Skip to main content

Portrait of Rep. Mike McIntyre
Rep. Mike McIntyre, one of the last remaining
Blue Dogs, will retire at the end of this term
Following the 2008 elections, congressional Democrats entered a historic session, controlling the House 257 to 178. However, those days were marked by sharp divisions in the Democratic caucus. The conservative wing of the party, primarily associated with the Blue Dog Coalition, opposed many top progressive initiatives, from healthcare to financial reform and everything in between.

Nevertheless, the 2010 GOP wave hit the Blue Dogs and their fellow travelers the hardest as their conservative districts turned on them anyway. 2012 saw further losses for them (despite Democrats actually netting eight seats overall), as gerrymandering, retirements, and increased polarization took their toll. As we head toward the 2014 elections, two of the most prominent and conservative Blue Dogs remaining like Jim Matheson (D-UT) and Mike McIntyre (D-NC) have announced their retirements, and the once powerful caucus seems destined for irrelevance.

Following these departures, very few conservative Democrats will be left in the House next year, compared to just before the 2010 elections. The best way to see how the ranks of conservative Democrats have thinned is to look at how many defectors on high-profile Democratic bills from Obama's first two years as president still remain in Congress, minus those that have announced their retirements:

Head below the fold to learn more about what this means for the Democratic Party's future.

And here are some other general statistics, again excluding those who are retiring:

  • Blue Dog Coalition membership: Only 16 left from their height of 54 members in 2009 (Barber, Barrow, Bishop (GA), Bustos, Cooper, Costa, Cuellar, Gallego, Lipinski, Peterson, Rahall, Sanchez (Loretta), Schrader, Scott (GA), Sinema, Thompson (CA)).
  • Same-sex marriage opponents: Just 13 left! (Barrow, Bishop (GA), Cuellar, Enyart, Gallego, Green, Lipinski, Peterson, Rahall, Richmond, Sewell, Thompson (MS), Vela). (Note: The source is a bit out of date. Costa, Schrader, and Scott have since endorsed equality.)

It may appear that I'm cheering the demise of the conservative wing of the party. While replacing conservaDems in safely blue seats would obviously be helpful, there just aren't many people left like Dan Lipinski (D-IL), who persists in voting to the right of his solidly Democratic district. The unfortunate fact is that most of the Blue Dogs held deep red seats, and they've been replaced by far worse Republicans, which cost us control of the House in 2010.

The point, rather, is that this trend can't be halted or reversed. While we could hold down deeply conservative seats in the past with veteran incumbents and pick up red seats with locally popular and moderate challengers, those days are behind us. Even as we picked up seats in 2012, the conservative caucus suffered further losses, and the few new Blue Dog candidates went mostly nowhere. Matheson and McIntyre hold down the reddest seats of any Democrat, and it is not a coincidence that they are the only House Democrats to retire for reasons unrelated to health so far this cycle.

But it's not all bad news. As this phenomenon changes the makeup of the Democratic caucus, a parallel one is affecting Republicans. Witness their marquee retirements this cycle: Tom Latham (R-IA), Jon Runyan (R-NJ), Frank Wolf (R-VA), Jim Gerlach (R-PA). It's no coincidence that they are among the Republicans who occupy the bluest districts. Over the past several cycles, even during the GOP wave of 2010, Republicans have shed their most moderate members in blue seats via defeat or retirement. Their loss is our gain, and we have managed to elect mainstream liberal Democrats in their seats. These seats are also much easier to defend than Blue Dog districts, are more durable against waves, and lead to a more cohesive caucus.

The congressional maps are still severely gerrymandered against us on the whole, but with this realignment in mind, we know where the next Democratic majority will come from. And when it does arrive, it will look much more progressive than the last one.

Update: Since the publishing of this diary, four additional Democrats have joined the Blue Dog caucus, a change now reflected in the Blue Dog listing above.  They are Barber, Bustos, Rahall, and Sinema.  Though this does increase the size of this historically problematic group, none of them are as conservative as previous notable Blue Dogs, such as Dan Boren, Gene Taylor, Bobby Bright, and Walt Minnick.  As the most conservative Democrats in the reddest seats disappear, even the Blue Dog caucus is seeing itself shift to the left.

