The "Americans Elect" Farce
Carol Platt Liebau
3/25/2012 4:32:20 PM - Carol Platt Liebau
Americans Elect is a new group desperately trying to gain attention to run a presidential candidate who is, we are told, a "bipartisan choice."
Color me skeptical. After reading Michael Warren's piece in The Weekly Standard, I was already sensing that the group -- with its disparate choices for president -- wasn't about any real policy ideas; "bipartisanship," after all, is about process (how one arrives at a decision) rather than about substance. It sounds good, but doesn't mean anything on its own -- whether one favors bipartisan consensus depends on one's views on any given subject (i.e., pro-choicers and pro-lifers would disagree about whether a "bipartisan consensus" on a right to life is a good thing).
In a presidential election year -- when it's pretty much a referendum on the incumbent -- the effect of such a group is to siphon off and divide the opposition to the incumbent. And in fact, that actually may well be the intent of Americans Elect. Note that its political director is Darry Sragow, a committed Democrat whose path crossed with mine when I lived in California. He's not the kind of guy who suddenly develops a burning desire to spearhead a movement for Donald Trump or Jon Huntsman. And this year, no Democrat with any potential for significantly draining votes from the President would be willing to run -- it would be impossible for him (or her) to overcome the bitterness among the Democratic base that would result from a successful third party run against an incumbent fellow Democrat.
Upshot? Americans Elect is nothing but a stalking horse to try to divide an anti-Obama majority from electing a Republican president.