Nov 03 2010

How About Them Dawgs?

Blue Dog Coalition Crushed By GOP Wave Election

by Amanda Terkel, The Huffington Post

Posted: 11-3-10, 05:52 AM

According to an analysis by The Huffington Post, 23 of the 46 Blue Dogs up for re-election went down on Tuesday. Notable losses included Rep. Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin (D-S.D.), the coalition’s co-chair for administration, and Rep. Baron Hill (D-Ind.), the co-chair for policy. Two members were running for higher office (both lost), three were retiring and three races were still too close to call.

In fact, some progressives blamed the Blue Dogs for losses on Tuesday across the ideological spectrum within the Democratic Party.

“From our perspective, our members did all that they could do and really left everything on the field,” said Levana Layendecker, communications director of the progressive grassroots organization Democracy for America. “Of course we are disappointed with the results tonight, but not surprised. Unfortunately, progressive champions became collateral damage tonight in a toxic environment created by Blue Dogs who refused to stand up for real change.”

23 is still 23 too many.


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  1. ek hornbeck
  2. ek hornbeck

    Blame The Whiny Center

    by Paul Krugman, The New York Times

    November 3, 2010, 8:14 am

    So, we’re already getting the expected punditry: Obama needs to end his leftist policies, which consist of … well, there weren’t any, but he should stop them anyway.

    What actually happened, of course, was that Obama failed to do enough to boost the economy, plus totally failing to tap into populist outrage at Wall Street. And now we’re in the trap I worried about from the beginning: by failing to do enough when he had political capital, he lost that capital, and now we’re stuck.

    But he did have help in getting it wrong: at every stage there was a faction of Democrats standing in the way of strong action, demanding that Obama do less, avoid spending money, and so on. In so doing, they shot themselves in the face: half of the Blue Dogs lost their seats.

    And what are those who are left demanding? Why, that Obama move to the center.

  3. ek hornbeck

    The Blue Dog caucus was literally cut in half yesterday, from 54 to 26 members. Now people can argue whether that is good or bad — but no serious political observer can say the strategy worked.

  4. ek hornbeck

    the difference between me and Glenn is…

    I will point at it as vindication.

    Pundit sloth: blaming the Left

    By Glenn Greenwald, Salon.com

    Wednesday, Nov 3, 2010 10:04 ET

    Half of the Blue Dog incumbents were defeated. Some of us have been arguing for quite some time that the Rahm-engineered dependence on Blue Dog power is one of the many factors that has made the Democratic Party so weak, blurry, indistinguishable from the GOP, and therefore so politically inept, and would thus be stronger and better without them — here’s a 2008 Salon article I wrote making that case. Despite viewing last night’s Blue Dog losses with happiness, I wouldn’t point to this outcome as vindication for my argument, as there are many complex factors that account for last night’s crushing of Congressional Democrats: widespread economic suffering, anxiety over America’s obvious decline, the perception that Obama has done little to undermine destructive status quo forces and much to bolster them, etc. etc.

    But for slothful pundits who want to derive sweeping meaning from individual races in order to blame the Left and claim that last night was a repudiation of liberalism, the far more rational conclusion — given the eradication of 50% of the Blue Dog caucus — is that the worst possible choice Democrats can make is to run as GOP-replicating corporatists devoted above all else to serving corporate interests in order to perpetuate their own power: what Washington calls “centrists” and “conservative Democrats.” That is who bore the bulk of the brunt of last night’s Democratic bloodbath — not liberals.

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