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Himes Participates in No Labels Meeting “to Make America Work”

There is only one way to fix what’s wrong in Washington, and it isn’t the way Jim Himes is pursuing:

Memo to ‘No Labels’: To fix Congress, first fix the GOP Posted by Jamelle Bouie

When the group “No Labels” debuted two years ago, they were mocked as “naive and patronizing,” and for good reason. No Labels blamed “both sides” for congressional dysfunction when Washington’s problems were the obvious result of the Republican Party’s plunge into extremism…

This morning, in an event featuring former Utah governor Jon Huntsman and West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, No Labels relaunched itself as a pragmatic, “problem-solving” caucus aimed at uniting legislators from both sides.

The group has also unveiled several proposals for building more cooperation among lawmakers. They include a plan to deny pay to Congress until a budget is passed, requiring an “up or down” vote on presidential appointments, filibuster reform, regular fiscal reports to Congress, monthly bipartisan meetings of Congress, bipartisan seating in Congress, and a British-style “question time” for the president.

Some of these, like the change to confirmation procedure, are good ideas. Most are just gimmicks. And none of them address the core problem facing American politics: A broken Republican Party… Indeed, if No Labels were serious about fixing American politics, it wouldn’t waste time on congressional procedure at all. Instead, it would devote its time and resources to promoting moderate and conservative Republicans, with an eye toward people who can work constructively to solve problems.

It’s understandable that centrist-minded organizations would want to avoid explicit partisan affiliations. But focusing on the Republican Party isn’t partisan — it’s accurately diagnosing the problem. If No Labels wants to be effective, at all, it has to take that step.