Favorite

Longing for the British mess 

What has rendered the United Kingdom troubled by a tenuous piecemeal government might be just what the doctor ordered for the United States.

America could use multiple political parties with none achieving a congressional majority, necessitating that two of them go together to form a coalition government.

This would require cooperation and, ideally, isolate the polarizing extremes and provide direct political muscle to the nation's moderate independent majority.

Let's just suppose, for fun and intellectual exercise, that the United States had a parliamentary system featuring four prevailing political parties — the Tea Party, covering the extreme right; Republicans, covering the mainstream right and a touch of the center; Democrats, covering most of the center and the mainstream left; and the MoveOn Party, covering the extreme left.

Let's say we were having an election, with these persons at the top of the four slates — Sarah Palin for the Tea Party, Mitt Romney for the Republicans, Barack Obama for the Democrats and, oh, let's say Nancy Pelosi for the MoveOn Party.

Let's imagine that this process would not be burdened by the Electoral College by which we purposely skew our returns to empower the semi-sovereign states.

Permit me to take a stab as to how these returns would go.

Obama and the Democrats would lead the ticket with 39 percent. Romney and the Republicans would come in second at 33 percent. Palin and the Tea Party would cop 17 percent for third place. Pelosi and the MoveOn Party would bring up the rear with 11 percent.

You're not going to believe this. You're going to think I did this on purpose.

The natural centrist and leftist coalition, Democrats and MoveOn, combined for 50 percent. The natural mainstream right and extreme right coalition, Republicans and the Tea Party, combined for 50 percent.

However could we possibly fashion from that disorder a coalition providing a reasonable governing majority?

Here's how: Obama and Romney would tell Palin and Pelosi to get lost, then they would sit down together with their most trusted aides and advisers and put together a workable governing partnership from the center out by which Obama, having led the ticket, would get to remain the chief executive.

But Romney would get to be vice president, at which time he could go ahead and admit that Obama's health care reform law is, truth be known, pretty much the same thing he pushed through in Massachusetts when he was governor there, and not socialism or radical or scary at all.

The rest of it — congressional leadership, cabinet jobs — could be worked out as the two parties saw fit. Obama could oust Pelosi as speaker and let the Republicans have that one, so long as it was a moderate Republican. The Democrats could keep the majority leader's job in the Senate, though not with Harry Reid, who is too polarizing, but with, oh, Mark Pryor of Arkansas or Dianne Feinstein of California — but not Joe Lieberman. They couldn't go that far.

The Republicans could put in some charter school and voucher champion as education secretary, but the Democrats would keep Hillary Clinton at state and Eric Holder as attorney general.

We'd find a pragmatic middle ground for a more secure border but with a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. We'd pass financial reform in a heartbeat. We'd follow the current policy toward Afghanistan and terror, but with broader backing. We'd still hit a roadblock, probably, on cap-and-trade.

Most importantly, we wouldn't be plagued by partisan talking points and obstructionism, except from the Tea Party and MoveOn, which would continue to exist and hold their own, since that's where most of the money and passion are.

We'd need them to hold their own, to keep the American mainstream scared into sane cooperation.

Favorite

From the ArkTimes store

Comments

Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

More by John Brummett

  • Obstruction is the preferred conservatism

    Is there greater conservative virtue in opposing federal health reform, period, or in saying it ought to be implemented locally instead of from Washington in the event we are unavoidably laden with it?
    • Oct 5, 2011
  • A fate not quite as bad as prison for Lu Hardin

    There is no crime in being overly and transparently solicitous for the purposes of aggrandizement and personal political advancement. That's simply acute neediness, a common and benign human frailty.
    • Sep 28, 2011
  • Can we talk? Can we get anywhere?

    Dialogue is good. It would be even better if someone would venture off script every once in a while.
    • Sep 21, 2011
  • More »

People who saved…

Most Shared

  • Executionpalooza

    Appearances count. I was struck by a single sentence over the weekend in a full page of coverage in The New York Times devoted to the killing spree in Arkansas, beginning with a front-page account of the recent flurry of legal filings on pending executions and continuing inside with an interview with Damien Echols, the former death row inmate.
  • Art bull

    "God, I hate art," my late friend The Doctor used to say.
  • Not justice

    The strongest, most enduring calls for the death penalty come from those who feel deeply the moral righteousness of "eye-for-an-eye" justice, or retribution. From the depths of pain and the heights of moral offense comes the cry, "The suffering you cause is the suffering you shall receive!" From the true moral insight that punishment should fit the crime, cool logic concludes, "Killers should be killed." Yet I say: retribution yes; death penalty no.
  • Judge Griffen writes about morality, Christian values and executions

    Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen, who blogs at Justice is a verb!, sends along a new post this morning.
  • The Ledell Lee execution thread

    Arkansas Times contributor Jacob Rosenberg is at the Cummins Unit in Grady filing dispatches tonight in advance of the expected execution of Ledell Lee, who was sentenced to death for the Feb. 9, 1993, murder of Debra Reese, 26, who was beaten to death in the bedroom of her home in Jacksonville.

Latest in John Brummett

  • Gone to the DoG

    We're now longer carrying John Brummett's column in this space.
    • Oct 12, 2011
  • Obstruction is the preferred conservatism

    Is there greater conservative virtue in opposing federal health reform, period, or in saying it ought to be implemented locally instead of from Washington in the event we are unavoidably laden with it?
    • Oct 5, 2011
  • A fate not quite as bad as prison for Lu Hardin

    There is no crime in being overly and transparently solicitous for the purposes of aggrandizement and personal political advancement. That's simply acute neediness, a common and benign human frailty.
    • Sep 28, 2011
  • More »

Visit Arkansas

Haralson, Smith named to Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame

Haralson, Smith named to Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame

Chuck Haralson and Ken Smith were inducted into the Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame during the 43rd annual Governor’s Conference on Tourism

Event Calendar

« »

April

S M T W T F S
  1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30  

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Art bull

    • the nice thing about art is that it is what it is, but what it…

    • on April 22, 2017
  • Re: Executionpalooza

    • Fantastic work-from-home opportunity for everyone... Work for three to five hrs a day and start…

    • on April 21, 2017
  • Re: Erasing humanity

    • Exactly how I feel only written much better than I could.

    • on April 21, 2017
 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation