"Post-partisan" concept and why I love George Will

So I’ve finally figured out the timing for Sunday morning chores and a treadmill run so that I can watch some of the talking head shows. And that got me 30 minutes of This Week (intermittent with cable news coverage of the Jessie Davis case and lots of Ohio media shoutouts).

What I got for my time was confirmation that

-I don’t like Torie Clark, who didn’t impress me the other couple of times I’ve seen her on that show and I now learn is a PR person – explains a lot for me;

-the other panelists laugh at George Will, and I just don’t get that;

-I must be getting old, because I don’t like that people laugh at George Will and I don’t think that what he says is laughable.

Substance-wise, the show was eh. What I liked the most:

Jake Tapper (who apparently did a brief stint in PR but then went journalist) when discussing Michael Bloomberg, referred to this era as a time for post-partisan leaders, or somehow he worked in that phrase. I don’t see a transcript, there is a podcast but with laundry on the table, I’m not taking the time right now to listen.

Post-partisan leader. Has anyone else ever heard that phrase before? Very interesting. Like platform agnostic. I’ll be keeping my ears out for it.

What I found when I googled “post partisan leader”:

-where Tapper might have gotten his notion: a lengthy NPR piece about Bloomberg and post-partisanhood

this political blog based in Cape Cod and I love its tagline: “where solving problems trumps salving ideology”

this reference related to Ahnald

-and this couplet of post and column about Ahnald’s knighting of the concept

-and The New America Foundation which calls itself a post-partisan entity:

The New America Foundation is a nonprofit, post-partisan, public policy institute that was established through the collaborative work of a diverse and intergenerational group of public intellectuals, civic leaders and business executives. Launched in 1999, the Foundation is guided by its founding President and CEO Ted Halstead, and an outstanding Board of Directors. New America is headquartered in our nation’s capital and also has a significant presence in California, the nation’s largest laboratory of democracy.

Interestingly, Fareed Zakaria, who was on the show this morning and heard Tapper use the phrase, is on the New America Foundation’s board.

So I know have something to listen for.

The other thing about the show that I just loved and why I’m feeling more and more affinity for Will:

He said, almost verbatim, as they talked about Hillary Clinton’s hold on the top of the top tier, “When you look at the Republicans, almost anyone looks electable.” I was on the treadmill, you know? So I didn’t write it down.

Now, I actually think that that does a disservice to Hillary. But he made his point in the context that Hillary’s experience, knowledge, intelligence and tenacity aren’t fleeting flashes of reasons to vote for her. They actually make her a decent, desirable choice.

I happen to feel that way myself about her right now.

10 thoughts on “"Post-partisan" concept and why I love George Will

  1. our political system, with all due respect unique, is broken; until we can focus on issues and not political parties we are doomed. I’m all for getting down and dirty into the issues but not just to save face or promote a party. JMO

  2. “post-partisan” politics: It sounds like one of those ‘buzz’ phrases – meant to mean something but it really doesn’t. It seems like a word invented to distance oneself from the dirtiness of politics while remaining embedded in it. disingenuous at best – total BS at worst.YMMV.Yeah, I’m cynical and blunt. No time or desire for boloney here …

  3. Two things got me excited as I try to get sleepy. I am not a conservative but I love George Will. The partisan aspect of life is what causes the panelists and others to automatically dismiss him because he IS conservative. Who ever said that your ‘moniker’ makes you invisible if you don’t share that moniker? Not me! I was elated to hear Bloomberg decry partisanship. I had a cynical thought or two that he was doing it for political purposes. But then I ignored those doubts lol. We can’t solve problems unless we listen to each others proposals, brainstorm, work through issues. I rarely see things in black and white and I doubt the majority of the people do. He’s worth listening to! They both are. Maybe I am getting old too although I felt this way in my twenties.

  4. Jill:One of the interesting things about the internet is that it makes it very easy to organize people around candidates and ideas as opposed to around parties. I think that that is what people are getting at when the use the term “post-partisan”. The problem, though, is that most people need a quick frame of reference, a way to pigeonhole information and the parties perform that function. Since there is a rough coherence of positions, telling a voter that you are a Democrat or a Republican allows them to sort you out and put this fact into a pigeonhole in their mind. For that reason I am not sure that it would be possible for truly “post-partisan” politics, especially in a country the size of the US.

  5. I’ve been involved in Unity08 since the very beginning, I agreed to be one of the Delegates, my husband also agreed to be one because we do care about trying to create a process where it is based more on individual characteristics/abilities/qualifications of the candidate rather than on which political party it is. However, I’m not sure if Unity08 could be called non-partisan since it does take into consideration the two main political parties, it would probably be more accurate to call it a bi-partisan attempt. Which in the end the success depends upon the candidates selected. If you look at their dream ticket you’ll see clearly it’s more of a bi-partisan effort that does include members of “other” instead of doing a by name only no party affiliation for the R’s and the D’s.

  6. Anon the 2nd: I think that’s entirely possible and I don’t think the paradox is all that…paradoxical. You can belong to a group that says no one group should dominate – that’s how I would see it.

  7. Anon the 1st: Funny, I didn’t really think of Unity08 when listening this morning or writing, later. They contacted me last year, before I knew they existed I think, to write a guest post (which I did).I continue to follow what they’re doing but I’m not sure that its what I imagine would help more people find their political voice in people running for office.It’s something else…

  8. I don’t know if this comment is really worth making, but I’ll make it anyway. It seems to me that Unity08 might be characterized as an aspiring political party whose underlying principles include non-partisanship. I expect there’s a paradox lurking in there somewhere, but I’ll let someone else articulate it.

  9. [quote]He said, almost verbatim, as they talked about Hillary Clinton’s hold on the top of the top tier, “When you look at the Republicans, almost anyone looks electable.” I was on the treadmill, you know? So I didn’t write it down.Now, I actually think that that does a disservice to Hillary. But he made his point in the context that Hillary’s experience, knowledge, intelligence and tenacity aren’t fleeting flashes of reasons to vote for her. They actually make her a decent, desirable choice.[/quote]That’s not how I read that remark. Given who he is, Will certainly wasn’t singing Clinton’s praises. Of course it does a disservice to her, it wasn’t meant to be complimentary. To me, it came across as an indictment of the Republican presidential field. Will doesn’t see anything to get excited about in the GOP side, so he says that just about anyone else would be preferable to the currently available choices. Basically he’s saying that right now, his preference from the GOP field is “none of the above.”

  10. If we’re going to talk about post-partisanship, Unity08 might be of interest. One of Unity08’s goals is “the election of a Unity Ticket for President and Vice-President of the United States in 2008 — headed by a woman and/or man from each major party or by an independent who presents a Unity Team from both parties.” With respect to the issues, Unity08 believes, “The political parties have been built to address the interests of their ‘base’ but have failed to address the realities that impact most Americans.” This sounds darn close to the Cape Cod blog’s tagline, “where solving problems trumps salving ideology.”A problem I have with both Unity08 and the Cape Cod tagline is the implicit assumption that the solutions to problems are clear–it’s just partisanship that gets in the way. First, I would assert that the solutions to most complex problems are not clear, except, perhaps, to ideologues. Second, as long as we have groups with different principles and interests, political parties (or some equivalent) are inevitable and probably a good thing.

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