Robert Levine’s 3rd Party

What are the odds of a 3rd party in America?

Not bad, according to one Westporter — a man who should know.

According to alert “06880” reader Tish Fried — who wrote the following report — over 40 people attended a book launch on that subject last Friday at Write Yourself Free in Colonial Green.

Robert A. Levine (Photo/Dave Matlow)

They discussed Robert A. Levine‘s latest work, Resurrecting Democracy: A Citizen’s Call for a Centrist Third Party.  Levine — a Westporter for 40 years — is fed up with the extreme partisan bickering that’s paralyzed the federal government.

A Vietnam vet who became a medical doctor, Levine has watched the evolution of American politics with increasing alarm.  Energized by his faith in democratic processes, he wrote this book.

“Is democracy dead if it needs resurrecting?” asked Patrick McCord, the event moderator.

“The current form of democracy serves to reinforce sitting Congress and the established parties’ self-interest,” Levine replied.

He proposed “a 3rd party, not bound by a single personality and structured on the principals of transparency, integrity, competency; a party with a commitment to finding pragmatic solutions to our most urgent problems.”

An energetic discussion of the viability of creating a 3rd party ensued.

Levine believes the moment is now.  “This is a great time for this discussion. Congressional approval is at an all time low of 9%, the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street Movements are gaining numbers.  Why not now?”

Audience members shouted out names of possible leaders:  Chuck Hagel.  Michael Bloomberg.  Russ Feingold.  Even Republican presidential nominee Jon Huntsman.

“The talent is out there,” Levine said.  “We need men and women who will become a part of this movement.”

Levine said that he has been a political junkie since his days as a history major at Columbia University.  But many Westporters know him as their doctor.  A neurologist in private practice, he’s been on staff at Norwalk Hospital for over 4 decades.

A 3rd party.  Just what the doctor ordered?

41 responses to “Robert Levine’s 3rd Party

  1. People looking for a 3rd “centrist” party are delusional if they are implying the current democratic party is somehow a liberal or a left wing party. Obama’s democratic party is about as liberal as a Regan’s GOP. So, anyone who is looking for a 3rd party to be centered between the crackpot GOP and the utterly corrupt, already right wing democrats seems to be yearning for a party of corrupt conservative crackpots. Good luck with that.

  2. The Dude Abides

    Interesting that Brooks and Friedman both advocate the evolution of a third party as well. Our experience with Perot and Nader in recent decades don’t give it much credence although Ross cost Bush ’41 the election. The internet and its ability to raise campaign funds was suppose to give a 3rd party a chance to emerge. But anonymous is correct, the only evidence is coming from the far right which is hateful and a comedy act. The far left is unrepresentative in today’s political world. Perhaps the many faceted but enigmatic Bloomie will move to the left and make a run?? The one advantage he has is that he can finance his own campaign. Interesting article. Thanks to the Professor, Tish and Patrick.

    • Brooks and Friedman are examples #1 and #2 of what is wrong with elite “punditry” in American journalism today. They’ve been pretty much wrong about everything for over a decade, and yet they still wake up every day and crank out sensible sounding hogwash that makes the robber barons feel safe and content. There is no accountability for spouting bullshit in the “newspaper of record” – in fact careers are made on it.

      • The Dude Abides

        It is the nature of the 4th estate. Actually I find Brooks far more spot-on or at least interesting than Friedman.

  3. Far right hate? The most dangerous and destructive hate is the class warfare/envy crap being stirred up by Obama. Watch the mobs in the streets, there is your Obama base.

  4. Travis McGee III

    Stirred up by Obama? Did you ever hear of Karl Rove? Do you listen to Rush or Beck or anything on Fox News? OWS is objecting to Wall Street who are some of Obama’s biggest contributors. Your theories are simplistically oblivious to the reality of a GOP consisting of the Tea Party and the Christian Right who will do anything to replace a Black man in the White House including selling their country short.

