The “Centrists” At Americans Elect Fail To Choose A Candidate

Moderates, centrists, independents — they’re a joke. For the most part, they’re either uninformed, indecisive, or in the grip of muddled thinking that prevents them from clearly defining the issues — which is fine as far as it goes. But, all too often, moderates have managed to sculpt an entirely undeserved sense of superiority out of their lack of ideological underpinnings and the country ends up captive to them at the end of every election. The left-wingers go for the socialist, the conservatives go for the capitalist and the election ends up being decided by gangs of idiots who make their decisions based on which candidate is taller, whose wife they like the best, or some lame, long disproved story that they read in a glurge email the day before the election.

So, when you have a group of hacks like Americans Elect that’s designed to appeal to people like this from the get-go, it can only be good news when they trip and fall.

Americans Elect, the deep-pocketed nonprofit group that set out to nominate a centrist third-party presidential ticket, admitted early Tuesday that its ballyhooed online nominating process had failed.

The group had qualified for the general election ballot in 27 states, and had generated concern among Democrats and Republicans alike that it could wreak havoc on a close election between President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.

But just after a midnight deadline Monday, the group acknowledged that its complicated online nominating process had failed to generate sufficient interest to push any of the candidates who had declared an interest in its nomination over the threshold in its rules.

The idea for Americans Elect was to break the grip of the two major parties on national politics, which the group blames for Washington’s hyperpartisan gridlock.

Prominent backers included former New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd Whitman and Manhattan private equity tycoon Peter Ackerman, who provided millions in seed funding.

…The group failed to generate interest in possible campaigns from Sens. Joe Lieberman and Lamar Alexander, and its highest-profile candidate had been former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer, who declared his candidacy after dropping his bid for the GOP presidential nomination.

Some of the other candidates Americans Elect was reportedly interested in running included,

The person who came closest to meeting the threshold was Buddy Roemer, the former Louisiana governor who labored mightily to win the group’s favor after being shunted rudely aside during the Republican primaries. But AE’s team had its sights set higher–among its dream candidates were Jon Huntsman, Jr., Olympia Snowe, Mike Bloomberg, Lamar Alexander, and David Walker (the former head of the GAO, for those of you who don’t keep up on those things.)

Here’s a question: What makes any of these candidates particularly well qualified to appeal to “centrists?” You may say, “Oh, well, none of them are on the far left or right wing.” True, but there’s a fairly well defined ideological agenda on the left and right wing. Everybody reading this could probably give you a pretty good rundown of a half dozen positions a candidate should take to appeal to either liberals or conservatives.

So, what’s the “centrist” agenda exactly? There isn’t one. That’s why a liberal nanny stater like Mike Bloomberg, a solid hawk on foreign policy, but domestically liberal candidate like Joe Lieberman, a left-of-center Republican like Olympia Snowe, a right-of-center Republican like Lamar Alexander, and Jon Huntsman, who tried to portray himself as the “true conservative” in the Republican race for the presidency (Stop laughing), can all be on the same list of potential candidates.

In other words, the whole appeal of Americans Elect is supposed to be that you can feel good about yourself because you’re supporting a candidate not because of any particular position he takes on any issue, but because he or she isn’t a doctrinaire liberal or a conservative.

What a dumb, shallow reason to back a candidate. No wonder it appeals to centrists.

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