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Blue Dogs out because they voted as fiscal liberals

One of the consequences of the 2010 midterm elections was the shattering of the “Blue Dog” myth – unless you’re one of the champions of this fictitious cause who will maintain that these House Democrats are significantly different than the liberal leadership of House Democrats that pulled the party to follow Pres. Barack Obama into electoral disaster.

These presumed “moderate” Democrats, many but not all from the South, above all were supposed to be fiscal conservatives. Elected from conservative-leaning districts, they claimed they would have a moderating effect on Democrats, justifying their elections to represent their districts – a narrative many in the media swallowed uncritically (as the linked article above shows).

In fact, as more prescient observers have noted, the Blue Dogs in reality were lap dogs to the House liberals. When in the minority, they did vote more fiscally conservatively than did the rest of their party. But since then, on all of the major budget-busting issues of the past four years of Democrat control of the House, majorities, mostly large, of Blue Dogs voted for increased spending. You name it, they went for it – Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac bailouts, the Troubled Asset Relief Program, the spending package early in Obama’s term, cash-for-clunkers, Obama's debt-tripling 2010 budget, the auto bailout, and for the federal takeover of health care.

In all, the Lap Dogs voted 80 percent of the time with liberal Democrats on fiscal issues. This does not include the 86 percent of the time they supported suspensions of what they crowed as their biggest achievement in pulling their party closer to the center, “pay-as-you-go” rules that mandated whenever spending was increased in one area, it had to be offset with a cut in another, making the whole enterprise a sham.

So when Louisiana’s outgoing Democrat Rep. Charlie Melancon laments about the pasting Lap Dogs took in the midterm elections, losing over half their members (he being one of them, the only one not to lose reelection but because he opted to tilt spectacularly unsuccessfully for Sen. David Vitter’s seat), asserting they somehow kept his party’s leadership honest, it’s just another con job in an attempt to revise history. Melancon, once a leader of the coalition, is a poster child of the scam: his National Taxpayer Union grades in his five rated years in office were 3 D’s and 2 F’s.

Their record shows the whole movement became a tactic to try to fool voters into thinking they were electing representatives who were one thing on the campaign trail then when in office they were another. The story that some try to circulate that the Lap Dogs got crucified on the campaign trail for the sins of the liberal party leadership doesn’t jive with what their constituents understood: they were not the fiscal conservatives they proclaimed themselves to be, their votes were crucial to passing a lot of bad legislation, and they deserved punishment for selling out those they represented. Let the Blue Dog myth die its overdue, deserved death to which voters will break out in song.

1 comment:

Mr. Harris Plutocrat said...

SO much delusion packed into one post. I love the "federal takeover of healthcare" first and foremost. Not qualified in the slightest, just a bully taking it over. Seriously, how do you even work your imagination powers to this point. Do you really think the government took over the healthcare industry? Of course, portraying the republican bailouts (supported by many dems) as some sort of Dem initiatives is also great. The poll recently showed just how many fellow neocons you've managed to delude into thinking that all those bailouts were pure dem ideas. Of course, though I was against them, TARP and the auto bailout really turned out fantastic, didn't they, Jeff? Well, I'm not expecting you to write that post. Listening to pathetic neocons whine about budget problems is like watching an alcoholic ruin his family's finances, then in a drunken stupor turn and blame his whole family for everything.

Of course, Sadow thinks we should turn our backs on the overwhelming majority of economists, and instead take our advice from an empty-headed delusional beauty queen. What could possibly go wrong? Besides, she's praying, and god would never let her and the country fail.