‘No Labels’ Is Worst Ever Non-Political-Party Political Party

  bring back the whigs

Sure thing, bro.Yesterday, Mike Bloomberg and a motley crew of political failures like Charlie Crist, Mike Castle, and Blanche Lincoln converged for a major political announcement in New York City, which is, of course, our nation’s capital, and thus the place you go to make serious political announcements. Their announcement: They had formed “No Labels,” a group of politicians and such who don’t like partisan politics for one of two reasons: 1. They lost their Republican primary this year, or 2. They’re Democrats who either want to seem above their party or are afraid of Republicans. Mainly, everyone present wanted to know if they were a political party. “This is not a political party and I am not running for president,” Bloomberg said, basically. Then The New York Timesvery own Slate intern Matt Bai said something dumb, and No Labels stole some intellectual property.

For some reason somebody actually went to No Labels’ website, and it turns out they stole someone’s graphics of giraffes and seals and dogs! Cool! That is certainly a new paradigm!

The newly formed national political organization called No Labels should have perhaps followed the advice of its own name.

The group, which proposes “a new way of looking at politics” to get past partisan gridlock and which recruited Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and other luminaries to speak at its opening today, has also unveiled its Web site. [...]

If the graphic looks familiar, that’s because it bears a very, very striking resemblance to one that is at least five years old — and belongs to someone else.

And here is Matt Bai saying dumb stuff. He thinks Bloomberg’s pointless group of failures portends an opening for a successful third party — one not made of people working to get people elected, but rather made out of heaps of Internet and Mike Bloomberg’s money.

In fact, though, the rise of the independents represents a movement in exactly the opposite direction — away from party organizations altogether.

This isn’t so much a political phenomenon as it is a cultural one. In the last decade or so, the Web has created an increasingly decentralized and customized society, in which a new generation of voters seems less aligned, generally, with large institutions. MoveOn.org and the Tea Party groups, for instance, were born as protests against the establishments of both parties, and they empowered citizens to create their own agendas, rather than relying on any elected leadership.

Matt Bai is dumb. MoveOn.org and the Tea Party groups, for instance, were born as protests against Bill Clinton’s long blow-job impeachment process and a scary black liberal president wanting to stimulate the economy and help people get medical care, respectively. They continued as advocacy groups that looked to reinforce or refocus their respective political parties, always fighting any efforts to exist on their own.

In fact, it’s now tougher to be an independent, because the political landscape is becoming more polarized, not less. But if these losers really want their own non-political-party political party, they should bring back the slavery issue, the only thing you can argue has ever really caused a shift in party alignment in American history. At the moment, the strident pro-slavery strategy is just sitting there, waiting to be used. Please come out in favor of slavery, Mike Bloomberg. Because the two political parties we have now actually really are fucking awful. [Ben Smith/NYT/NYT]

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Jack Stuef is your loyal editor and a freelance satirist or something like that. He is a contributing writer for The Onion. E-mail him or whatever.

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123 comments

  1. charlesdegoal

    I'm going to start a party where everyone will wear Nehru-style jacket. I'll be he No-lapel Party. Now that's what I call infringing intellectual property.
    Also, Jack, long-winded self-righteousness is not going to get you anywhere on this site.

  2. Serolf_Divad

    No labels? Sounds like one of those cheap clothings stores that sells "irregular" items that failed quality control (you know, like the Oxford shirt that has a long sleeve on one side and a short sleeve on the other).

  3. Terry

    "For some reason somebody actually went to No Labels’ website, and it turns out they stole someone’s graphics of giraffes and seals and dogs! Cool! That is certainly a new paradigm!"

    They probably both used the exact same sheet of clip art, "borrowed" from yet a third graphic designer.

  4. BorderJumper!

    Oh yeah, because we live in a country were we don't like to label anything. Good luck with that one, Bloomby.

    1. BerkeleyBear

      Given how much Bloomberg paid for his third term to beat basically no one, I wouldn't put him in the winner category.

  5. hagajim

    "They’re Democrats who want to seem above their party or are afraid of Republicans

    Does this mean that all Democrats are now "No Labelers" because they all seem to be afraid of Republicans. No Labels – reminds me of the old black & white generics from the supermarket. You know the stuff was the same as the name brand stuff – but it still sucked, just like this non-party will.

  6. JoeMamased

    "It's not clear that the average voter wants what we are all advocating," [Bloomberg] said.

    Talk about pointless! "No Labels"? More like "No Future."

    1. chicken_thief

      To paraphrase Nathan: "he has not yet begun to spend money!" How are people to know whether they want what he is advocating until he starts spending mega-dinero to tell them what to think?!

