Opposing Health Reform Can't Save the Disappearing Blue Dogs
Say bye, bye to the Blue Dogs.
While many Democratic congresspeople in the "Blue Dog" centrist block took a harder line on health reform (remember Bart Stupak?) in order to cling on to power and popularity in their volatile, conservative districts, it wasn't enough to save them last night -- or it was the wrong decision to begin with. Very few Blue Dogs were able to get elected after two successive Democratic waves which brought them into congress in high numbers.
Of all the Democrats who voted "no" on health reform (34) a mere 12 were left by this morning. And of all the self-identified Blue Cogs, total, the numbers have been halved, from 54 members down to 26 members, according to the Nation (Huffpo puts it at 46 down to 34). "Now people can argue whether that is good or bad -- but no serious political observer can say the strategy worked," writesthe Nation's Ari Melber: And while few progressives will actually miss their sometime-allies in the Blue Dog caucus, what kind of message this sends will be a topic of hot contention--is it wrong to run democrats as "Republican lite" candidates or is it the best strategy we have in conservative districts?
One thing is certain--these candidates were running in swing districts to begin with, and the wind was blowing very hard to the right last night. Even the Blue Dogs who retired watched their districts turn red.