What if the remaining moderates in Congress or the legislature would form their own Centrist Caucus? These individuals could conceivably come from either party, a third party or simply be independent. I realize that there aren’t a lot of these moderates left. But if they could make up even 5 or 10% of the larger group, they would form the swing votes on virtually all legislation. Both the folks on the right and on the left would be forced to build a consensus with the Centrists in order to get legislation through the process. The Centrists would become the swing votes. All of the highly partisan, sometimes nutty proposals that come from the extremes wouldn’t have a chance. There are a few examples of this happening on a less formal basis. During the last Congress, Joe Lebierman managed this at times all by himself. The Blue Dog Democrats and the Gang of Six had functioned this way on several occasions.
I realize that there would be a very substantial risk for each of them in the reelection process. Each person who had taken more than a few opportunities to buck the will of their own party in favor of the Centrist agenda, could well loose many of the support mechanisms that a party provides amidst a campaign … namely money. Reality is that money tends to flow toward the extremes. They may also face strong primary challenges, especially in that it is the more extreme faction of any party who votes in primaries. Best scenario of all would be to have a viable third party. I’m just having a hard time seeing how that is going to happen. Lots of forces at work to prevent it.
My grand hope would be that, if this could fall into place for even one legislative session, citizens would see government function … and we could move forward.
Just a thought … DonC