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Tuesday, May 08, 2007

What's the Deal With Unity08?

by Jay Allbritton
During an HBO special last year, the great Lewis Black looked ahead to the 200 election, with one simple, earnest wish--that the Republicans and the Democrats take some time off.

Here's that clip:

Black goes so far as to recommend that Ronald Reagan, in all his glorious deadness, be the next President. I bet the Republicans running for office right now would go for it. But we've been all through that.

Fair or not, the American people are with Black--on the parties, there's no new polling on Reagan. An April poll, however, shows that independents (37.5%) outnumber Democrats (33%) and Republicans(28%).

One group with high hopes to cash in on the swell in independent spirit is Unity08.

From CQPolitics.Com:

So what makes the political veterans who run Unity08, an organization created to end the entrenched political duopoly, think they can break the pattern this time?

At the moment, they are banking mainly on the public’s view that neither the Democratic nor the Republican leaders are doing enough to put the country in the right direction. Unity08 says it can win by stressing an outsider’s commitment to tackling problems the parties haven’t solved — partly because of the long run of divided government but also, the outsiders say, because both parties are motivated to emphasize partisanship in the cause of self-preservation.

But, political analysts say, it will take much more than a pox-on-both-your-parties sentiment or a single-issue crusade for the effort to succeed. It will also require a compelling candidate and a convincing, comprehensive platform. And it will require money — perhaps several hundred million dollars — to compete with the financial power of the major parties. “This is a very, very major organizational undertaking,” said Larry Jacobs, a political scientist at the University of Minnesota. “It’s like building an army from scratch. And how you do that without significant resources — organizational resources, monetary resources, intellectual resources — it’s daunting.”

So daunting is the task of Unity08 that they've become a bit of a laughingstock, though Alicia Mundy is being nice and not laughing, so we'll follow suit. An on-line convention? Ha! Wait, that sounds like a decent idea, really.... Hmm.

Who are the possible candidates for Unity '08? What about Chuck Hagel and Mike Bloomberg? Why were these guys having dinner?

By the way something, believe it or not, Hagel--according to recent Democratic polling--might actually have trouble winning a primary in Nebraska because the base is pissed at him over his stance on the war. Hagel may run for President as much to get out from under that embarrassing scenario as anything. The net result would likely be plus one in the U.S. Senate for Democrats, since much of the Nebraska electorate is with Hagel--just not the base of the Republican Party.

VIDEO: Futurama looks at political parties in... the future.


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