  7. Allmighty_Manos

    Blanche Lincoln and Mike Castle? Together in one party? I haven't been this excited since Unity 08.

    Seriously Matt Bai is the dumbest political writer ever. They could jack up a chimp on acid and he would better reflect the reality of American poltics than Bai.

    1. horsedreamer_1

      Wasn't Unity '08's fervent desire seeing Fred Thompson in the White House?

      Really, really going third-way/post-way, there.

    2. mumbly_joe

      They could jack up a chimp on acid and he would better reflect the reality of American poltics than Bai ANYTHING EVER.

      Fixed that for you.

  8. nonbeliever7

    This is great for all us disgruntled ex-Obama liberals. Let's all move to Florida and vote for Nader/Bloomberg 2012. Hey, what could go wrong?

      1. nonbeliever7

        Hmmmm…good point, my protest vote might have some horrible unintended consequences. Nah…I'm pissed at Obama so fuck it I'm voting for the "No labias" party.

    1. Texan_Bulldog

      My thoughts exactly. And 'generic' means cheaper & not as good as the name brand … all in all a poorly thought out anti-Tea Party movement.

    2. GunTotingProgressive

      I look forward to the political ads with the "Repo Man" – style blue stripe on white label motif.

  9. undeadgoat

    Oh look, some more people pretending the Democrats aren't centrist and that everyone is equally polarized. I wish I lived in what we might refer to as a "political system that offers a modicum of choice on more issues than abortion," then these people could very happily be "rather conservative."

  10. SorosBot

    These guys are virtually guaranteed to get the votes of the majority of the Washington Post's op-ed writers and editorial staff. And absolutely nobody else.

  11. freakishlywrong

    "No Labels" are a bunch of chickenshit "Conservatives" who know the Republican brand was killed dead by Dubya, and "Centrists" who are too afraid to be called "librul" because the Conservatives have ruined that word as well. Jesus Christ on purloined art work, this stupid country.

  12. StillGoinGreen

    Oh, I thought it said "No Lapels" – is in we would no longer hear the media feigning outrage because a politician or actor's lapel pin didn't match the occasion! Well fuck it then – I guess I am still stuck being a liberal.

  13. Badonkadonkette

    No Labels Is the Worst Non-Political-Party Political Party Ever

    No way. It's going to take more than some olds acting Too Cool For School, renouncing any political affiliation, and ripping off a group no one's ever heard of to take the "Worst Ever" crown from the Teabaggers.

      1. horsedreamer_1

        If only GIF could incorporate sound. Then, that slow-dance of Ross & wife to Patsy Cline's "Crazy" could be a champion for Wonkette, & unseat the Bieber, maybe.

  14. mereoblivion

    "No Labiles"? Okay, so they're keeping Boehner and Beck at a distance . . .
    After the photo-op this new wild bunch went out and painted the town beige.

  15. SorosBot

    Someone should tell Bloomberg, Crist and the rest that if they want to form a center-right corporatist anti-partisan party, there is already a major party that primarily supports exactly that view.

      1. SorosBot

        Nah; these days we've got the corporatist center-right party, and the far-far-right raving lunatic party.

  16. MadBrahms

    Hey, Naomi Klein has a party now? Oh, damn.

    Snark aside, becoming "non-political" is always an everywhere a political move, an attempt to naturalize policy positions and shore up hegemony. Just sayin.

  17. Oblios_Cap

    I'm kind of surprised that Boner and Crist didn't come together to form an Orange Party.

    Really, more political parties should be a good thing. But not if it's formed by this bunch of Establishment losers.

  18. Katydid

    If Joe Scarborough is civil, I'm a teabagger. Ugh, I just made myself sick.

    FYI, Pareene wrote a great analysis too.

    Scarborough and Bayh are self-righteous and sanctimonious enough to make the most dedicated centrist long for the company of Barney Frank and Jim DeMint. But what's truly depressing is that there exist technocratic centrists who could use the No Labels money to fight for actual policy ideas (besides the usual proposed gutting of entitlements under the guise of "reform") instead of fighting for Joe Scarborough's right to never have to be criticized by liberals.

  19. BerkeleyBear

    This is the whitest, blandest group of nobodies I can imagine. They don't add much but make the underlying dialogue mushier. No one actually wants to listen to them full time, but on rare occassions they might say something that seems comforting or sensible.

    Hence, the Cream of Mushroom Soup party.

    1. DustBowlBlues

      But, add some of FLOTUS' garden green beans and some canned fried onion rings from the teabaggers' pantry and you've got a party going on.