  5. Keep your head in the sand Travis. Typical liberal, straight to the race card. We want Obama out of the White House because he is an abject failure not because he is (half) black. And please provide Karl Rove quotes that promote class warfare.

  6. “Ann Richards is nothing more than a recovering drunk who hates rich folks. If she is elected, the poor will run Texas.” Karl Rove, October, 1994, Port Arthur, Texas.

    • Obama is the first president since Reconstruction to appoint an overt racist to the SCOTUS. I think the “hate” card is well used by any politician without a favorable track record or a coherent message.

  7. Travis McGee III

    Hardly liberal but your type like to label. Abject failure? Avoided a major depression, financial regulations, Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell repealed, first major piece of social health insurance ever, got Osama, increased drone attacks & CIA special ops in Pakistan, withdrawing us from Iraq. Jeez, you think McCain could even have remembered to do most of things ’44 has done. And now you offer who?? Mitt Romney? Herman Cain? Rick Perry? Reality check in order.

    • We are down 2,000,000 jobs since Obam took office. We have the slowest economic recovery since the Great Depression. We have the longest run of 9.0%+ unemployment since the great Depression. Obama cannot run on his record; Carville has said as much. Killing people with drones or any other means is not a big plus as far as I am concerned. Who is he killing and why? So the Moselm Brotherhood can take over in Egypt? So Al Qaeda can raise its flag over Tripoli? He should stop killing people for no good reason.

  8. Again, take your head out of the sand. Avoided a depression? You can’t prove that, it’s just liberal spin. Every single part of the economy is worse now under Obama . Failure. Obamacare? It’s a misguided pack of lies and the overwhelming majority of the people still don’t want it. Not to mention that he wasted 18 months ramming through the most unpopular piece of legislation in history. Failure. Getting OBL? Sure, give him credit. Of course it would not have been possible without the Bush anti-terror policies. Cutting and running from Iraq? The jury will be out on that one until we see what happens. How’s he doing with Israel? Iran? Ask Netanyahu about that. I doubt you’d like his answer. Each of the Republicans you mention are clearly more qualified than Obama. And most likely, one of them will be president in 2012. I wonder if the media will let him get away with making excuses about the mess their predecessor left behind. Not likely.

    • Joffo,
      Never argue with an idiot (s), they drag you down to their level then beat you with experience.

  9. Joffo you need to get a life. Maybe some anger manage sessions will help.
    Travis is on a boat taking it easy, your the one stuck in the sand. Back to the subject and a job well done by Dan, Tish, Patrick, and Dr. Levine. I will get the book. It is always best to stay open minded and willing to recognize that answers can come from all sides. Being narrow-minded is not the answer. Joffo do you read anything you do not already agree with? You might learn something if you did.

    • Joffo,
      Never argue with an idiot (s), they drag you down to their level then beat you with experience.

  10. Hey Anonymous, Point taken!

  11. Certainly you all differ, Joffo, but the input of Anonymous is certainly uncalled for. I find sitting in the bleachers is far easier than making an intelligent contribution.
    P.S. Herman Cain is qualified to be President? You honestly believe that?

    • You say that even as we have Oblamo? What qualifications did he ever have…for anything!
      Obviously, he thought getting the job, was the job!

  12. I don’t argue with people that stoop to your tactics of calling people “idiots” when they don’t happen to agree. Further, the question was directed to Joffo and not yourself.

  13. Princeton ’82, Yes I honestly believe Cain is qualified to be president. Why is that so hard to understand? Especially when you compare his credentials to Obama’s thin resume. How’s that working out for the country? No one should be surprised that we’ve gotten such lousy results from a president with NO EXECUTIVE EXPERIENCE. Maybe he’s a nice guy, and maybe he can deliver a nice speech but practical experience counts. See below from

    Herman Cain is running for President. He’s not a career politician (in fact he has never held political office). He’s known as a ‘pizza guy’, but there’s a lot more to him. He’s also a computer guy, a banker guy, and a rocket scientist guy. Here’s his bio:

    Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics.
    Master’s degree in Computer Science.
    Mathematician for the Navy, where he worked on missile ballistics (making him a rocket scientist).
    Computer systems analyst for Coca-Cola.
    VP of Corporate Data Systems and Services for Pillsbury (this is the top of the ladder in the computer world, being in charge of information systems for a major corporation).

