beliefs.

      That's different from your having particular views that might be considered more left or right depending on who you are spending time with at the moment.  The people that I am addressing don't have any firmly held beliefs.  They look at what you think and decide that their role is to moderate your ideals and desires.  They lack original thought.  They are utterly rootless and at the same time bound to fixed landmarks by their ideology.

      •  How do you know this? (0+ / 0-)

        That's different from your having particular views that might be considered more left or right depending on who you are spending time with at the moment.  The people that I am addressing don't have any firmly held beliefs.  They look at what you think and decide that their role is to moderate your ideals and desires.  They lack original thought.  They are utterly rootless and at the same time bound to fixed landmarks by their ideology.

        Are you psychic or is this just some straw man you've built up?

        ---
        Toyota: Proof US Union Labor Still Does it Better

        by VelvetElvis on Tue Mar 09, 2010 at 04:11:48 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  How do I know this? (5+ / 0-)

          Been watching Joe Lieberman, among others, for years.  These people are gaming the system to make themselves relevant.  They don't give a damn about moderation.  The only thing they really care about is being relevant and people buying into their definition of moderate certrism is critical to their relevance.

          •  I am sorry to but in but (0+ / 0-)

            grins always a but. I believe that getting what you want takes finding a middle ground to start from. I am not saying play dead but the line in the sand has gotten us no where. Look around. Do teabaggers annoy you? Ask if some, I am not saying you or anyone else, but some on the left doing the same thing. Sometimes it takes a voice of reason to keep both sides from screaming each other to death.

            I don't care what you do in your beds, just keep your hand out of my pocket.

            by the mom in the middle on Tue Mar 09, 2010 at 04:35:31 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Sometimes it does take a voice of reason, but (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              churchylafemme, 3goldens, Unduna

              sometimes that voice of reason can be rooted on either side - the moderates are not the be all end all on everything.

              You can make your tea or coffee with luke warm water, but it won't be great tea or coffee.

              Life is not a simple middle of the road journey.  We are sometimes forced to pick a side and that's reality.  You see, the so-called "centrist" leaders are asking that you buy into an ideological package that requires that you moderate everything and that is not realistic.  You can't drive to San Francisco from New York if you stop half way in Memphis.  No matter how you spin it, you never got to SF if you didn't go past Memphis.

        •  She is not talking about principled actors. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          inclusiveheart, 3goldens

          She talking (I believe) about those who rationalize their BS stance by calling themselves a holier-than-thou name which they essentially manufactured to cover their lame asses and inability to act with the veneer of moderation and sanity in an insanely demanding arena in which they are completely out of their moral depth.

          I think.

          "In all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder, a secret order." Carl Jung

          by Unduna on Tue Mar 09, 2010 at 05:34:05 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Like, for instance, (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          inclusiveheart, 3goldens

          corporatists, who need to cover their asses and don't much want to be called on their BS. They frequently duck for cover under "centrist".

          "In all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder, a secret order." Carl Jung

          by Unduna on Tue Mar 09, 2010 at 05:38:39 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  If Only Reality Were As Sane As You Depict (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    inclusiveheart, Unduna, deviant24x

    I'll restate a small portion using the scale and kind of differences between the Republicans and the Democrats.

    Ha.  I was driving down the cliffside road and decided that I was going to try being a centrist.  I drove my right 2 wheels over the edge of the cliff and it was so weird because the car immediately stopped and then I had to climb out quickly before it fell off the cliff.

    Once I got to the mall, I bought half my food at the grocery and the other half at the exterminator's next door.  None would eat the meals I cooked with rice pilaf and rat poison topping.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Tue Mar 09, 2010 at 04:16:29 PM PST

  •  Is it just me (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sandy on Signal

    or is this the same song, same verse, same chorus. I feel like I a view a group of 5 years during a field day.

    These diaries over and over do not bound they divide.

    Just my personal feelings.

    I don't care what you do in your beds, just keep your hand out of my pocket.

    by the mom in the middle on Tue Mar 09, 2010 at 04:26:15 PM PST

  •  Centrism is chasing rainbows. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    inclusiveheart, Bluesee, 3goldens, Unduna

    You can never catch a rainbow, because the rainbow moves. It's the same with centrism, if a party tries to move to the center, the center moves.

    The wolfpack eats venison. The lone wolf eats mice.

    by A Citizen on Tue Mar 09, 2010 at 04:27:28 PM PST

  •  They claim not to be ideological (6+ / 0-)

    but purely pragmatic and interested only in winning. What they win is not important as it is the only possible outcome now or ever as the center is a fixed point. People keep messing it up with their skewed ideology and demands for policy and change. Nothing matters but holding the center where they decide it should be or where the pols they follow tell them it is. We will lose it we don't all agree to be pragmatic and allow the pols to define what we can have. We can fix it later after we get rid of the purists.  