Originally posted to Skaje on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 07:09 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos Elections and Daily Kos.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  I disagree (19+ / 0-)
    While clearing out the Blue Dogs from safely blue seats is obviously helpful (cough Dan Lipinski), the unfortunate fact is that most of them have been replaced by even worse Republicans, and cost us control of the House.  
      The Blue Dogs were replaced not by us running primaries from the Left against the Blue Dogs heck Rahm made sure we ran as many Blue dogs as possible in purple districts.
         The GOP ran for something in those purple districts they ran right on the issues and believed in those issues. The Blue Dogs had no soul, they as you note opposed Obama on many things.
       They lost people who wanted to go further Left note on ending the wars, having the government create jobs, help home owners, tax the rich more to save Social Security, Gay marriage, even pot the majority of voters are to the Left of Obama never mind the Blue Dogs.
        The Blue Dogs were also not Right enough to get GOP votes.  
    •  Edited that sentence to make it more clear (9+ / 0-)

      We actually have been successful in turning out a lot of Blue Dogs from safely blue seats over the past few cycles...Al Wynn beaten by Donna Edwards, Joe Baca beaten by Gloria Negrete-McLeod, Harold Ford replaced with Steve Cohen, Jane Harman replaced by Janice Hahn, Artur Davis replaced by Terri Sewell...the list goes on, and that has been a positive development.

      But I wasn't saying that our primary challenges to Blue Dogs led them to be beaten by Republicans.  They got beat because their districts voted for Romney, voted for McCain, voted for Bush both times, and ultimately they wanted a Republican congressman.

      There was a time when Blue Dogs could get GOP votes and win.  Chet Edwards somehow survived in a 70% Bush district.  Gene Taylor in a 68% Bush district.  Ike Skelton in a 64% Bush district.  Bud Cramer, Rick Boucher, Dan Boren...they easily survived the Bush years, and none of them were even seriously challenged.  But things are changing.

      •  There was also a time... (15+ / 0-)

        ... when a state like Nebraska could send a prototypical progressive to Congress for decades.  

        Taking a wider view of history than the last decade or two shows us that populist, progressive and New Deal political movements have developed wide and deep bases over many parts of the country we now consider "Red."  The Democratic party has pretty much abandoned its earlier role as the champion of those political views, and of the 99% in general as we put it these days.  Do members of a party with no real convictions beat those with ugly but firmly held convictions in socially conservative areas of the country?  No.  But that's not how Democrats traditionally won in those areas.

        Historically, Democrats have been the party of white supremacy in the South.  They've been supplanted by Republicans in those areas, and good riddance to that wing of the party.  But Democrats took over the progressive mantle from Republicans who began the movement, when those progressives got crowded out of power by the pro-business Republicans those progressives were formed to fight.  Progressives and other leftists found a home in the New Deal Democratic party, and when it was most militant in pushing a leftist agenda the Democratic party won huge majorities.

        It wasn't just a historical oddity of the Great Depression, either.  Lyndon Johnson's 1964 campaign was probably the most leftist since the heyday of the New Deal, and garnered similarly gargantuan majorities.  Bill Clinton and Barack Obama won easily by making leftist noises, even though their follow-through was, uh, mediocre at best.

        The country hungers for a politics of the left, and a party that can be reliably counted on to push it.  The Blue Dogs poisoned that well for the Democratic party, as did their corporatist and militarist predecessors.  Getting rid of Blue Dogs, and promoting the Elizabeth Warren wing of fed-up Democrats tired of being shafted, is the true ticket to overwhelming victories in future elections.  The Democratic party has a big trust deficit to deal with, but if it can overcome that mistrust with consistent, brave, strong policies to rebuild the middle class, Republicans will be a grouchy rump caucus.

        We have always been at war with al Qaeda.

        by Dallasdoc on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 04:46:57 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Hear, hear, Dallasdoc, to your comment that (6+ / 0-)
          Getting rid of Blue Dogs, and promoting the Elizabeth Warren wing of fed-up Democrats tired of being shafted, is the true ticket to overwhelming victories in future elections.


          "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible."-- Frank L. Gaines


          by musiccitymollie on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 04:51:34 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'll second that.. (3+ / 0-)

            "Getting rid of Blue Dogs, and promoting the Elizabeth Warren wing of fed-up Democrats tired of being shafted, is the true ticket to overwhelming victories in future elections."  Dallasdoc

            •  Hint (0+ / 0-)

              Any politician who, rather than declaring that they stand with ordinary Americans, specify that they stand with the middle class - those with incomes roughly $38k and up - is not a progressive. They will maintain the status quo. Elizabeth Warren actually began as a powerful advocate for the former middle class/poor.  But when it became politically expedient to do so, she abruptly jumped on the Middle Class Only bandwagon.

