New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg gave a major speech in Brooklyn last week that has been gathering some attention. Bloomberg has been talked of frequently as a potential third party candidate for President, and this speech will not do anything to stop that speculation.
Bloomberg points out what I consider to be the obvious: partisan gridlock, political pandering, and legislative influence peddling are destroying our ability to solve the great problems of the day in America. And although Bloomberg obviously believes in business and private enterprise he is not in lockstep with those on the far right of the Republican Party. He whacked around ideologues from both parties. From the New York Times:
“Despite what ideologues on the left believe,” Mr. Bloomberg said, “government cannot tax and spend its way back to prosperity, especially when that spending is driven by pork barrel politics.
“Despite what ideologues on the right believe, government should not stand aside and wait for the business cycle to run its natural course. That would be intolerable.”
Bloomberg did not really unveil any major new policy prescriptions, but he was relentless on the two parties that have made such a big mess of things.
But Mr. Bloomberg reserved his sharpest words for elected officials in Washington, who he said have indulged in partisanship rather than common sense when it comes to the economy.
“Both parties follow the mood of the moment — instead of leading from the front,” he said. “They incite anger instead of addressing it — for their own partisan interests. They tell the world about every real or imagined problem in America, and not what is right with America.
There is a new effort afoot to try to gather centrists from around the country into a movement that demands action from government and not partisan gridlock. It is called “no labels” and can be found at www.nolabels.org Centrists movements have traditionally failed, as the parties do control the apparatus of government. Those parties have increasingly moved towards the fringes. Maybe that can create the backlash necessary for people disgusted with the antics in Washington to try to move the country away from nonsense and towards solutions that actually help people. I know, I know. Naive in the extreme. But what we are doing today just is not working.