Ed Koch, we don’t need a third party when we have a Tea Party third force

Ed Koch, the former mayor of New York and a liberal on most issues, has a column in Huffington Post (read) that claims this is the moment for a third party. The impetus, claims Koch, is the lackluster Obama presidency. Koch’s money quote: “The centrists of this country — liberals with sanity like myself and so-called compassionate conservatives — together constitute a huge majority of voters. If we join together, if only for this upcoming presidential election, we could make a difference. We could elect a president concerned about us and we could throw out a majority of the incumbents in Congress and elect people who will truly represent and promote our interests. Let’s at least try.”

Koch is welcome to try, and he’ll have a lot of help from groups such as The Coffee Party and No Labels, organizations that profess to moderates free from the taint of tea or whiff of progressivism, although they spare far more criticism for conservatives than liberals. (Ask a No Labelist for their opinion about Sarah Palin and then President Obama and you’ll see what I mean).

I like Koch; he’s a good, earnest public servant, and I’m not maligning my liberal and moderate friends, but there is already a third force that has risen in this nation and effected a major change in this nation’s thinking. It is the Tea Party. And like any organization that shakes up the established order of action and thinking it is being hit back at hard — and with incredible anger — by the status quo.

Example is the debt limit debate. So-called moderates are furious that the automatic raising of the debt limit — which the administration wanted months ago — turned into a long debate that resulted in the debt limit deal that brings automatic cuts if Congress can’t agree to reduce spending or add revenue in a few months. But that was the type of action accomplished by a third force that will bring real change.

It was not reckless to bring the debt limit debate to the last minute. Fighting the status quo, which the Tea Party initiated, was a significant change that roiled many in politics and commentary to anger.

The Tea Party is far from perfect; it needs to acknowledge that we need more tax revenue, for example. But it is the third force for change that Koch seeks, and it will, ironically, probably be resisted fiercely for a long time by establishmentarians masquerading as third-option reformers.

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23 Responses to Ed Koch, we don’t need a third party when we have a Tea Party third force

  1. Owain says:

    I’m not seeing the tea party as a 3rd party. Looking at the writeup in Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third_party_(United_States), historically third parties are usually started by groups or individuals focusing on single issues, such as the Green Party, or the Constitution Party, or Libertarians, etc. The tea party, as I see them in Utah, are Republicans who just want Republicans to stand for what Republicans SHOULD stand for, such as limited government (size and spending), balanced budgets, and so forth. Conservative values.

    Bob Bennett was bounced out of office because he wasn’t a conservative Republican (or at least not conservative enough), and because he failed to represent his more conservative constituents the way they wanted to be represented. The only Republicans who need to worry about a tea party challenge are Republicans who vote like Democrats.

  2. Midwinter says:

    The Tea Party is the rump of the GOP, not a third party.

  3. Stephen M. Cook says:

    The Tea Party: why did we nazi this coming?

    • Owain says:

      Oh, c’mon, Steve. Didn’t you get the memo? According to Slow Joe Biden, the tea party is composed of ‘terrorists’, not nazis.

      This is closer to the mark, from Investors Business Daily.

      “What was their sin? Well, near as we can figure, it was that the tea party managed to force Washington to confront a festering debt crisis that leaders had far too long ignored, and pushed for a credible plan that didn’t kill the economy with new taxes, all of which produced a deal that got huge bipartisan support.

      Wouldn’t a better term for the tea party be “uniters”?”

    • Owain says:

      While we are on the subject, here’s the latest entry in the ‘Liberal Fascism Watch’ category:

      “The Obama administration is after your Lucky Charms…” http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/time-stockpile-lucky-charms_577801.html

      Having completely solved ALL the other pressing problems that face us, it’s about time the government got around to scolding us about children’s cereals…

      • Michael Trujillo says:

        Are you thick? The government has ALWAYS set food and marketing guidelines that we, the people, want or need. That’s why there are regulations about advertising cigarettes and booze to minors, why packaging lists all the ingredients in a food item, why advertisements can’t say something “cures” something unless they can prove it, why you can’t sell horsemeat labeled as beef, why adult magazines are kept seperate from others in convenience stores, and on and on and on. If this is your definition of fascism you need to get out of your G.D. bunker and actually experience the outside world. Of course, if you did that, you’d actually have little time to post incessantly on the S.E. web pages, commenting on every piddley-assed thing.

        If the governement, in our name and with our blessing, makes it difficult for food companies to pedal junk to our kids, I say Bravo. I love sweet cereal as much as the next guy, but we have to face the facts that it is NOT good for us and should be marketed as a treat and not as part of a well balanced diet. We have an obescity problem in this country, in case you hadn’t noticed.

        But if you feel the “guvmint” shouldn’t have any say in regulating products, you need to advocate for Phillip Marlowe to be allowed to market tobacco to teen-agers. Hey, it’s the free market and salesmen should be allowed to sell their products how ever they like, right? By your thinking, parents should have the last say about whether their 9th grader can light-up after finishing their homework.

