Do you check your principles at the door with No Labels? The political group that gathers Democrats, a few Republicans, and Independents, (many, but not all, from a Democratic background), had a get-together in New Hampshire. The speakers included: Trump, Sanders, Kasich, O’Malley, as well as a Lindsey Graham, George Pataki, Christ Christie, and Jim Webb. It was all about Problem Solvers with a capital P and a captial S. And the idea makes sense: dysfuntional gridlock in Congress means problems do not get solved.

But is it just House and Senate bickering? Or are the partisan divisions on the hill the reflection of deep divisions across the country on how to solve problems? Or even what is a problem? Can Congress get back to compromise on legislation when significant sectors (if not majorities) of voters deeply disagree vigorously on the solutions themselves?

In other words, what is not checking your principles at the door and what is unecessary bickering in Congress? And who decides that? The Tea Party exists in part because of anger at the consensus solutions provided by Washington. So given that No Labels says they do not expect you to check your principles at the door, they also state that a new silent majority is sick of ideologues on the left and the right. In other words, if you are a conservative, check your principles at the door please. It is less clear if the same thing applies to left-wing advocates like Bernie Sanders who, of course, was a speaker at the Problem Solver confab in New Hampshire.

At the Democrat debates, will the spirit of No Labels cleanse the agenda of attacks on the GOP and on conservatives? Or will Hillary come out swinging at her opponents? With an issue like charter schools, for example, that now pits black parents, who love the idea of giving their kids a good start in a competitive world, against teacher’s unions who are unwilling or vocally opposed to the changes that charter schools imply, be seen as a problem to be solved? And not a place to stake a flag for unions? How will Hillary – who depends on identity politics – solve that one? And how will Bernie Sanders – who has never met a union he doesn’t like – deal with charter schools? And will the question even get asked at the debate? No Labels, please take note(s).