Monday, November 19, 2012

The Blue Dogs Are A Spent Force... Until You See How They've Ditched The White Sheets And Hoods And Morphed Into The New Dems


Kind & Crowley-- the bad news bears, if you're a working American

One of the reasons why it was so important that Nancy Pelosi decided to stay on as House Minority Leader was because what is building up behind her to take over the House Democratic Caucus. The threat of the Blue Dogs is dead-- at least for now-- but the Blue Dogs have morphed into the New Dems, a corporately-financed coalition of Big Business shills within the Democratic Party. Although almost all the detritus left over from the Blue Dogs has joined the New Dems, the New Dems aren't "as bad" as the Blue Dogs were. Well... they're not as bad on social issues-- Blue Dogs being generally homophobic, anti-Choice, anti-immigrant, etc-- but they are every bit as bad on economic and fiscal issues. These are the Democrats who want to make a deal with the GOP to allow a failed European Austerity Agenda take hold in America. Basically, they seek to balance the budget on the backs of working families.

"Former" New Dems Steve Israel (who is also a "former" Blue Dog) and Debbie Wasserman Schultz are pushing caucus members to elect New Dem chairman Joe Crowley, the most corrupt Democrat in Congress, to the position of House Democratic Caucus Vice Chairman over iconic progressive Barbara Lee. They are pushing the meme that the New Dems are the rising force inside the Party. In fact, they're doing more than pushing the meme. During the 2012 cycle, Israel, as Chairman, used the DCCC to recruit and support New Dems (and Blue Dogs-- all of whom but Pete Gallego-- failed dismally) and undermined progressives. There are 49 Democratic freshmen entering Congress in January. The DCCC actively backed (spent money on electing) 5 progressives who won-- Lois Frankel (FL), Raul Ruiz (CA), Annie Kuster (NH), Carol Shea-Porter (NH) and Kyrsten Sinema (AZ)-- and double the number of New Dems who won-- Ami Bera (CA), Scott Peters (CA), Suzan DelBene (WA), Elizabeth Esty (CT), Bill Foster (IL), Joe Garcia (FL), Patrick Murphy (FL), Dan Maffei (NY), Sean Patrick Maloney (NY), and Brad Schneider (IL). Israel also wasted millions and millions of dollars trying to elect other New Dems and Blue Dogs who ultimately lost, while ignoring-- and ever undercutting-- progressives all across the country who ran.

Friday, The Hill reported that the conservative, corporate-oriented New Dems are planning "to fill the power vacuum created by the recent and rapid decline of the Blue Dog Coalition," without even mentioning that half the Blue Dogs who managed to survive are new Dems.
The group-- whose members advocate a free-trade, business-friendly agenda that sometimes bucks the party-- is hoping to emerge as a powerbroker in the 113th Congress.

Although the 15-year-old group of centrists has been frequently overshadowed by the conservative-leaning Blue Dogs and the liberals of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, New Democrats say their growing membership-- combined with the looming debates over economic issues they see as their bread and butter-- will give them greater sway in the fights that will almost certainly define the coming months on Capitol Hill.

"We've got a group of members that is well-represented from throughout the country who are willing to roll up our sleeves and work with anyone to try to find some common-sense and balanced and fair solutions to the fiscal hole that we're in right now," Rep. Ron Kind (D-Wis.), the newly-elected chairman of the coalition, said Thursday. "We hope in the days to come to play that constructive role."

Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D-Pa.), a vice-chairwoman of the coalition, echoed that message this week, casting the New Democrats as an above-the-fray group that will ignore partisan politics in the name of getting things done.

...Working in their favor, the group has picked up more than a dozen new members since the Nov. 6 elections-- a combination of newly elected-Democrats and incumbents who have joined this month-- growing their ranks to at least 52 next year. (A few House races are still too close to call). Meanwhile, the Blue Dog Democrats-- who boasted a membership of 54 in the 111th Congress-- will see that number shrink to 14 in the 113th.

The New Democrats see new leverage in those shifting dynamics, and they're hoping to exert it in the upcoming budget battles.

"We must address our nation's debt and tackle long-term deficit reduction to put our nation on a path towards strengthened and sustainable growth," the group wrote Thursday to President Obama, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). "Our group will work with you to secure agreement on a plan of significance."