  20. doxastic

    It was either "The Plutocrats Party" or go without a name all together. Bloomberg and friends probably made the right choice here.

  21. DemonicRage

    This is so much a stalking horse for a Bloomberg Presidential Candidacy, no matter what he said the other day about "No How/ No Way." In this Orwellian world, that translates to, "Of course I'm running." He will play the Ralph Nader role in the next election, stealing just enuf votes from Emobama to ensure victory for Palin, Gingritch or Romney (oh no!!!).

    1. BerkeleyBear

      I dunno, Bloomberg has never struck me as having the national pull of Nader (everyone thought they knew him). Although as he is at ground zero of the media's navel gazing he will definitely be overhyped (Giuliani comes to mind).

      Plus, I could actually see this helping Obama, especially if the GOP goes the full crazy and puts Palin on the ticket. Here in Illinois, a nominally dem independent campaign by Scott Lee Cohen (everyone's favorite hooker beating steroid using pawnbroker) actually took away moderate Rep votes from a social conservative and got an otherwise horrible candidate (nice guy, he just can't make a coherent point with a microphone on) re-elected.

    2. Katydid

      I just can't see any Dem with a brain voting for Mikey. I don't care what he calls himself, he's a goddammed Republican, and a twat.

      I think he'll take away mostly Republican votes, that merry band of bastards who know Palin is just too fucking crazy, but still wanna vote for the GOP.

  22. cheaphits

    Should you be considered a bit short of being perceptive if you can't think of a name for your group?

    But I bet they can set up a PAC and I betcha Bloomy's got a phone room. PACs are to politicos what banks and trains were to Butch & Sundance.

  23. MinAgain

    If they really wanted to appeal to the new generation of voters, they should have named themselves "Flash Mob".

  24. kenlayisalive

    Cool, American government will finally be able to get down to business when we replace the butt-licking toadies of billionaires with an actual billionaire.

    Looking…forward…to…it.

  25. MarionNYNY

    Oh Christ! This is what I was afraid of. The fix is in. Bloomberg runs taking away a lot of Obama's centrist votes — plus some old timey liberals who are pissed off and felt he didn't stand up enough while pissing or something — thus taking away a lot of dem votes and helping to elect the republican nominee: Sarah fucking Palin. Please talk me down or just put a bullet through my brain NOW.

    1. Weenus299

      It's OK. Nobody's going to vote for no labels. We need labels. We just don't need schmucks, and this no-labels front is full of them.

    2. BerkeleyBear

      Chill – Nader worked because people actually knew him, he was a "pure" choice and he had passion Gore couldn't match. Bloomberg is a compromised hack, he's nominally a Republican, and has all the charisma of Joe Lieberman and Chris Dodd's love child. If anything, he would give GOP voters who fear Palin (and there are a lot of them) a bailout option.

    3. chicken_thief

      Ain't no one west of Hoboken gonna vote for a midget Jew from New Yawk. If 9/11 Rudy couldn't kick off his campaign in the home state of NYC's geriatrics, what makes anyone who has been anywhere other than NYC or DC think that the Bloomster has a snowballs chance in hell?

    4. Katydid

      No, I don't think so. There's a special place in hell reserved for Bloomberg, who fiddled while Wall Street imploded. Talk to any Wall Street banker, and he'll say he lurves Mikey Bloomberg, and that he's good for NY…meaning he's good for Wall St.

      But if he's so goddammed good and smart, why didn't he know what was gonna happen? I have an undying hatred for him, and I'm not the only one, I hope.

  26. Chet Kincaid

    Oh great, a new political party based on the b.s. John Stewart was peddling at his rally about "civility" and "both sides do it", championed by that idiot Scarborough, praising Obama's forced compromise. Hey geniuses, compromise isn't a "value", it's something you have to do to get anything done. The middle position isn't by default the "correct" position; maybe if some of you Democrats had actually fought for your purported beliefs, there wouldn't be a need for a "No Nuts" party.

  27. axmxz

    The possibilities are endless.

    The Men-only party – "No Labias."
    The Party Against Immigration from Canada- "No Maples"
    The Handicapped Party – "No Ables"
    The Fratricidal Party – "No Abels"
    The Make English the Official Language of the US Party – "No Babels"
    The Make Christmas the Official Winter Holiday of the US Party – "No Dreidels"

    Best part: any of the six would split the GOP.

  28. jim89048

    Jack's right, though–I joined MoveOn.org way back when because I was sick and damned tired of always hearing about someone else getting a blowjob when I wasn't.