    All achieved before reaching the age of 35. Since he reached the top of the information systems world, he changed careers!

    Business Manager. Took charge of Pillsbury’s 400 Burger King restaurants in the Philadelphia area, which were the company’s poorest performers in the country. Spent the first nine months learning the business from the ground up, cooking hamburger and yes, cleaning toilets. After three years he had turned them into the company’s best performers.
    Godfather’s Pizza CEO. Was asked by Pillsbury to take charge of their Godfather’s Pizza chain (which was on the verge of bankruptcy). He made it profitable in 14 months.
    In 1988 he led a buyout of the Godfather’s Pizza chain from Pillsbury. He was now the owner of a restaurant chain. Again he reached the top of the ladder of another industry.
    He was also chairman of the National Restaurant Association during this time. This is a group that interacts with government on behalf of the restaurant industry, and it gave him political experience from the non-politician side.

    Having reached the top of a second industry, he changed careers again!

    Adviser to the Federal Reserve System. Herman Cain went to work for the Federal Reserve Banking System advising them on how monetary policy changes would affect American businesses.
    Chairman of the Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank. He worked his way up to the chairmanship of a regional Federal Reserve bank. This is only one step below the chairmanship of the entire Federal Reserve System (the top banking position in the country). This position allowed him to see how monetary policy is made from the inside, and understand the political forces that impact the monetary system.

    After reaching the top of the banking industry, he changed careers for a fourth time!

    Writer and public speaker. He then started to write and speak on leadership. His books include Speak as a Leader, CEO of Self, Leadership is Common Sense, and They Think You’re Stupid.
    Radio Host. Around 2007—after a remarkable 40 year career—he started hosting a radio show on WSB in Atlanta (the largest talk radio station in the country).

    He did all this starting from rock bottom (his father was a chauffeur and his mother was a maid). When you add up his accomplishments in his life—including reaching the top of three unrelated industries: information systems, business management, and banking—Herman Cain may have the most impressive resume of anyone that has run for the presidency in the last half century.

    • Thank you Joffo!
      I like him, I like him a lot!

    • …and it appears serial sexual harasser too, but he only does that to woman and they don’t count.

      • Oh you must be talking about former President Clinton (Paul Jones, Kathleen Willey, 20 year old intern Monica Lewinsky, Elizabeth Ward Gracen, Sally Perdue, Dolly Kyle Browning, and not to mention all the ones the Arkansa State Police brought to him.

        As far as Mr. Cain:
        This is how vague the claims were, and which Politico rushed to publish. They allege there were “conversations allegedly filled with innuendo or personal questions of a sexually suggestive nature,” and also “descriptions of physical gestures that were not overtly sexual” but made women uncomfortable.

        • The Restaurant Association has already corroborated the story. They wrote a check(s) because of his bad behavior.

  14. If I were a democrat, I’d call you a racist.

  15. Princeton '82

    Thank you, Joffo, for your lengthly response. Herman Cain has been a motivational speaker for the past 15 years. He left his current campaign for a book signing. Much like Palin, he is in it for the money. He is hardly a serious candidate and if you have ever lived in the South, you would realize that a Black will never be the GOP’s nominee. Racist? No question that racism is alive and well in the South and many other areas of the country. Further, he is just plain dumb. His explanation during the Las Vegas Republican debates on his 9-9-9 plan was an embarrassment. Along with Mitt, he also did not know China had nuclear capabilities. I could care less about the sexual harrassment charges. FDR, IKE, JFK, Bush ’41 and certainly Bubba all had trouble keeping it zipped.

