'No Labels' is about compromising principles



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To the editor:

Having a pecuniary interest in the success of his “No Labels” group, it’s not at all surprising that Bill Galston would go on the attack against my criticism of his organization. ("'No Labels' is democracy in action," Sept. 7-20 NHBR).

He claims my comments in an Aug. 24-Sept. 6 NHBR column, "could not be further from the truth.” Yet in his words on these pages, while he speaks glowingly of the group he co-founded, he in fact does not dispute one fact I cited. Not one. Re-read his letter for yourself.

He points out that there are a half-million members. That’s because many Americans do sincerely want civil discourse, and unfortunately some took the bait. After all, it sounds so pleasant to call on members of Congress to play nice. Who could be against that?

One good Democrat, former Portsmouth Mayor Steve Marchand, was a member until he saw through their cover. He could recognize that it really was a wolf in sheep’s clothing. He bailed out as soon as he found out the truth, which is they are a very well-financed group demanding surrender by Democrats only, never by Republicans.

Here’s an example of their malarkey from co-founder Galston, speaking of members of Congress: “We want them to reach across the aisle and work together for the good of the country.” And the Republicans have really shown themselves willing to do that. Puh-lease!

He never disputes my citation of facts: The moneyed interests behind No Labels, its insistence that Democrats compromise their principles while framing the goals of the right as those of the mainstream that we silly progressive Democrats should now sheepishly embrace. Hogwash.

Galston claims No Labels is nothing but “democracy in action.” Last time I checked, democracy meant at least two opposing parties. It’s best for democracy when politicians stand for something -- and, yes, fight for what they believe.

Burt Cohen
New Castle

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