Members of the group say they can transcend the partisanship they blame for the political stalemate that defined the last two years on Capitol Hill.

"Boehner's got to deal with the Republicans, the president's got to deal with the Democrats," Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.). "The reality is there're groups within those [parties] that make it far more difficult, beyond their numbers, to reach a deal."

Still, New Democrats have struggled in efforts to sway the major policy debates of recent years. And with the Democrats still in the House minority, there's more pressure on all party members to rally behind their leadership-- led by the liberal Pelosi-- in opposition to the conservative Republicans under Boehner.

Rep. Gerry Connolly (Va.), another vice chairman of the New Democrats, acknowledged Friday that the coalition has been less influential than it's hoped in the past. But the high-stakes negotiations on the "fiscal cliff" and a deficit-reduction package, he was quick to add, provide the group with the "legislative opportunity" to be "serious players" in those coming fights.

"We're going to assert our values, our views, our take on something even if that might mean that it's somewhat at variance with, say, prevailing wisdom in our Caucus … or the White House," he said. "We can provide some political space for broadening our debate on economic issues in our Caucus."

Connolly was quick to point out that New Democrats are already pushing back against Pelosi's early and blanket opposition to entitlement benefit cuts as part of the budget negotiations. (The group says all options should be on the table in this early stage of the talks). He also claimed the group was influential in providing guidance to other Democrats surrounding Friday's passage of legislation expanding trade with Russia-- a proposal the group supported.

"Fair enough that you're skeptical-- I've heard it before," Connolly said of the group's influence. "But I think you're already seeing signs of a more assertive role."
And one of the first things the New Dems are attempting is to destroy Barbara Lee's candidacy in favor of Crowley. The vote is on Nov. 29. The other thing The Hill article managed to forget is a list of the Democrats who are in the New Dems:

Terri Sewell (AL)
Ron Barber (AZ)
Karen Bass (CA)
Lois Capps (CA)
Adam Schiff (Blue Dog-CA)
Loretta Sanchez (Blue Dog-CA)
Susan Davis (CA)
Jared Polis (CO)
Ed Perlmutter (CO)
Joe Courtney (CT)
Jim Himes (CT)
John Carney (DE)
John Barrow (Blue Dog-GA)
David Scott (Blue Dog-GA)
Colleen Hanabusa (HI)
Mike Quigley (IL)
Andre Carson (IN)
Cedric Richmind (LA)
Gary Peters (MI)
Rush Holt (NJ)
Carolyn McCarthy (NY)
Joe Crowley (NY)
Eliot Engel (NY)
Bill Owens (NY)
Brian Higgins (NY)
Mike McIntyre (Blue Dog-NC)
Kurt Schrader (Blue Dog-OR)
Allyson Schwartz (PA)
Jim Cooper (Blue Dog-TN)
Jim Moran (VA)
Gerry Connolly (VA)
Rick Larsen (WA)
Adam Smith (WA)
Ron Kind (WI)

And the newly-elected members:

Ami Bera (CA)
Scott Peters (CA)
Joaquin Castro (TX)
Suzan DelBene (WA)
John Delaney (MD)
Elizabeth Esty (CT)
Bill Foster (IL)
Joe Garcia (FL)
Patrick Murphy (FL), actually a Republican masquerading as a conservative Democrat
Denny Heck (WA)
Derek Kilmer (WA)
Dan Maffei (NY)
Sean Patrick Maloney (NY)
Brad Schneider (IL)
Juan Vargas (CA)

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At 10:22 AM, Blogger Nancy Willing said...

Love it! Carney is so proud to have been assigned some modest leadership within the Coalition. "[John Carney] will serve as co-chairman of the House New Democrat Coalition's Financial Services and Retirement Security Task Force, charged with developing legislative priorities and policy principles in matters related to financial services and housing. Carney, who's a member of the House Financial Services Committee, will share the Coalition chair with Michigan's Gary Peters and New York's Carolyn McCarthy."

At 2:47 PM, Anonymous Megaman_X said...

What a gigantic bunch of trash!

At 11:45 AM, Anonymous ap215 said...

We'll watch them hopefully we'll get rid of most if not all of the New Dems in the next election cycle.


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