        Get a life, “Owain”. And get a job.

        • Owain says:

          I have no problem with the FDA ensuring drugs are safe, or meat packing plants are hygenic, but I draw the line with having the government deciding whether or not I should be eating Cheerios.

          If you want the government to crawl up your ass to that extent, good for you. Enjoy.

          • Michael Trujillo says:

            Oh, I get it. You have “no problem” with the govt. getting involved in things you don’t like, but start talking fascism when they dare tamper with things you DO like. Typical.

          • Owain says:

            Don’t be stupid, Micheal. There is a large difference between the FDA ensuring drugs are safe, and the government micromanaging children’s cereals. If something is taken to an extreme, even a good thing, it can then become a bad thing.

        • Owain says:

          Phillip Marlowe, by the way, was a fictional detective created by Raymond Chandler.

          Phillip Morris is the tobacco company.

          Literacy FAIL.

          • Michael Trujillo says:

            Unlike you, I have to knock my comments out during breaks or lunch. Sorry if I don’t have the luxury, like you, to leisurely proof read my posts before strolling down to the vending machine to buy another Mt. Dew while watching the clock for quitting time. I get a bit hurried in my responses. You knew what I meant.

            I will say that you break the mold. Most people would categorize a conservative as a hard worker, but you’re obviously the exeption to that.

          • Owain says:

            Can’t refute the argument, so you attack the person? There is a reason why ad hominem arguments are considered a logical fallacy, you know.

    • Owain says:

      Liberal Fascism Watch entry #2

      “A multi-agency SWAT-style armed raid was conducted this morning by helmet-wearing, gun-carrying enforcement agents from the LA County Sheriff’s Office, the FDA, the Dept. of Agriculture and the CDC (Centers for Disease Control).”

      The target? “…a private buying club offering wholesome, natural raw milk and raw cheese products (among other wholesome foods) is founded by James Stewart, a pioneer in bringing wholesome raw foods directly to consumers through a buying club.”

      No warrent presented, no Miranda Rights read.

      I guess this is Hope AND Change.

  4. Dovie says:

    Now that we have the Tea Party, no one else needs to try? That is insane.

    I thought we were throwing out all Utah’s congressmen per your column. There goes half the party.

    The Tea Party is on it’s way out. The best thing a 2012 candidate can do is distance themselves.

    • Owain says:

      For what it’s worth, Orrin Hatch doesn’t agree with you. Not wishing to follow Bill Bennett into retirement, he has recognized that the tea party is hardly on the way out, and if he wants to retain his seat, becoming a tea party conservative is his best bet.

      I’ve never had a problem with Orrin hatch, but many in the Utah tea party have their doubts. I figure if this reminds Senator Hatch to do a better job of representing his constituents, the majority of whom are conservative, that is the best deal. We get a Senator who may vote more conservately than he might have otherwise, and Utah retains a Senator with high seniority, which under our form of government, is an important consideration.

      On the other hand, if Jason Chaffetz prevails against Hatch in a caucus challenge, we’d lose Hatch’s seniority, but I think there’d be no question of Chaffetz’s conservative orientation. Competition usually does wonders to focus a politician’s mind. Bill Bennett ignored that factor, to his loss.

  5. “Ask a No Labelist for their opinion about Sarah Palin and then President Obama and you’ll see what I mean.”

    Doug, I have more criticism for Obama than I do for Palin. She is nobody, a nothing, a ditz. Obama actually has a responsibility to us, and he has failed.

    • Owain says:

      Aren’t you proving Doug’s point for him then, Catherine? If the No Labels crowd really were non-partisan, why should they waste their time going after a ‘nobody’ like Sarah Palin.

      Shocker! Maybe they aren’t being entirely honest when they say they “profess to [be] moderates free from the taint of tea or whiff of progressivism.”

      Read a little closer to see what does is actually saying here…

      • Owain says:

        “What Doug is actually saying”, I meant to say.

        • Because she’s obnoxious, has a big mouth, and because the right puts her forth as some kind of contender… funny things deserve to be laughed at, sorry.

          • Owain says:

            Non sequiturs are funny too.

            Good one!

            Extra points awarded for having an obnoxious big mouth while saying it as well. (See how useful it is to say things like this? Pardon me, but your bias is showing.)

          • hawg says:

            and democrats would KILL to have someone spread their message so well. but organizing democrats is like herding cats. seems to be impossible. wonder why?

  6. Ben Pales says:

    The “Tea Party” has been around for a long time. All they had was a name change, and a takeover of the Republican party. They were and still are known as Libertarians.

    Michael I agree with you 100%; Owain needs a real job. I am curious though, Owain how often do you use your Medicare Card, and then come on here and rant and rave about Guvmint spending?

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