  29. hooray4anything

    I think this is a great idea. I mean, look at all the Great Centrist leaders out there who lead their country to an era of peace and prosperity. Leaders like….ummm….and…ummm… hmmm…

  30. ttommyunger

    "No Labia Party"? But Blanche Lincoln is there…..Oh, right. Makes sense now that I think about it. Never mind.

  31. donner_froh

    Matt Bai copied the press release, dropping in a few "on the other hand…" sentences and a couple of inaccurate historical references but missed the only real important part of the story:

    Micheal Bloomberg didn't get to be a multi-billionaire by financing half-baked ideas like No Label. As with everything in Bloomberg land it either pays it own way or dies.

    1. SorosBot

      Michael Bloomberg became a multi-billionaire the old fashioned way: by being the son of a multi-billionaire.

      1. Katydid

        Now you're not being fair. I'm sure Michael fucked over a lot of people on his own. Give the bastard some credit.

  32. axmxz

    Bloomberg for Neutral President. He has no strong feelings one way or the other, and all he knows is that his gut says "maybe." If he doesn't survive the campaign, tell his wife, "Hello."

  33. An_Outhouse

    Thank God for No Logo or Labels or whatever. What our political environment lacks is a party composed of millionaire know it alls.

  34. GOPCrusher

    How completely Zen. To create a political party that is not a political party. Does Alvin Greene know about this yet?

  35. mumbly_joe

    It should be noted that the historic Whigs were actually pretty awesome, since they existed entirely to oppose Jacksonian Democrats, who were basically a teabaggier version of Dubya Republicans. If it weren't for Whigs, we'd probably not have ever warmed up to the "hey public schools, and also public infrastructure investment" things- the soon-to-be-Confederates certainly despised both of those at least as much as they still do today. I mean, the Whigs were insanely eager to dole handouts out to corporate interests, also, but then again, Jackson was pretty much the Ur-Paultard on that one, in that he literally Ended the Fed (National Bank).

    But, anyway, yeah, the "Modern Whigs" are all about that centrist twaddle, and seem to harp on "States' Rights", which is kinda ironic, given the particular issue where divides within the Whig party spelt its ultimate demise, with most of the more -prominent Northern and fronteir Whigs (including a certain Mister A. Lincoln) folding into the Republican party.

  36. Ducksworthy

    I kind of like the idea that our troubles are not really a right left thing as we have been led to believe. Its more of an up and down conflict. Not between socialism and capitalism but between us recently liberated smurfs and the return of feudalism.

  37. DustBowlBlues

    The false equivalency of the current need to be balanced makes me want to puke up my Julkaka. Can we all just remember chronology and lay the blame for this fucked up mess where it belongs?

    Things worked smoothly enough to at least manage a little decent legislation until Newt and his band of Unmerry Christians took over the House of Reps. The Republithugs slept in their offices, went home to be with their family and the home folks every weekend, never socialized with the enemy and, above all, claimed they had God on their side so, by definition, the Democrats were the anti-Christ.

    It's not like any of this bullshit is a secret. Even Kevin Phillips admits that, post-Watergate, he was part of the band of bastards who decided to rebuild the Repugnant party on the backs of the right wing erstaz Christian nuts.

    It's history, not politics or polemics. Combine that with the Repugs winning elections for the last 60 years by promising to cut taxes because government is all waste, and there you have it. Government that doesn't work anymore.

    The final lie is equating moveon with a group of ersatz populists who were organized by a well-heeled and secret pair of brothers who want to destroy America.

    Case closed. This bunch of lame-ass, history-denying losers makes me yawn. Think I'll go finish "The Nine", thank you very much.

    1. Chet Kincaid

      I remember round about 1983-5, when I still lived at home with my Minister father and mother, watching the news about Falwell's Moral Majority on TV at dinner with my parents, and in a rare moment of candor, asking, "what is it they want? Do they want to make America a Christian theocracy?" My father, who was not a political minister in either direction, said nothing. Everything happening now was obviously on the blueprint then, including the Biblical Inerrancy school of Constitutional interpretation. Truly, we serve a mighty God!

  38. DustBowlBlues

    Rachel certainly had one thing on her show correct last night. While Bernie Sanders, a true liberal, is treated like an ecentric, harmless old man ranting for CSPAN who deserves to be ignored, this bunch of losers is big news on all the news stations.

    What a joke.

  39. Negropolis

    Yea! Worst of both worlds, ya'll!

    Neutral President: All I know is that my gut says maybe.

    Neutral Vice President: Your Neutralness, it's a beige alert.
    Neutral President: If I don't survive, tell my wife "Hello."

    Futurama Reference-atcha

  40. FNMA

    So is Crist the "Charlie in the box"?
    Because, as I understand it, Crist isn't into the box, if you catch my drift.

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