Saturday, November 08, 2008

Blue Dogs threaten to bite

TheHill reported Blue Dog Democrats Friday called on the Democratic Caucus to support “moderate voices” in the slew of leadership decisions the party will be making this month.
"Moderate voices" in the Democratic Party leadership???
The release did not name any of the races or contenders, but Blue Dog sources say it can be seen as preliminary support for Rep. Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.) in a brewing bid for vice chairman of the caucus and Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.) in his fight to stave off a committee chairmanship challenge from Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.).

Ed Morrissey blogged I’m not sure that anyone would have described John Dingell as a Blue Dog Democrat before now, but he’s certainly more moderate than Henry Waxman. Waxman wants Dingell out of the Energy and Commerce Committee so that Waxman can pursue more radical solutions on global warming. Dingell wants to protect the auto industry from excessive regulation, and has fought back against Waxman’s attempt to wrest control of the committee away from him.

The Blue Dogs see this kind of leftward tilt as a threat to their seats. If the 111th Congress runs hard to the left, voters in their more conservative districts will punish them by replacing them with Republican challengers in 2010 — and Democrats will lose their majority just as they did in 1994.
Just a the blue dogs were elected from conservative districts because Republicans forgot their small government roots.
Their need for self-preservation pushes them to get more of their members into leadership.
They also need to join with Republicans in blocking some of the extreme left legislative attempts.
This leadership fight will give voters a clear indication of how radical the upcoming single-party government will get. If the Blue Dogs get their committee chairs and their leadership positions, they may help keep the worst excesses of Pelosi and Barack Obama in check. If not, we can expect major overreach, and Republicans can start getting ready to take back these conservative districts in two years.

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