NPR's Diane Rehm show on Thursday took up the cause of the new group "No Labels," inviting one of its founders, former Clinton aide Jon Cowan, in for a panel with right-leaning New York Times columnist Ross Douthat, former GOP Rep. Mickey Edwards (now a centrist railing against political parties in general), and Washington Post columnist E. J. Dionne. Dionne applauded the "No Labels" niceties about changing the tone and "fact-based" debates, but challenged Cowan's grip on facts:
John, in his discussion, gave away what I find troubling here. He used the word “far left.” I challenge him to show me where that “far left” is. I’d love to know where that is. I think the basic difficulty I have with his group arises from the false equivalence they’re making between our current left and our current right.
The truth is the American Right has moved much farther from anything that can fairly be called the center that the left has. I mean, in the column, I say, even socialists – real socialists, people who call themselves socialists – they’re not for nationalizing industry any more, they’re for the market. There is no far left.