        •  No 99% (0+ / 0-)

          While your post is excellent, and I certainly agree with much of it, we're simply stuck until we can admit that there is no "99%." The middle class was pitted hard against the poor, agreeing that human worth itself is determined by income/employment status. Not everyone can work, there simply are no longer jobs for all who need one, and the middle class turned to the poor and said, "Go die." I don't know what percentage of the population actually consists of middle class workers, but they're the only ones who have a voice in the public forum, and the attention of government.

    •  this is silly (13+ / 0-)

      many of the Blue Dogs were people who were genuinely Democrats in their heart (or at least in the case of Gene Taylor, hated Republicans) but were also genuinely conservative, and they voted a combination of their values, and also what they believed they needed to do to survive in tough districts. Just because they had different beliefs than you doesn't mean they had no souls.

      ...better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity, than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference. -FDR, 1936

      by James Allen on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 09:00:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  But aren't we better off without them . . . (3+ / 0-)

        Harold Ford Jr ran to the right of TN Governor Haslam--and still lost!

        I come from "the left faith community," but was highly disgusted and offended with one of Ford's ads--pandering to conservatives with an ad filmed in a "church pew."

        Since Corker's the equivalent of a corporatist Dem in his business orientation (his family owns "Pilot" Truck Stops), he's by no means a Governor to my liking--but at least he's not an out-the-charts "social" conservative, as far as I can tell.

        And that the problem with "Blue Dogs"--they are just fiscal conservatives, which is bad enough, they are VERY conservative socially.

        Our "Blue Dog" Dem was replaced with a Repub--who ran with Tea Party support (duped the Repubs, because this particular congressperson is a corporatist Repub who works with this Administration on quite a bit of legislation), but who is actually "to the left" of the Blue Dog Dem who occupied this seat for about 30 years.

        In some instances, we are better off, IMHO, to rid ourselves of these folks--at least we have a chance at replacing them with a liberal (or somewhat more liberal) Democrat, eventually.

        It can be done--it just won't happen without a lot of effort.  

        And it won't happen overnight--conservatives didn't take their Party back in a few years.

        It took decades . . .


        "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible."-- Frank L. Gaines


        by musiccitymollie on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 12:05:21 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't think that's true (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MichaelNY, Odysseus, Stephen Wolf

          who was your blue dog congressman and who replaced him? I'm certain that while on a few issues he may be better, if we look at their voting histories the Republican will certainly be worse.

          ...better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity, than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference. -FDR, 1936

          by James Allen on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 01:01:47 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I won't give out that information, because it (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            RUNDOWN, tikkun

            literally gives out my location--which I don't do "on the internets."

            So how can you deem what I say as "untrue," when you don't even know which lawmakers I'm referring to?

            That's a neat trick, LOL!

            [Didn't mind giving out the data on the Tennessee race, because it's not my state of residence--only for summers.  [I'm very familiar with the politics there because we have a lot of family residing there, as well--and I spend months at a time there--so it's a "home, away from home."]

            Regarding my own US Rep, guess you'll have to take my word for it.

            His open seat (he was not expected to win, so retired) was taken by a Republican in 2010.

            The Republican congressperson who replaced the long-serving Dem, has duped the Republican Base, because in spite of running with avid Tea Party support--turned around and joined "No Labels."

            Dems such as Joe Manchin, Mark Begich--there's a long list, which I'll gladly post later today (pushed for time right now)--are also members of "No Labels."

            The same US Rep is a multi-milionaire, with MAJOR business interests.  I assume that this is the reason that there is a willingness to work with this Administration on some policies.

            We'll just have to "agree to disagree" on this one.

            I would rather have a openly right-wing politician in office that I can "fight" against, than a "closet conservative/corporatist Republican"--which is what both Harold Ford and the Rep I'm referring to, are.

            IOW, the Dem Party in my area wanted "rid of" our conservadem for many years!

            But with the power of incumbency--until he voluntarily stepped down--we couldn't get rid of him.

            At least now we can recruit and try to replace this seat with a true liberal.

            That's a heck of a lot more than we've had for the past thirty years!