  16. Cain is being used by the Republican Party in an attempt to show their great compasson for minorities which is suspect if not downright crap.

  17. Princeton ’82, You’ve gone off the rails. Cain is plain stupid? Anonymous had you pegged from the start.

  18. Princeton '82

    I have gone “off the rails” and the inference that I am an “idiot”
    because I disagree with you about Cain? Perhaps the Dude was right about the Right being full of hate. Review the Las Vegas debates where both Romney and Perry pointed out that under Cain’s 9-9-9 plan, Nevadians would be paying a whopping 17% sales tax. He could not comprehend what they were talking about and attemped to excuse his ignorance by saying they were “comparing apples with oranges.” A week later, he changed his economic plan. In an interview with John Stossel on Fox, Cain could not determine whether he was for “freedom of choice” or abortion or anti-abortion. He got so tongue tied and confused that Stossel had to correct him. I admire Cain’s success and candor (which is refreshing) but he is way over his head in running for President.

    • And I’ll ask AGAIN, what were Obama’s qualifications?
      The guys resume was thinner than my hair!

      • The Dude Abides

        His qualifications, John, are that he is the 44th President of the United States. When he does well, the country does well. Why you don’t think that way until at least the election?

        • Dude, Are you typing this as you’re running the NYC Marathon! Damn you’re good!

          • The Dude Abides

            Yep, got my lap top going on mile 22 as we speak. Nah, went on a daily jaunt on Tuesday and ended up with a 6 inch nail through my shoe/heel. Plus, my running partner has some leg issues. Not to be, this year and “running” out of years.

        • I don’t think your claim that if Obama does well the country will do well can be substantiated by any reading of his actions to date. How does sending troops to Uganda without Congressional approval help the country? How does killing US citizens without due process help the country? How does using drones to kill people in almost a dozen countries without Congressional approval or a declaration of war help the country? How does making a $725 million loan to Nancy Pelosi’s brother-in-law help the country? How does making a $525 million loan to a fund raiser help the country? Let’s not be naive, Obama only interest is to further his own.

    • Right now, we have a president who campaigned in all 57 states, thinks ATM’s cause unemployment, and can’t speak Austrian. We have a VP who claims FDR as president went on TV in 1929 and calmed the markets by making a speech. You could pick at random names from the phone book and do better than this.

  19. The Dude Abides

    We disagree. I think ’44 is doing a good job and far better than McCain would have ever done in this period. I can’t remembr a President in my life time that didn’t have a self-perpetuating ego and inside political manuvers. Further, I am not sure Emma or Anonymous would be happy with anyone being President. As for randomly picking from the phone book for a President, apparently that is what the GOP is doing.

    • We will just have to disagree on 44. I think his economic team left him because he did not want to let good economic policy get in the way of his polictics. I have no fondness for Larry Summers, but when he and the rest of the senior policy team jumped ship, they left no one but political hacks to run policy.

  20. The Dude Abides

    Suskind tells it differently in “Confidence Men” where he tells of the campaign people being ousted for the Clinton folks like Summers. Then ’44 brought in the political hacks to deal with the mismanagement he felt was going on under Raul. Interesting to me, Timmy Treasury backstapped ’44 several times in regard to Citi Bank and still remains. His shit must not stink? I am hoping Hillary jumps aboard to replace Joe on the ticket. Your thoughts on local government are beginning to sway me to the national level as well.

    • Well maybe Suskind is right, but Summers did leave as did Roehmer and several other high level economic advisors. Some power dynamic must have changed. If Tim Geithner were tossed over the side after the edonomic team has left, 44 might appear desperate. and rudderless. Besides, who would take his place?

      • And Peter Orszag, who is Vice-Chairman of Citigroup’s Global Banking. I wonder what decisions he made knowing he was leaving Obama for a banking giant? Nah, I’m sure that never affected anything or was a conflict of interest and he remained objective until the day he left.
        That’s who these OWS people should be protesting, the real cause of their issues: Government.