Thursday, July 28, 2005

Third Way: Another Watered Down Centrist Organization Pretending To Be Progressive

Senator Evan Bayh of Indiana, would like to run for President in 2008. He has associated himself with yet another "centrist" Democratic organization similar to the DLC. And not all of the ideas or proposals of Third Way are entirely bad, but simply way to timid to confront serious economic policy, military, foreign policy and other concerns that need a more forceful response.

For example this organization praises work with so-called Republican "moderates" like John McCain. Yet never bothers to mention that McCain's record is often far from moderate. McCain voted against a hate crimes bill intended to protect against violence or murder based on race, sex, sexual orientation, disability or other reasonable standards, yet McCain voted against this bill, although conservative Republican Senator from Oregon, Gordon Smith was one of the bill's main sponsors. Does a "moderate" allow hate crimes against minorites, women or even homosexuals? Even your most conservative police chief will seriously prosecute any violence or murder in their community, buy some senators like John McCain are too cowardly to follow simliar standards against lawless conduct and violence.

And while some oil companies such BP recently reported a 29% jump in profits due to high oil products prices, Third Way offers no answer on important economic issues like this. In Portland, Oregon, the city council attempted to purchase Enron owned PGE to reduce power costs to consumers, however Enron has avoided this sale looking to market PGE to a Texas energy giant or a similar mega-enterprise. Former Enron CEO, Ken Lay would have received a $20 million dollar a year salary had he not been indicted for crimes. Third Way has no answer to important economic issues like this, which public utility district control or public ownership of energy companies would help to control prices and consumer abuse. Public control could also offer reduced energy costs to elderly or poor consumers, something that a privately run company usually never does. In fact some oil company executive were caught in a phone conversation laughing at a scheme to actually cost elderly poor more money for energy use.

And despite the serious problems with the Iraq War that the Bush Administration has gotten America into, and questions about the honesty of the arguments and credibility of the "intelligence" that sucked America into this endless conflict, Third Way offers little answers. The Pentagon has done little more than mislead the average American on the progress of this war. The Pentagon even claimed that only about 12,000 insurgents may exist in Iraq. Now they claim that 50,000 insurgents have been killed in the last 18 months, which means that maybe 100,000 to 200,000 insurgents exist in Iraq at any given time, as well as millions more from other Muslim nations who may join the conflict from these other nations.

And just like Rick Santorum and others who champion meaningless far right social issues while jobs are lost in America to unfair foreign competition, and the war wages on in Iraq and radicalizes many in Muslim states and increases terrorism danger by the day, Third Way has decided to champion their own social agenda similar to the religious right. Third Way made news yesterday on NBC's Today Show, by claiming that a study by their organization supported the highly suspect claim that the main users of adult entertainment sites on the Internet are 11-17 year olds, and not adult users. Yet unlike any reputable poll or study from Zogby, or a similar organization, no proof of study methodology was offered. And the "study" was used to support a bill by an Arkansas Representative affiliated with Third Way to levy a 25% tax on adult entertainment sites as well as providing a credit card age verification process. Yet the Supreme Court has already turned down a bill passed by Congress to regulate Internet speech before, and a tax or credit card verification probably would not pass the current court. This is not to say that these sites are desirable, but that the premise that children are main users was not backed by any credible evidence presented and that their solution of a 25% tax and a credit card verification process probably would not pass a Supreme Court case. Just like the Christian Right that offers absurd premises to support their agenda, Third Way seems similarly inclined. Third Way fails to consider that parents may easily purchase or even use filtering software from their Internet provider to block objectionable sites. And which sites qualify for a tax based on speech content or not, becomes an absurd question that the Supreme Court is nearly certain to reject if the bill should become law. Instead of serious economic proposals to protect the economic well being of families, Third Way is becoming identical to the Christian Right in promoting absurd social issues like this 25% tax on speech content. This is hardly the same agenda as promoting family issues such as decent jobs or safe communities. This is merely "Christian Right light" to promote likely unconstitutional bills that tax free expression.

And while Third Way offers some intelligent insight into some areas of the decay of the Democratic message in many parts of the country, including the South. Yet the organization is hardly progressive on nature. Or really offers any answers. It is a watered down "centrist" organization that somewhat mimics the Republican Right, but in a Democratic form. And nothing in this organization seems willing to tackle the big corporate donations that puppeteer both political parties. Third Way is like "Republican light".