Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Silver Lining-- No More Blue Dogs?


There's no 13th dimensional chess strategery that would ever see me vote for an out and out reactionary like Joe Manchin (D-WV), even if his solid F grade isn't as bad-- by some twisted logic-- as John Raese's F. An F is an F and Democrats need to stop trying to force Joe Manchins, Ben Nelsons, Blanche Lincolns and packs of Blue Dogs on America if they expect to get anything worthwhile accomplished and earn their miserable cushy careers. Yesterday's Wall Street Journal bemoans the likely loss next week of as many as half the Blue Dog Caucus. That was the silver lining I was referring to in the title. (And the Blue America PAC is actively promoting at least one Blue Dog career fatality: worthless Alabama traitor Bobby Bright.) The Journal claims the loss of the aisle-crossing Blue Dogs will make the next Congress "more polarized than the current one," ignoring the Republican Party "Hell No" strategy of obstruction and their blatant willingness to tank the economy and even the safety of the nation to make Obama a one-term president. Yesterday Miss McConnell was lisping all over Washington, "The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president." How is that going to not be polarizing?

But that isn't how the Journal or any other corporate interests see it. To them the reactionary and corrupt Blue Dogs are "moderates" and "a kind of human bridge, connecting left and right." And they would love to see a couple dozen progressives lose while the human bridges could work in harmony with Boehner and Miss McConnell to dismantle Social Security, Medicare, the regulatory agencies that protect the public and, while they're at it, public education.
Of 54 Blue Dogs in the House, six already have retired or decided to seek other offices. Of those trying to stay, 39 are in competitive races, according to the Cook Political Report, and 22 of those are in pure toss-ups.

Among those facing the toughest races are some of the Blue Dog Coalition's leaders. Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin of South Dakota, one of the co-chairs of the group, is locked in a contest with State Rep. Kristi Noem; in the most recent polling earlier this month, conducting by Rasmussen Reports, Ms. Herseth Sandlin trailed 47% to 43%.

Similarly, Rep. Baron Hill of Indiana, a fellow Blue Dog leader, is battling Republican attorney Todd Young in a deadlocked race both parties see as an indicator of the size of the GOP wave.
The bottom line is that the Blue Dog population could be cut significantly, conceivably by half, in next week's voting.

..."This is going to be a very tough election for the Blue Dogs, because many of them had success in districts where Democrats are always an endangered species," says Jim Kessler, vice president for policy at Third Way, a think tank promoting the ideas of moderate Democrats. "If they lose, some of them may come back in a future wave election, but those are never safe seats."

Meantime, liberal Democrats such as Nancy Pelosi, John Conyers and Henry Waxman hail from reliably Democratic districts, and they will be returning.

The upshot is one of the great political ironies of the year: A national conservative wave will hit hardest not at the most liberal Democrats, but at the most conservative Democrats. The Democratic caucus left behind will be, on balance, more liberal than it was before the election.

"A national conservative wave?" What hogwash-- but they can't wait to persuade the public that that's what's happening. That people are buying into the conservative vision of freedom and liberty that allows the wealthy and power to exercise their "freedom" to exploit the rest of us and gives them the "liberty" to virtually enslave everyone else.
Within the Democratic party, many expect this process to produce a vigorous, perhaps nasty, internal debate about the ideological direction of the party. Already some on the party's left are complaining that the centrists who will lose didn't support the party's signature legislative initiatives, such as the health-care overhaul, and that their departure should be seen as a sign the party would be better off pursuing a more liberal agenda that would please and fire up its base.

Yeah... or benefit the ordinary working families who are America (well they are unless you buy into the conservative vision). The Blue Dogs were always a very bad idea-- except from the perspective of a careerist Democratic leader looking for corporate cash and for principle-less power. We'll see if Debbie Wasserman Schultz can carry through Rahm Emanuel's vision starting November 3.

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At 10:24 AM, Blogger indoor camping said...

That's one way for me to stop crying after looking at the potential blue massacre odds on November 2nd. I'm afraid I'm going to need a lot of tissue on November 3rd. Any help?

At 11:07 AM, Anonymous me said...

Yesterday's Wall Street Journal bemoans...

Anything that makes those rotten sons of bitches unhappy is fine by me.

JM, I understand. I blame Obama. If he's been the strong leader we needed, the Dems would be mopping the floor with the repubs this year.

Either way though, we'd be getting rid of some of the DINOs, and that's a good thing.

At 11:10 AM, Anonymous me said...

make Obama a one-term president

That's fine by me too. I'd rather have an enemy than a false friend.

At 12:08 PM, Anonymous wjbill49 said...

The result of the 50 state strategy? Dems need to make everyone sign the "planks" whether from the deep south, Utah or Rhode Island.

At 2:54 PM, Blogger PinkPuppyPoliticalWatchDog said...

We, progressives in Arkansas, have one hope in countering the red state in our Senatorial election this November. John Gray, U.S. Senate Candidate of the Green Party. "Think Outside the Box" here:

According to this website, Gray won the debate between Lincoln and Boozman hands down:

Here is the link to the AETN DEBATE VIDEO:

We progressives sorely need your help activating this message out on all media feasible...anyone with connections to national media, please let them know we are not giving up the fight!

At 6:15 PM, Anonymous Balakirev said...

Nice piece, Howie. Agreed: we can do without Blue Dogs completely. Smaller isn't worse, in political terms, not if it brings focus and energy.

Me: complete and utter agreement.

At 6:56 PM, Anonymous me said...

Ironically, I agree with the 50-state strategy. But I don't like the way it was done.

By "winning in 50 states" I don't mean nominal Democrats, I mean honest and competent politicians. I would have been willing to lose in some places rather than to win with repubs who call themselves Democrats.

Like I've said before, the effort must last longer than one election cycle. If you're campaigning as a liberal in a red area, do not expect to win the first time, or the second. By the third time around, people will be listening to what you have to say.

At 1:26 AM, Anonymous Shazta said...

Many progressives in Arkansas could not deal with the idea of voting for Blanche Lincoln after she won the primary over Bill Halter. Fortunately we found a wonderful candidate running on the Green ticket named John Gray. This mans' ideas and beliefs are pure progressive. I am so happy to be able to vote for him. Anyone who can help get the word out about this great candidate to Arkansans before the election, please do. There are still so many Arkansans who are not aware that they have a choice in this election and I fear many of the former Halter voters would rather stay home than vote for Blanche Lincoln. Since John Gray gets no corporate money it puts him and his campaign at an extreme disadvantage against two corporate machines like Lincoln(D)and Boozman(R).


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