Will Weak-Kneed Blue Dogs Continue to Stand in the Way of Progress?

News & Politics

The Hill has an article about how the Blue Dogs are really upset about having to vote on a health care bill so soon after having to vote for the American Clean Energy and Security Act. For example, we get to read complaints like this:

Rep. Mike Ross (D-Ark.), who is leading the Blue Dogs’ charge on healthcare, says that Democrats mixed up their priorities by putting climate change first. He said even many less conservative Democrats have thanked him for slowing the bill down.

“Passing climate change first has complicated getting healthcare done this year,” Ross said. “There’s not enough distance between them. The American people are ready for us to slow down.”

Here's how the narrative unfolds:

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is paying a price on healthcare reform for the arm-twisting she did on the climate change bill last month. Democratic House members were rankled by how the climate bill passed — and stunned by the criticism they got at home. Those memories are fueling a revolt among conservative Blue Dogs and a drive among freshman lawmakers to drop plans for a surtax on the wealthy in healthcare reform.

I took a look at the vote on the American Clean Energy and Security Act and I discovered something interesting. Frank Kratovil Jr. of Maryland and newly elected Scott Murphy of New York (who replaced Gillibrand) are the only freshmen Blue Dogs who voted for it. The other six new members of the Blue Dog Caucus (Bright, Childers, Dahlkemper, Griffith, Minnick, and Nye) voted against it. So, unless Reps. Kratovil and Murphy can be considered as constituting 'a drive,' there is no drive among freshmen lawmakers in response to the beating they got back home after voting for Cap & Trade. This reporting is horseshit.

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