            Of course, that's taking "the long view."


            "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible."-- Frank L. Gaines


            by musiccitymollie on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 01:30:32 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  your comments are worthless if you (6+ / 0-)

              won't let them either be proven or dis-proven. And by the way, telling me the district you're talking about doesn't tell me where you live. I live in Oregon's 3rd district and that doesn't even tell you which county or city I live in.

              ...better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity, than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference. -FDR, 1936

              by James Allen on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 01:35:44 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  It does where we live--narrows to several counties (0+ / 0-)

                and towns (not the exact location).

                But more than I am willing to state on a public "board," so to speak.

                Hey, "to each, their own."  

                I've seen folks give out their phone number, email address, and even mailing addresses online.  

                But that doesn't mean that I'm going to!

                In my comments, I consistently give my location as "my university town"--which is always truthful, but which I cannot "prove" unless I give a "name" to the town--and I won't.


                Since I concentrate on policy, more than partisanship and winning at all costs--including voting LOTE--I truly don't expect to convince you, no matter what personal information that I'm willing to publish.

                Hey, have no bone to pick with you--just fundamentally disagree on a few issues.


                "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible."-- Frank L. Gaines


                by musiccitymollie on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 01:55:19 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  if I can assume you're in Tennessee (7+ / 0-)

                  then you were represented by Bart Gordon, Lincoln Davis, or John Tanner. All were conservative Democrats replaced by Republicans.

                  Davis' dw nominate score (1st dimension) was -0.177, while the Republican who replaced him (Scott Desjarlais) had one of 0.661 in the 112th congress, which is substantially more conservative than Davis'.

                  Gordon's score was -0.158, and the Republican who replaced him (Diane Black) had a score of 0.685, which is substantially more conservative than Gordon's.

                  John Tanner's was -0.238, making him the most liberal of the three Democrats, and the Republican who replaced him (Stephen Fincher) had a score of 0.698, much more conservative than Tanner's.

                  At least in the first dimension score they are all less conservative than the Republicans who replaced them.

                  ...better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity, than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference. -FDR, 1936

                  by James Allen on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 02:23:08 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  mollie has a perfectly good reason (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Old Sailor, musiccitymollie

                    for not pin pointing herself and you would do well to leave it alone.  

                    Newt 2012. Sociopath, adulterer, hypocrite, Republican.

                    by tikkun on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 03:39:21 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  As I mentioned, I am familiar with the TN (0+ / 0-)

                    Governor's race because we spend "summers" there, and we have a lot of family there, as well.

                    So those are interesting "stats" about the TN US Reps, but I don't know anything about them since our primary residence is not TN.

                    IOW, it's my "primary" residence that I won't give out--not where we spend the summers.

                    I rarely go with just statistics, because they vary so drastically from one rating organization to another--depending upon their ideology.

                    So I usually assess a candidate's positions by his/her voting record--ranked by my own personal priorities.

                    Based upon that, their was no net loss when we lost the Dem that our local Dem Party had been trying to get rid of for years.

                    Of course, I am in the more liberal wing of our local Dem Party.  And we do have a few dyed-in-the-wool conservadems who "loved" the Representative.

                    But mostly, it was the advantages of "incumbency" that kept this seat for Dems even though the majority of Democratic constituents were very unhappy with the Rep.

                    That, and low information Dem voters.

                    But, hey--it worked out okay.  

                    Now we are trying to field an actual liberal Dem.  And I believe that we will succeed.

                    Wish us luck!


                    "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible."-- Frank L. Gaines


                    by musiccitymollie on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 03:42:14 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

              •  says you! (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Old Sailor

                Sorry, I disagree. Lots of folks here don't self-identify and take great pains to keep from being "outed" (in fact, "outing" anyone is a bannable offense).

                So to call any comment that refuses to get that specific worthless is pretty crappy.

                This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

                by lunachickie on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 03:34:55 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  "No Labels" membership is laregly meaningless (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Skyye, MichaelNY, stevenaxelrod

              Looking at the list of retired Democrats replaced by No Labels' "problem solvers". (And ruling-out Tennessee), that means you're either talking about Vic Snyder or Dave Obey. (Or Sestak, but he wasn't "long-serving".)

              I don't think many people will agree that either Griffin or Duffy is an improvement on those folks.

