This weekend, Erick Erickson posted an article on RedState.com with a title that makes you initially think that maybe he’s seen the light on things like competition and free markets. Unfortunately, the post “Maybe We Really Do Need a Third Party” isn’t Erickson advocating third parties at all; it’s just him calling out Republicans for being afraid to practice what they preach.
Erickson has a valid point. Republicans in Washington (with the exception of a very select few) are awful. And lately even the good ones are bad. They say they support smaller government and free enterprise, but their votes betray their words.
In his article, Erickson points out how Republicans recently raised regulations that forced small businesses to close their doors and how Republicans in Washington have completely abandoned principles of limiting government and advancing freedom.
While Erick hit the nail on the head pointing out where the GOP has gone wrong, it’s important to understand that despite what his headline makes you believe, he is not (nor will he be) advocating a third party in American politics. This is, quite frankly, because Erick doesn’t believe that competition in a free market is a good thing. If he did have faith in a free marketplace, he would welcome competitors with confidence that the competition would make his candidate better.
That’s not the case with Erickson. (But to be fair to Erick, it’s not the case with most Republicans.)
While reading Twitter this morning, I saw the ever erudite Larry Sabato tweet: “New “Justice Party” (if real) hurts Obama. Others will hurt Rs. Close election can be determined by few votes here & there going to Inds.” (Sorry; I’m not yet on “NewNewTwitter,” so I don’t have that embed function. Yet.)
Looking up this “Justice Party,” which I had never heard of before, I found some interesting things, namely, that it is basically a vehicle for the former mayor of Salt Lake City, Utah to run for president:
SALT LAKE CITY — Former Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson has formed a new political party and plans to run for president.
To be known as the Justice Party, Anderson sees it as a grassroots movement that over the long term will bring about the shift in American politics that he says citizens crave.
“The people are the ones who always bring about major change in this country, and we need to provide that power to people throughout the country,” he said Wednesday on KSL Radio’s Doug Wright Show.
“They want to see an alternative party. They recognize that these two militarist, corporatist parties have brought us to this disastrous place to where we are today.”
Well, I can certainly sympathize with that—and I’m very glad Mr. Anderson is using “corporatist” to describe the two parties. If we’re going to make any headway in this country, we need to get people to understand that we have today is by no means “capitalism,” but rather cronyist corporatism, and I think on that front, we are slowly winning.
Unfortunately, I don’t really think Mr. Anderson is on the right track, if you catch my drift:
Matt Miller of the Washington Post thinks we need a third party. He doesn’t feel that Democrats or Republicans are doing the job he feels needs to be done, so a new part needs to come in. For example, Miller writes:
Three reasons, mainly. First, both parties’ chief aim is to win elections, not solve problems. Second, both parties are prisoner to interest groups and ideological litmus tests that prevent them from blending the best of liberal and conservative thinking. Finally, neither party trusts us enough to lay out the facts and explain the steps we need to take to truly fix things.
Wow. Truly insightful.
Here’s the thing, Miller writes this in a nation where there are a plethora of political parties dedicated to various ideologies. Ralph Nader, for example. Ross Perot’s Reform Party is still around. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Miller’s call for a third party is typical, but ridiculous. Not because he thinks there needs to be a new party to fill his particular ideological niche, but because it wouldn’t be a “third” party. There’s to many who’ve beaten him to the punch.
Of course, as Matt Yglesias points out, Miller’s positions are exactly the same as what President Obama has expressed himself. Greg Sargent, also of the Washington Post, points it out as well using different examples. Sargent also goes so far as to hint that perhaps this is all just a way to get on the talk show circuit for a couple of weeks. Who knows.
The Barr Campaign’s decision to shun Ron Paul’s press conference, hold their own and denigrate Ron’s efforts will have lasting effect- but will any prove positive for the Barr Campaign?
In the interest of full disclosure, I know Bob, like Bob, worked for his campaign up until a few weeks ago and planned on voting for him- a decision I’ll have to reconsider. I also know Ron, like Ron, worked for his campaign and would still vote for him today if he were on the Alabama ballot.
If the Barr Campaign’s actions today has possibly lost the support of someone who knows and likes Bob, I imagine the fallout among the Libertarian Party members and Ron Paul supporters will make them regret their actions today. Continued derisive actions and words from the campaign staff will only make things worse.
I called the Barr Campaign Headquarters and spoke to LP Communications Director, Andrew Davis, asking for an official statement from them.