People who see third parties as a solution in the American system naturally tend to speak entirely in evasive gibberish, but I think Matt Miller’s latest plea is a particularly perfect specimen:
If you think, as I’ve argued repeatedly, that we need a “radically centrist” third-party presidential candidate to shake things up, and to force both political parties to confront the myriad issues that their interest groups and ideological litmus tests bar them from treating honestly, then there are only two ways for that to happen in 2012. Like it or not, both depend on wealthy Americans investing in creative political change.
First, nobody should ever use the term “radical centrism” again. Second, the pain caucus policies the term seems to represent are in fact remarkably overrepresnted in the nation’s political discourse. Third, it’s (to put it mildly) unclear how having a Third Party representative selling a mixture of policies that have virtually no constituency will “shake things up.” Seriously, Rick Perry is going to suddenly embrace across-the-board tax hikes because a billionaire with no political support expressing unpopular ideas is running? I’m eternally baffled by people who think that politics works like a junior high debating society, with Fred Hiatt as the final judge.
Besides, I will once again note that a third party should “shake things up” by pointing out that I am completely right about everything. I demand the “Radical Centrist” ticket in Unity ’12!