            •  Entrenched Conservative Democrats (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              Also monopolize the State and National DNC machine in fundraising, and campaign support - locking out newer and maybe more preferable candidates.

              “Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.” ... Voltaire

              by RUNDOWN on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 03:23:46 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  There are no moderate Republicans. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              So how can you deem what I say as "untrue," when you don't even know which lawmakers I'm referring to?
              You imply overlap in the distributions where there is none.

              Even the most mavericky Republicans - Amash and Ros-Lehtinen - vote far to the right of any Democrat.

              Watch polarization in the House shrink and grow, from the 1850s to today

              -7.75 -4.67

              "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."

              There are no Christians in foxholes.

              by Odysseus on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 06:41:27 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  Do you seriously want to be the losing party (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MichaelNY, GradyDem

          Conservatives "taking back" their party has lead to them being shut out of the Presidency, at least until they abandon such a foolish idea.

          You can't win with just your core supporters if your core supporters only make up 40% or less of the electorate.

          Mr. Gorbachev, establish an Electoral College!

          by tommypaine on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 01:13:22 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Not talking "Tea Partiers"--talking about the (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            RUNDOWN, tikkun

            actual conservative movement which began over 40 years ago.

            It took conservatives until the late 70's and early 80's with Reagan, but they manged to get rid of most of the "Rockefeller Republicans."

            Unfortunately, those Republicans migrated to, and took over the Democratic Party, because "the left" was asleep at the wheel.

            What is "winning," if you're constantly selling out your liberal values?

            Look at the Bowles-Simpson Fiscal Commission and the push for a "Grand Bargain."

            This would never have happened before corporatist Dems gained so much power in the Democratic Party.

            It may take a while, but with some backbone and decent economic and foreign policy prescriptions--liberals can take back the Democratic Party.  

            Again, one must take "the long view."


            "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible."-- Frank L. Gaines


            by musiccitymollie on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 02:04:59 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  'Genuinely Democrats in their heart[s]' (0+ / 0-)

        Let's see. You're saying that people can be 'genuinely Democrats in their heart[s]' and still be conservative. So then, what would you actually say is the definition of being a Democrat, if it isn't your, y'know, political views?

        Here's how I look at the last 40 years: 40 years ago, the Democrats average 7 on a scale of 1 (ultra-conservative) to 10 (ultra-liberal), and mostly range from 4 to 9. The Republicans are a 3 and mostly range from 1 to 6.

        Over the last 40 years, all of the sane Republicans left the Republican party, and most of them joined the Democrats. Now the Democrats average a 4, and largely range from 2 to 7, aside from a set of prominent politicians that you could count on the fingers of one hand. Even Elizabeth Warren, the 'great white hope' of the last couple of years, is really only maybe a 7. Which is to say, she's right where the center of her party was, 40 years ago. Meanwhile, the Republicans range from negative 40 kabillion to 2.

        I don't want the Republican party of 40 years ago as my party, but that's more or less what I have to vote for if I don't want the Republican party of today to hold power. You'll excuse me if I think that the task of moving the Democratic party to the right some is worthwhile. If we had a significant chance of recapturing the House before 2022, your argument might make some sort of sense, but given that we don't, and given that blowing happy smoke up people's asses about that fact isn't going to help our prospects any.

        (Which means, by the way, that your argument DOES make sense for the Senate. Alas.)

        •  Is that really a controversial statement? (0+ / 0-)
          Let's see. You're saying that people can be 'genuinely Democrats in their heart[s]' and still be conservative.
          Why would he not say that? There have always been conservatives in the Democratic Party. Many of the "yellow dog Democrats", who voted Dem over generation and would never even think about voting Republican, were conservatives. And no, that wasn't just a Southern/segregationist thing. Why would anyone doubt his statement?
    •  I agree with that (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      We do not win running against a hardcore Republican by trying to be just a paler version of them. They did not differentiate themselves, so voters went with the real article.

      And the DCCC never learns. They're pulling it again here in Oh-06, trying to send a Blue Dog to the House from this GOP-tilted district. And they need to stop trying to fundraise for her in extremely progressive parts of the state where her anti-choice stances are now beyond toxic.

      Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it.

      by anastasia p on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 08:15:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  priorities (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      The left also wants govt. to restore poverty relief until those jobs come along. We shipped out the bulk of our working class jobs since the 1980s, and then increased American desperation by wiping out basic poverty relief. There are (the last I saw) currently 7 jobs for every 10 people in desperate need of a job. Calling for job creation is both vitally important and popular -- been doing just that for over 30 years now. But those who have been pushed out of the job market need basic humanitarian aid right now -- food and shelter.

  •  As the country became more polarized on the issues (9+ / 0-)

    The Blue Dogs were left in a shrinking moderate middle. Note all the legislation mentioned in your post the Blue Dogs opposed because it was not popular. Well those Blue Dogs are gone and things like Obamacare became law anyway and things like the Dream act have only gotten more popular.
          If the Blue Dogs had been right about the issues the Blue Dogs would still be here and those issues would be forgotten by now.

    •  Correct. Its a function of deepening polarization (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LordMike, ssgbryan

      That is occurring in this country.  The talk is being dominated by the extremes and there are fewer and fewer representing the middle or moderates.  

      The danger is that there be sea serpents in these waters.  A few weeks ago, I read something about how it is fueling a new silent majority who opposes both the left and the right and that we can expect this force to breakout in the coming years.  I would try to post a link to it, but for the life of me, I can't recall what it was I was reading or where I was reading it.  

      "It's not surveillance, it's data collection to keep you safe"

      by blackhand on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 08:03:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think that it's because there is "little" (5+ / 0-)

        difference between the "corporatist wings" of both parties.

        Just look at the "No Labels" organization--there is no division much among the so-called centrists (actually corporatist/DLC/Third Way) crowd of lawmakers.

        And Blue Dogs serve the purpose of moving the so-called "Overton Window" even more to the right.

        A lot of people are simply sick and tired of a choice between "Tweedledum and Tweedledee."  (IMHO)


        "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible."-- Frank L. Gaines


        by musiccitymollie on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 12:10:43 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Break out into what? (4+ / 0-)

        This "silent majority" doesn't even know what it stands for, much less organize some sort of cohesive political party.  The system is rigged against them anyways, but they have to first figure out what they actually want.


        by LordMike on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 02:41:40 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  No such thing (0+ / 0-)

        Both "sides" have spouted about some silent majority for decades, claiming it as their own.

        The Dem's "Third Way" and the Libertarian bent of the GOP is the only thing to come of it.

        Still only a political Duopoly in this country.

        “Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.” ... Voltaire

        by RUNDOWN on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 03:29:43 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I strongly disagree with calling the (0+ / 0-)

        dominant part of the Democratic caucus and the Democratic Party "extreme".

        In fact is very very moderate.

        •  as example (0+ / 0-)

          Public and Universal Social Security.

          This is a concept universally accepted by the left around the world. Even is unopposed by the right in most of the occidental countries. Merkell, Sarkozy... no-one of them can go against this concept without lose badly the following elections. Their bids of cut social benefit for the less favored citizens are in a lot lower level.

          The Democrats in the US House and the US Senate would not lose the label of moderate supporting this concept. But still this has not universal support between the representatives and the senators that are being called "extreme".

    •  That's just wrong (6+ / 0-)

      It's wrong in everyway. It's making glib assumptions about correctness and wrongness and revealing a rather uninformed understanding of the electorate and the very districts you are referring to. I criticized blue dog strategies before, and cheered when McIntyre retired, but not from such a silly angle. This isn't about moderates or middles, its about American politics finally sorting along ideological lines, whereas the parties have long been assortments of different ideologies bound by few uniform principles if any, save sometimes regional and historical affinity.

      "Once, many, many years ago I thought I was wrong. Of course it turned out I had been right all along. But I was wrong to have thought I was wrong." -John Foster Dulles. My Political Compass Score: -4.00, -3.69, Proud member of DKE

      by ArkDem14 on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 01:20:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Note I might disagree (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Skaje, musiccitymollie

    But I do find the topic interesting and think it should be explored more and debated. Otherwise I fear we will repeat past mistakes.

  •  This reminds me of a song (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Where have all the Blue Dogs gone?
    Long time passing
    Where have all the Blue Dogs gone?
    Long time ago
    Where have all the Blue Dogs gone?
    Defeated by Reps or liberal Dems, every one
    Oh, when will they ever learn?
    Oh, when will they ever learn?

    (-8.38, -4.72), CT-02 (home), ME-01 (college) "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one." -Spock

    by ProudNewEnglander on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 08:16:27 AM PST

  •  Gabby Giffords was a blue dog (8+ / 0-)

    and my member of the Progressive Caucus Congressman consistently votes with the Republicans. I think labels aren't always helpful.