    Moderate is accepting this as reality otherwise people are going to have to decide for them selves what is good and center, and thinking is ideological. That is frightening and a radical concept that would lose our sides center, and would result in democracy or actual majority center rule which we all know is the enemy of the good that comes oozing out from the center of nothing. Those that demand good governance along with victory are a danger to the center and the real moderate agenda which is winning nothing and calling it good.
               

    •  An honest centrist/moderate would (5+ / 0-)

      consider all of the so-called "radical extremes" and find the middle - not for nothing they would also weigh the numbers on either side as a gauge of how far left or right that "center" should be - but we have some so-called "moderates" and "centerists" who are just as inflexible and ideological as the rest and that part of their kabuki needs to be exposed.

      Then, maybe we could all get back to debating the issues and policies rationally and reasonably.  Maybe.

      •  At least it would (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        inclusiveheart, Unduna

        give the real moderates and real lefties a chance to have at it without the hysterical fear and demands for a constant campaign mode which we already won. Fear is brain freeze and blind fealty to a fictitious center stops all progress. Anyone who tells me that Kucinich, Greenwald or even the teabagging Jane, is dangerous and defends policy that they once condemned but now insist we must support is too me an extremist. They are as upside down as the extremists of the right and just about as logical. Like Barney Frank says it's like arguing with a dinning room table, a mean spirited one at that. Pragmatic requires coalitions with those on all sides of spectrum who share a goal of good democratic representation and governance. Democrat's don't do authoritarian well, thank God.    

  •  Our Solution: Free Half the Slaves (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    inclusiveheart

    The big, huge, defining moment in American history was when the new Congress compromised on the issue of Slavery.  It is a great example of an issue upon which you are compelled to take a side, one side of which is clearly immoral.

    One cannot unambiguously point to the immorality of an issue when there is so much support for the other side: in fact, I imagine that it was difficult to hold a "No slavery" opinion in, say Atlanta GA of 1850.  Such it is today as regards health care; Canada and Great Britain (and nearly every other democratic nation) exhibit more humanity as governments than our own.  We believe that these systems are morally superior, or we would have no compulsion to fight for HCR in the streets and blogs.

    Compromise is the only solution to this quandary:  we must move in a more moral direction.

    As someone said in reference to Cenk's article today: MSNBC went anti-war when everyone else did; like smoking.  Having a nation see the light takes time, apparently.

    Legislation on slavery for or against was tabled by the young congress for a hundred years, by mutual agreement.  The battle became too heated.

  •  The accepted definition of "moderate" is an issue (4+ / 0-)

    To me, people like Stupack are not "moderate". Lieberman is not "centrist".

    Many times the people who are supposedly "centrists" have picked a side on every issue, and they are decidedly left or right on that issue.

    Just because they are confused about what side they are on, doesn't make them reasonable.

    Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please. Mark Twain

    by deviant24x on Tue Mar 09, 2010 at 05:01:12 PM PST

  •  Dumbest analogy of all time (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Unduna

    I get this from my best friend who is a huge fan of Palin, which off the bat gives me an idea of how dumb an analogy it really is.

    Centrism is not about driving down the middle of the road, it is about understanding that someone's ideal position is a pipe dream at best when dealing with a country of 300,000,000.  

    It is easy to make stupid fucking jokes about standing in the doorway, when an even dumber scenario are two people on opposite sides of the door with one trying to get in and one trying to get out, but both of them are pushing.  

    Centrists don't tell people from the extremes of either party to shut the fuck up for no reason, trust me.  Centrists know that even the far left and right have ideas.  The problem arises when all they do is have ideas.  For an entire year D's and R's have been spouting their ideas and talking non stop shit, bullshit if I may.  

    The reason centrists want them to shut the fuck up is because there is work to do.  While people are crying and indeed whining about the merits of this and the selling out of that, centrists are actually getting things done.  So it is not STFU because we don't want to hear your ideas, it is because we have the ideas and you should STFU so we can concentrate on putting them in place.

    GET OBAMA A BILL!!!

    by mim5677 on Tue Mar 09, 2010 at 05:40:54 PM PST

    •  by the way (0+ / 0-)

      if you only drive in one direction you will eventually go off a cliff or into the ocean.

      GET OBAMA A BILL!!!

      by mim5677 on Tue Mar 09, 2010 at 05:41:58 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  WOW - thanks for stopping by. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      3goldens, Unduna, Tropical Depression

      I LOVE this part of what you said the most:

      So it is not STFU because we don't want to hear your ideas, it is because we have the ideas and you should STFU so we can concentrate on putting them in place.

