No Labels being known as a bit of a joke is not very surprising to those who have had the misfortune of being familiar with the organization.
After all, their high water moment was the day they launched as an organization way back in December of 2010 under the theory that they could change the hyper-partisan culture in Washington by bringing Democrats, Republicans, and Independents together to force our lawmakers to get things done for the American people.
Since then? Well, they have not done much. Their two biggest wins have basically been getting Congress to sit together during the State of the Union Address, which has worked wonders and has helped break the gridlock in Washington; and the passage of the No Budget, No Pay bill where the bill’s lead sponsor didn’t even give them any credit, much less a shout out after its passage.
I laid out a few reasons as to why No Labels would never succeed in this article from way back in 2013. And many of these reasons still stand today.
The problem for the organization is now they are even worse than they were three years ago.
It is safe to say they have now officially hit rock bottom after the organization’s co-Chair, Jon Huntsman, came out and urged republicans to rally around Donald Trump. Huntsman said “We’ve had enough intraparty fighting. Now’s the time to stitch together a winning coalition,” and also added “And it’s been clear almost from the beginning that Donald Trump has the ability to assemble a nontraditional bloc of supporters. … The ability to cut across traditional party boundaries — like ’80, ’92 and 2008 — will be key, and Trump is much better positioned to achieve that.”
That’s right. The co-Chair of the organization who stresses the importance of coming together and not putting labels on people who disagree with you let those words pass through his lips; even worse, he seemed to compare Trump to Presidents Reagan, Clinton, and Obama. Forget the hypocrisy of this quote for a second and just think about the stupidity of it.
Donald Trump hasn’t brought anybody together. At least not to support him. He has awful favorability ratings among women, young people, African Americans, Muslims, and Hispanics for obvious reasons. His coalition consists largely of conservative white people and not much else.
And yet despite all of the offensive remarks Trump has made about each of these demographic groups, not only is the leader the organization getting behind him, but they invited him to their Problem Solvers convention last fall. As you can imagine, it went super well.
No Labels never used to have this love affair with Trump. In fact, here is a 2012 blog post on their website listing some of the most ridiculous things Trump has said. Seems tame compared to what he has said recently, no?
So why the change of heart? It’s desperation, of course. No Labels is an organization that has still, after six years, not made much of a mark on Washington. Now they just want attention and a sense of relevancy. I guess you can make the argument that No Labels and Trump are made for each other.
Basically, No Labels has been reduced to being the drunk person at the bar who after last call is so desperate they will go home with anybody.
This does come at a cost though. Word from a few sources are saying some of their big donors are bailing on them (what took them so long to realize they were wasting their money?), especially in the aftermath of the organization giving Trump their seal of approval because he made some meaningless promises of things he will do as president.
They also asked their supporters to thank Ben Carson for doing the same thing. Yes, this is the same Ben Carson who said President Obama’s healthcare law was worse than slavery.
It goes deeper than this though. Some members of the No Labels Problem Solvers Caucus supported the government shutdown of 2013.
And in 2014, the organization threw its support behind Tea Party backed Congressman Cory Gardner in his successful bid to unseat incumbent Colorado Sen. Mark Udall; widely known as a Senator who worked across the aisle. This caused then No Labels co-chair, and current West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin to resign from the organization.
No Labels says they are different, but in reality, they are exactly like so many other groups and people in politics. They stand for something until it is no longer convenient for them.
When I worked there, they refused to endorse candidates. Now when they do they go against the very Senator (Udall) they should be supporting?
They post blogs saying we are fortunate Donald Trump is not in Congress in 2012 and four years later have their national co-chair more or less endorse him?
This is not an organization committed to solving problems. It is a fraud of an organization committed to keep itself in the news.
And if it means they have to sell their souls to achieve that, so be it.