Though I agree with the core of his argument that the compromise between the right and left ain't gonna get you anything you want and(/or) that half the centrists just aren't paying attention and shouldn't even vote. He didn't say that, I did.
The anti-partisan story is a seductive myth, and a dangerous one. Those who represent themselves as standing in the center have their own partialities. Many people who call themselves nonpartisan or independent actually lean left or right but for one reason or another resist coming out of the closet as Democrats or Republicans. Some people who tell pollsters that they’re independents don’t follow politics closely or care about it enough to risk taking sides. They’re hardly model citizens.I appreciate him making that point.
Besides this muddled middle, there are centrists by conviction, who can be just as ideological as people to their right and left. Moderation has its zealots, so convinced of their righteousness that they ignore the probable consequences of their actions. And these days, some fanatics of moderation seem to be afflicted by a strange combination of blindness and amnesia that has made them likely to do harm even to the values they profess.
The fanatics of the center wave away ... concerns. They believe so deeply in the spirit of compromise that their commitment to it is uncompromising. Every time Republicans move to the right, Democrats are supposed to be willing to find common ground by moving further to the right, too. Civic virtue positively requires it.
What I disagree with is Starr's assumption that a few more government programs will solve all our problems. As long as they're lefty programs, not righty ones.
The trouble with left, right and center is that they all accept the legitimacy of cops sticking guns in people's faces to make them obey, whether they agree or not. The extremists on either end are more aware that that's what they're doing when they vote for a welfare or warfare program - it's just that they've got to get those dumb-ass/evil bastards on the other side to pony-up for what's right!
The centrists don't see that. Their way grows all ways.