      Baby Doll, you're going to have to hone your powers of concentration amidst a cacophony of comments and suggestions a bit more, because those of us in your self designated peanut gallery are not likely to shut up any time soon.

      Thank you so much for stopping by.  Really.  Thank you!  :)

      Just terrific commentary on your part as added to this debate.

      You're like Prince Charming for proving a point.  Not that proving a point was that important.  It was just my opinion, but hell isn't this what's great about blogs?  There's always someone to prove your point isn't there?

      Clever folks tend to stay out of those traps. Just sayin'.

  •  I think it's damn good idea to discuss the terms (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    inclusiveheart, 3goldens

    we are using and I think this was a very good way to initiate that.

    Let us, by all means, understand what we mean when we accuse ourselves of a thing.

    And no, I don't think we are presently operating under a functional definition of "centrist" or "moderate".

    I think those terms absolutely have come to mean what inclusiveheart suggests, and I think that is well worth a careful look-see and everybody's part.

    "In all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder, a secret order." Carl Jung

    by Unduna on Tue Mar 09, 2010 at 05:46:25 PM PST

    •  I think I've landed a big fish! (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      3goldens, Unduna, Tropical Depression

      See the comment just above yours.

      WOW!

      And thanks for your input and participation too.  I miss the old days where we felt mostly common cause around here.  I am heartened by the fact that old friends haven't changed their principles to fit the politics we are facing now.  :) thx for staying yourself.

      •  Thank you, old friend. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        inclusiveheart, 3goldens

        Wasn't much sure that I had been noticed, so that's quite nice, thank you.
        And thanks for getting round my typos this evening...

        So I went away for a minute to think.
        Because that is what I have to do when a seeming simplicity is actually the crux of a complexity ...

        Let's take your ranting truth and the truth as presented by your big fish (who is this fish? I will put them on my watch-those-waters-more-carefully list...)and stir it for a minute.

        When I was once very busy being assaulted for being a centrist, fighting hard for the soul of a radical college I much loved that did not, in the end, survive the turmoil well (and landed on the front page of the nyt for it all), my father (who trained me stay with my principles against all prevailing winds) said to me that

        Straddling the fence
        and racking your balls
        is the only place to be
        because it is the only place to See

        So. I had to think. And you and your big fish sent me there, so yes, indeed.

        And so this is another simplicity, but maybe it is useful:

        "Centrist" and "moderate" have been appropriated.

        The true centrist Sees both sides and wants to make of them an actionable outcome. They travel, back and forth, investigating, and then they sit and rack their brains and train their sights on what might be True for everyone involved.
        The true centrist is a Negotiator, and we may need to rename them as such.
        And the negotiator is usually seen as holding low ground, because in most ways they must, and they get dirtied doing it. Usually.

        But the term "centrist" has been appropriated by those who want to do none of the above. The term has been appropriated by those who want to Undo both sides, not make a can do from both of them.

        The appropriators want to compromise the action away into nothing, and so they sit, unmoved and want hold the high ground and stay completely clean while doing it.

        So we can easily discriminate between the two, and we must.
        I see very, very few negotiators afoot, save one, and he is, in fact, getting quite dirty. :) By us, maybe, on occasion? Mmm.
        We'll see, because he is our leader, we can see where he goes rather easily...

        But I, for one, will be using the terms much more carefully, and will be encouraging others to as well.
        I am now watching, and I like doing that.

        "So," I will say, "where is the negotiating? Where is the movement? What is being bravely seen, and what are we being asked to ignore, to clean?".

        So, at least, that seems like a start to something interesting.

        Thanks, inclusiveheart. I hope this means something to you, and doesn't seem like more around and around we go, because I think your funny has taken us into a workable place.

        "In all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder, a secret order." Carl Jung

        by Unduna on Tue Mar 09, 2010 at 06:49:06 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Simpler: (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        inclusiveheart

        We have a line of questioning with which to assault the supposed centrist.

        And we should assault, as often as possible.

        And when we find a possible negotiator, look more closely at the dirt.

        "In all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder, a secret order." Carl Jung

        by Unduna on Tue Mar 09, 2010 at 07:20:04 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Wait. Since you can't negotiate with the GOP, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        inclusiveheart

        the only thing that I am aware of to be negotiated, at this point, is between the discordant views of the rational public, one sector of which is lacking any representation at the table (other than stonewalling).

        So there, again, is another indicator that now is the time to actually get some unadulterated progressive policies put into place.
        The messaging for that would be very easy and very damaging to the GOP:
        "Your representatives won't sit at the table, they are not negotiating for you, so we are reduced to doing what we think best, and here is where we tried to think of those of you who we know object..." And wouldn't that be darling of us...

