Labels Are Good

By Bill Maher

Jon Huntsman's new fake-centrist group No Labels ("tell Congress to stop fighting and start fixing!") is getting a lot of media attention. Almost as much attention as the last fake-centrist group, Americans Elect, got this time last year. Remember Americans Elect? They raised a bunch of money to nominate a centrist candidate via some confusing online petition thing. Result: Nobody cared and they gave up.

The No Labels website complains about "hyperpartisanship." But they don't say who is being hyperpartisan, because if they did, they'd have to admit that it's really only the Republicans. It's another one of these sites asking you to sign a petition, in this case a petition to "Make Congress Work." Which isn't going to accomplish anything except generate a huge mailing list for John Huntsman.

No Labels is run by Huntsman, whose record is far more conservative than most Americans realize, and Joe Manchin, a prominent Democratic senator. See? It's bipartisan. One Republican, and one Democrat. Except Joe Manchin is a senator from West Virginia, and is predictably hillbilly-esque: He's anti-abortion, pro-NRA and so against doing anything about climate change that in 2010 he made a TV ad shooting cap-and-trade legislation with a rifle. No Labels? How about "Big Jerk?" Is that too label-y for you?

The premise behind No Labels is that if we just got rid of these pesky labels, everyone could work together. You know, like one of those jams at the Grammy Awards where a country singer and a rapper do a song together. Except in politics, labels actually mean something.