Thursday, November 09, 2006


In Ottawa Canada last night, former president Bill Clinton told a crowded forum that the election results were "a rejection of hard-headed, ideological politics in which people just make up their mind what the answer is and then they try to make the facts fit the answer," according to a report in the Toronto Star.

At a press conference before his address to a Jewish National Fund dinner, Clinton noted: "I think the American people prefer, first, a government that gets things done and is not mired in partisan gridlock."

Clinton also told reporters at the press conference that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld's resignation was "more or less inevitable" because even before the elections, notable military publications in the U.S. were asking for a new direction in Iraq. It provides an opportunity "to make a new beginning" on Iraq, Clinton added.

The former president told the dinner crowd that Americans, while more "culturally conservative" than Canadians, are at the core "a practical people," adding, "It would be a big mistake to read the results as some big move to the left in America." Confessing that he flew to Canada after staying up until 5 in the morning celebrating his wife Hillary's re-election to the U.S. Senate, the former president concluded that U.S. voters clearly want a government that doesn't stray too far to the right or too far to the left.

"They thought that the government has gone too far to the right, is too unaccountable," Clinton said. "So what they voted for was not necessarily to legitimize the whole Democratic agenda but to give us a chance to build the vital centre of America and to get things done and come together."

We must fully understand that a "government of action" when compared to the pompous entrenchment of hackneyed partisanship is by definition—radical. This realization is one of the secrets of overcoming the general apathy of citizens wearied by the corrupt and dysfunctional nature of an aging democracy. A government stymied by partisan gridlock is just that, a government stymied by partisan gridlock. So we can infer that Mr. Clinton agrees with The Scenewash Project in suggesting that radical centrism is the best chance for a fresh beginning in building a more reflective, more engaging, government of the people, by the people, and for the people.

With Joe Lieberman's win in Connecticut this past Tuesday, there are even more pundits in the media hyperventilating over the possibility of the rise of a strong third American political party. It's certainly possible. We only have to recall the excitement in 1992 of the Ross Perot presidential campaign spectacle.

To achieve lasting impact a third party in this nation of binary thinkers must do their homework this time, and be prepared to whittle down the "bad" ideas of each party and keep only the "good" ones in creating an executable platform sculpted to cross party lines and draw together the largest block of voters who want a home in American politics but find both existing parties too damn ridiculous to warrant their loyalty.

I suggest we go back to the people again for some answers...


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