No Labels was created by two Washington consultants, the Democratic fund-raiser Nancy Jacobson and the Republican image-shaper Mark McKinnon, and its slick opening event featured throngs of journalists, free boxed lunches and a song written for the occasion by the pop sensation Akon. The group’s slogan, printed on T-shirts and banners, summarizes its purpose this way: “Not left. Not right. Forward.”Lots of names at the link, nearly all Democrats. There were Republicans, but as Byron York noted at the time:
For some reason, most of the Republicans who showed up were recently defeated officeholders: South Carolina Rep. Bob Inglis, Delaware Rep. Mike Castle, and Florida Gov. Charlie Crist.Where's No Labels now? Absorbed into the Obama campaign? It's more likely that they are so forgotten that their previous use of the motto had no effect on the Obama campaign's motto choice.
Here's the Wikipedia article on the group, which released a "Make Congress Work action plan" in December 2011. Did you notice? It's a 12-point plan... a 12-step program:
- Automatic pay docking for Congress if the federal budget is not passed on time
- An up-or-down vote on all presidential appointments within 90 days of their nomination
- Changing the rules of the filibuster so as to make the process more difficult to accomplish (by having filibustering senators stand on the floor and speak as long as they can), as well as elimination of filibusters of motions to open debate.
- Anonymous discharge petitions
- A five-day workweek in Congress
- Institution of Question Time between Congress and the President
- An annual fiscal report delivered to a joint session of Congress, after which everyone present must sign the report
- A code of conduct banning the taking of pledges from special interest groups
- Bipartisan monthly gatherings to be held off-the-record.
- The establishment of bipartisan seating
- The establishment of a Bipartisan Leadership Council to be made up of the Speaker of the House, the president pro tempore, and Majority and Minority leaders of both houses, and two slots per house for other members to be decided using a lottery
- The banning of incumbents taking part in negative campaigns against other incumbents