        So we return to the beginning.
        In such an environment, a "centrist" almost can't be anything but what we suspect; they are inherently worthless because even a well-intentioned one, rare breed that they are, doesn't have a job to do, unless it involves mere second guessing and cherry picking (hello).
        And: what with the GOP narrative being so lame (I mean, really, sitting duck lame) and the views of the rational American public being supremely open to another narrative....what the hell is Obama doing, excepting wasting the moments as fast as they arrive.
        Ack.

        So I must conclude that your big fish is an idealist, operating from another time when the opposition was actually at the table and attempting to be rational.

        What, are we supposed to start guessing what a rational opposition would say? I mean it - are we to do that? Why?

        (Who is your big fish, anyway....I am apparently an idiot on that one...)

        So screw everything I essentially said, You Are Right.

        Doesn't it suck to be right.  

        "In all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder, a secret order." Carl Jung

        by Unduna on Wed Mar 10, 2010 at 08:42:25 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I worked for a Republican Senator. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          3goldens, Unduna

          He was forced out by the "radicals" in the Reagan era who don't hold a candle to the radicals we know now.  In any case, I think I know what a rational and principled moderate would say in a lot of these cases.  My guy supported vigorously programs like Welfare, SS and Medicare.  He looks like a progressive Democrat compared to a lot of Democrats we are working with these days.

          My satire wasn't targeted at all moderates as much as the kind that we see operating today whose m.o. is basically purely ideological and devoid of reality or principle on issues.  They moderate "just because", not because in a particular instance it makes sense.  And because they have no ability to assess each issue as unique and develop solutions based on the issues first and ideology second, they act out in a random and irrational fashion to just about everything.  The "someone wants to wear bright colors and they demand pastels just because that's moderation - even though it doesn't really matter whether it is bright or pastel in that instance - they insist anyway" thing.  But maybe it does - maybe the person needs to wear bright colors for some reason, but they ignore that factor because it undermines their desire to moderate ad thus it would have been better to wear bright colors, but they're wearing pastels because the centrists can't abide what they've decided randomly is an "extreme".

          That's the problem with our so-called moderate centrists - they themselves are actually extremist in their application of their ideology.  I could write a similar satire of bipartisanship ideology - but it wouldn't be satire - it would probably make me cry.

          Today it was announced that Chris Dodd has removed the payday lenders from the reach of the consumer protection agency that he is setting up in the interest of bipartisan comity - Bob Corker is supported by these lenders and he has insisted that the payday lenders go unregulated.  WTF?  That is an irrational application of that principle.

          •  Yes, I know. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            inclusiveheart

            But sent myself through a thought experiment, which I don't regret - I like me some highly defined parameters, I do. I can still use my little finds as Socratic attack methods and can corral the bastards as needed, even if it's just for kicks.

            But, of course, my comment about which players you were referring to and their complete lack of moral compass stands.

            Because, of course, there are no rational parameters that apply right now to dealing with an opposition party. None.
            Of course we can imagine a rational opposition, but since we don't have one, fuck it. That means jack.

            We are back in the land of Robber Barons. And yes, "centrist" is a term of the propaganda, designating it's opposite. Lacking moral compass is the norm, demanding moral compass is now an extreme position to be fighting for. This narrative took a while to build, it was carefully crafted, and undermining this narrative is Promethean, but less romantic and more pointless...

            And our leader, the Compromiser, is, I fear, compromised.

            And Corker is 'my' rep; he had and has all of the Nixon Boys administration's servers in Chattanooga, btw. He belongs to them. Having him design regulatory policy is just feathering the foxes prominent nest in the hen house.

            We've been hijacked, and that's all there is to it, until we decide what to do about it.

            "In all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder, a secret order." Carl Jung

            by Unduna on Wed Mar 10, 2010 at 10:12:18 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Oh and... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          3goldens

          The big fish is the commenter who basically said STFU we moderated do know best - just above your original post.  You write satire and someone always comes in and blows it by being a "real" example of and extreme.  It was pretty funny - or sad depending on how you look at it.

          •  I can be slow, just so you know. :) (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            inclusiveheart

            I have a tendency in written-land to take things a bit too much at type value. It's a consistent weakness of mine. Too funny. Great response; but the poor thing is right, just for another dynamic altogether.
            I was, I admit, truly baffled.

            Thanks for understanding my trip around the mulberry bush; I've been on post-surgery pain meds, too, and that shades things...

            If you come up with a plan for retaking the ship of state, please let me know, eh?
            Mmmmhm.

            "In all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder, a secret order." Carl Jung

            by Unduna on Wed Mar 10, 2010 at 10:19:12 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Good night everyone. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tropical Depression

    Gotta unwind with some good old goofy Romy and Michele and get some sleep.

    Thanks for the comments and participation to all.

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