No Labels: ‘New’ Political Party, Business as Usual

The newly formed “No Labels” party pretends to stand up for everything, but really stands for nothing at all.

As John Mellencamp sings: “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.” True. And here’s an equally true twist on that aphorism: “If you stand for everything, you won’t amount to anything.”

In a remarkable achievement, a newly formed political party calling itself “No Labels” has managed to fall into both traps, standing up for everything and nothing at all. The fledgling entity is using every synonym in the book to assure everyone that it is a middle-of-the-road, bipartisan, centrist, both-sides party, offering hybrid liberal-conservative solutions that won’t offend anyone.

But wait — they’ve chosen a multimillionaire coal baron and multimillionaire son of a global plastics polluter to be their standard-bearers. As a presidential ticket, Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin and Republican Jon Huntsman probably would unite voters of both parties — against them!

While they don’t stand for much, there is one huge, overriding issue that the No Labels hucksters strongly agree on: corporate money contaminating American politics. These “reformers” are in favor of it! Indeed, secret fat-cat donations are the No Labelers’ financial lifeline, having already hauled in hundreds of thousands of dollars from right-wing corporate interests. Such as? No, no, say the founders; we can’t tell you who’s buying the No Labels label, for the funders don’t want the public to know their names or their special interests.

Of course, secret funding of elections equals secret government — of, by, and for the funders. By standing against the people’s right to know, the group has put a flaming neon FRAUD label on their hokey “reform” party. Huntsman even admits it, saying financial disclosure would be the right thing to do, but “that’s not the way you play the game.”

“The game?” Just what we need: another gang of corporate politicos who think governing America is a game to be won by hook or crook.

How The System Works: Joe Manchin’s Pipe Dream

Rube Goldberg would marvel at Sen. Joe Manchin’s wacky, convoluted machinations to rig the system so fossil-fuel polluters can run roughshod over nature, local people and democracy.

Goldberg was a master of satirical cartoons, drawing hilarious schematics of convoluted contraptions to do silly tasks. His “Self-Operating Napkin,” for example, involved a spoon, cracker, toucan, skyrocket, sickle, and a pendulum attached to a napkin — all operating sequentially to automatically wipe the chin of a soup eater.

So here comes Joe with his own sequential machinations to (Zip! Ping! Sproing!) push his pet corporate boondoggle into law. Manchin’s Mountain Valley Pipeline would ram a 300-mile polluting pipe through the pristine mountains of West Virginia, into Virginia and ultimately into North Carolina, ripping through farms, communities, national parks and 1,000 streams and waterlands. The people hated it — and, amazingly, environmental regulators and multiple courts sided with the people again and again!

Time for Joe’s Rube Goldberg act. Late last year — Ping! — Manchin switched from a “no” on a climate change bill to a “yes,” in exchange for President Joe Biden supporting the pipeline. But congressional progressives rebelled, so their dirty deal failed. Then — Sproing! — Biden snuck Manchin’s boondoggle into this year’s must-pass debt ceiling bill, so — Whoosh! — locals and environmentalists were blown away. Wait, though — the federal court that had been siding with the people still had a say. But — Zzzzzt! — Manchin and Biden teamed up with congressional Republicans to — Whammo! — shift jurisdiction over the pipeline from that court to one with corporate-friendly judges. But — Screech! — the abandoned court says, “Hold it!” — Congress is unconstitutionally interfering in the judicial branch’s power.

So, do Manchin and Biden get to stiff the people? Undecided — but they’ve already revealed to the people how corrupt their Rube Goldberg system is.

Jim Hightower