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Posts Tagged ‘centrists’

Blue dogs face tough choice

Posted by Richard on August 14, 2009

With a filibuster-proof 60 votes in the Senate and a 78-seat majority in the House, the Democratic leadership can theoretically pass anything it wants without a single Republican vote. So those of us who oppose government-controlled health care have been looking to the Blue Dog Democrats in the House, along with some other Democrats in vulnerable districts, to stop or slow the Obamacare juggernaut.

The Blue Dogs are supposedly fiscally responsible Democrats, many of whom were first elected in 2006 or 2008 by positioning themselves as center-right candidates. The health care issue would seem to be the perfect place for them to demonstrate their commitment to their campaign promises. But will they?

The Blue Dogs and other vulnerable Democrats are caught between a rock and a hard place. If they go against their party leadership, their lives will be made extremely miserable. But if they toe the party line on an increasingly unpopular measure that has ignited extreme passions, they're likely to be looking for work in a little over a year. 

Pelosi faces no such difficult choice, according to Robert Romano. She just needs to command the loyalty of the troops she's prepared to sacrifice: 

Nancy Pelosi does not care if the passage of ObamaCare costs her seats in the House come 2010. She has already done a head count. And she knows exactly how many Blue Dogs and other vulnerable Democrats in that chamber she can spare in 2010 to fully enact her and Barack Obama’s radical agenda to quickly implement a government takeover the health care system.

Call them the Blue Dog “Forlorn Hope Brigade.” The real Forlorn Hope Brigade was nicknamed after the French army pawns that would always be the first to charge into battle, with little to no hope of survival. They were in essence cannon fodder. But they were told to think of the glory. To know that their sacrifices were for a good cause.

And that’s the position Pelosi and Obama have put the Blue Dogs into. They are now the sacrificial lambs by which to enact an agenda that is almost alien to the American people. They gave the radicals in the Democrat Party the numbers they needed to achieve a majority in 2006.

And if 30 or so of them must now be sacrificed to achieve that end, then that’s just what Pelosi is going to do. They’re expendable.

So the question is: will the Democrats' Forlorn Hope Brigade obediently sacrifice themselves for a cause that by all rights they should oppose? The future of health care in America — maybe even the future of liberty — may depend on the answer. 

And the answer may depend on you, and me, and all our friends and neighbors. The emails, cards, and letters we write, the phone calls we make, the petitions we sign, the rallies and meetings we attend, and the responses we give to pollsters all help shape the mood of the country and affect the decisions of those Blue Dogs.

Let's do everything we can to help them make the right decision.

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Centrist Democrats

Posted by Richard on October 27, 2006

Larry Kudlow has been talking about a "remarkable shift" taking place in the Democratic Party — a move away from the hard left orientation of recent years and toward the center. According to him, this was "under the radar" of the mainstream media until yesterday’s LA Times article on the subject.

I don’t find this news all that new or suprising. I certainly recall reading that the Dems went out of their way to recruit candidates who were veterans — maybe I just assumed that they’d be more centrist or conservative, too.

I guess I didn’t realize the extent of the shift:

As Larry Sabato pointed out on tonight’s show, there’s somewhere north of twenty moderate to conservative Democrats poised to be elected to this new Congress. This crew is pro-business, pro-life on abortion, supported by the NRA and so forth.

Get this: Over thirty of the Democratic candidates for the House are conservative enough to have been green-lighted by the Blue Dogs or the centrist Democratic Leadership Council.

If two-thirds of these more centrist Democrats actually win, I suppose that’ll be pretty remarkable, and in the long run, as Kudlow said, a "very good thing for the American people." But in the short run, those Dems will do just as the Republicans direly predict:

"They claim to be pro-life, pro-gun and anti-tax, yet their first vote in Congress would be to elect the most liberal speaker in American history," said Jonathan Collegio, spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee, which aims to enlarge the GOP majority in the House. "In the first hundred hours they will roll back tax cuts and open investigations into the administration."

Even some centrist Democrats privately fret that the chairmen-in-waiting may be harboring pent-up desires for a robust liberal agenda and partisan investigations that could hurt the party. "There’s a desperate need for fresh blood, a general changing of the guard," said one moderate Democrat who asked not to be named.

Maybe a Democratic Party leadership that owes its narrow House majority to its most conservative members will be somewhat chastened and cautious — but recent statements by Howard Dean, Nancy Pelosi, Henry Waxman, and Charlie Rangel don’t inspire confidence in that possibility.

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