On all sorts of issues, people who claim to be agnostic or neutral usually are taking a position without realizing it. Our "neutral" "impartial" "objective" press, when they succeed in suppressing their personal biases, usually adopt the press's institutional bias: pro-bipartisanship and pro-centrism.
This is upsetting if you think the optimal policies are significantly left of center or significantly right of center. The centrism-bias and bipartisanship bias also ignore that centrism and bipartisanship have not always served this country well.
But here's another problem with the center and with bi-partisanship: often when the leadership of both parties come together, it's because Big Business or some other special interest has showered both parties with campaign contributions (think of bank subsidies, farm subsidies, ethanol, energy policy in general, etc...). Also, those guys in the middle who are least grounded in "ideology" are often most susceptible to special-interest pleading.
Exhibit A: Revolving-door lobbyist Evan Bayh.
Bayh has spent years scolding conservatives and liberals for extremism, and scolding Republicans and Democrats for partisanship. Today, he's an advisor to a hedge fund and he works at a lobbying firm, McGuire Woods.
Now, he's sending out emails from the group "No Labels"
Timothy,By now you’ve heard that the bipartisan deficit-cutting Super Committee has failed to reach an agreement to reduce America's crushing debt.This is the latest evidence that even the best-intentioned members of Congress are trapped in a dysfunctional system.No Labels’ Make Congress Work action plan is a blueprint for fixing Congress. This 12-point plan -- a smart approach that can produce results right away -- will be unveiled on Dec. 13.No Labels has shown there is a way to reduce hyper-partisanship and gridlock. But it’s up to “we the people” to make sure there’s a political will to get the job done.You can help in two important ways:1) Sign up to attend No Labels’ Make Congress Work kickoff event in Washington, D.C. on Dec. 13. There’s strength in numbers. The more No Labels activists who show up to fix Congress -- the more effective we will be.2) Tell your member of Congress how you feel about hyper-partisanship. I always appreciated feedback from my constituents.Please take these steps today. Any and every way you channel your frustration into meaningful citizen action will make a difference.Thanks for doing your part,Senator Evan Bayh
The pattern is this: Moderate Republicans tack to the middle by supporting handouts to Big Business, while moderate Democrats tack to the middle by opposing those big-government programs that Big Business dislikes.
Then in the end, "moderates" from both parties reap their reward on K Street where their ideological "flexibility" is an asset.