The organizers of the bipartisan panel that met in Oklahoma just posted a full transcript of the event.
Since almost every word Michael Bloomberg said at the event has been reported, the part of the transcript that jumped out at me was the defense of partisanship that came from panel member Bill Brock, a former Republican Senator from Tennessee.
At the event yesterday Brock said, “Yeah, it may be strange to defend the two parties in a country where a plurality of us now call ourselves independent. But the truth is that a political party is the bridge between most of us in our government. It’s the access point. And it is an important instrument for us as citizens.
“And what’s happened in the last 15, 20 years, particularly is we’ve seen an erosion in our parties as we create these new instruments of big money, 527s, 523s, unaccountable funds coming from people at either rend of the extremes. And I find that really, really dangerous.
“So I don’t think I want to put the burden on the parties,” he said. He went on to say, “We can be partisan. There’s something respectable about that.”