Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Blue Dogs face extinction, their GOP mentor weeps #p2 #tcot


U. S. President George W. Bush (2nd L) hosts a meeting with U.S...Congressional leaders to discuss differences between the parties while..working on a national energy policy in the Cabinet Room of the White..House, September 17, 2003. From L-R are: Rep. Billy Tauzin (R-LA),..Bush, and Senator Pete Domenici (R-NM). REUTERS/Larry Downing
attribution: REUTERS
Billy Tauzin, left—the conservative Republican who "counsels" the (Democratic) Blue Dog caucus.
Happy news:
The number of Blue Dogs grew steadily beginning in 1997, peaking at 54 members in the 111th Congress, when the fiscally conservative Democrats reached the pinnacle of their influence during the health care debate [...]

Now, the coalition faces the prospect of membership falling to its lowest ever, less than the 21 lawmakers it counted at the start of the 105th Congress. It ended that term with 25; currently there are 24 members of the group.

An unsympathetic look at the numbers shows the Blue Dogs could suffer further losses. If Roll Call's race ratings bear out — that is, if all races leaning Democratic swing that way and vice versa — the group is looking at a ceiling of 19 members.

If the Blue Dogs lose the close races, they could be down to 14, which is on par with the "House Model Train Caucus," if such a thing existed. And really, why would anyone vote for them anymore? Their influence came from being power brokers in a Democratic-held House. They would hold legislation hostage for all sorts of goodies, threatening to bolt to the GOP at the first hint of pushback from the Democratic leadership.

Well, in a majority chamber, the out party has no power. Republicans have all the votes they need, so they don't give a damn about courting the Blue Dogs. In fact, they'd rather pick up those seats for themselves. Meanwhile, the House Democratic leadership doesn't need Blue Dogs for anything, and even if they did, they can't offer them anything in return.

So if you're a conservative-leaning voter in one of those Blue Dog-held districts, why not vote for the real thing?

Meanwhile, it's important these asshats win for the majority, but if any incumbent Democrats have to lose, let it be these guys.

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