    Not having the house is not helpful either. Not much legislation of late.

    “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

    by ban nock on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 08:26:05 AM PST

    •  You're right, labels only get us so far (14+ / 0-)

      Marcy Kaptur is in the Progressive Caucus but voted against three of the big bills and is pro-life.  Mike Thompson is a Blue Dog but voted for all the bills and is pro-choice.  That's why I decided to look at each bill and see who was voting with the Republicans, rather than just tracking the Blue Dogs alone.  Voting records speak louder than caucus memberships.

      •  I generally like Kaptur (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tikkun, Odysseus

        may I ask "what three bills?"

        A single-issue based on her religious beliefs would not deter me from supporting her for any office.

        Unless the three issues that you refer to are of profound consequence--like funding misguided wars, etc.

        I'll try to come back to post a video of her urging Americans to "become squatters in their own homes."

        She displays the kind of "gumption" that we need out of more of our Dem Party politicians.

        If we can't find a way push the Dem Party more to her views on economics, I'm afraid that after the midterm elections, we'll have quite a bit to worry about in 2016.


        "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible."-- Frank L. Gaines


        by musiccitymollie on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 12:19:54 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Marcy Kaptur (3+ / 0-)

          voted against the Dodd-Frank financial reform, because she argued that it did not go far enough.  Neighbor congressman Dennis Kucinich agreed and also voted no, but the other 25 Democratic "no" votes were definitely from more conservative positions...Blue Dog congressmen like Dan Boren, Bobby Bright, Bart Stupak, Chet Edwards, etc.  Whereas every other member of the Progressive Caucus voted for the bill.  It's certainly worthy of debate and Kaptur is among the most populist on this issue, but that's why her name was included.

          The second bill is more problematic.  She was one of the 38 Democrats to vote against the DREAM Act which would give legal residency to college students or military members who did not have legal status when they were brought in to the country as children.  That vote was definitely from a conservative, reactionary position, but fortunately she seems to have changed her mind now on the DREAM Act.

          The third bill is a function of her being pro-life: she voted for the Stupak Amendment to Obamacare to prevent the insurance exchanges from covering abortion.

          I do remember seeing the "squat in your own homes" video.  She is undeniably a populist, and that's probably why she chooses to be a member of the Progressive Caucus, despite her other conservative views.

          •  Thanks for the info, Skaje. Truthfully, I always (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Skaje, tikkun

            consider mainly economic and foreign policy when I cast my vote.

            So none of what you cited would likely change my mind--although I am appreciative of the information.  And will even bookmark it.  (Unless other issues come into play.)

            BTW, I not trying to start a "Draft Kaptur Movement" or anything, LOL!  

            Just truly appreciated her reaction to the financial meltdown in regards to homeowners being swindled and thrown out of their homes.

            Thanks for your post--rec'd!


            "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible."-- Frank L. Gaines


            by musiccitymollie on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 01:37:19 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Marcie Is A Seamless Garment (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              musiccitymollie, MichaelNY

              Roman Catholic.  She would be very comfortable with the Catholic Workers Party, and I daresay, given her deep connections to Roman Catholic union members in Toledo, has been influenced by them.  While I'm not Roman Catholic and I part company with her on her pro-life stance, I respect Marcie's consistent integrity in representing working families.  

              Newt 2012. Sociopath, adulterer, hypocrite, Republican.

              by tikkun on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 04:04:13 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I concur, tikkun. I'm from the most "far left" of (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                the religious spectrum--and I'd part ways with Kaptur on a couple of issues, as well.

                OTOH, I am loathe to hold anyone in contempt for their deeply held personal "faith convictions," no matter how wrong or misguided that I may deem them to be.  

                (And that doesn't mean that I wouldn't forcefully disagree with them--just that I would not denigrate as a human being, because their beliefs are different from mine.)

                Recently, the right-wing Republican former Governor of Arkansas, Mike Huckabee, was talking "fairly populist economic language" on a Sunday Talk Show.

                I sincerely believe that, unless our Dem Leaders are willing to back a populist economic agenda, the Democratic Party may be in for another shellacking this November.

                And Marcie Kaptur is a Dem who is really good at speaking to a progressive Dem economic agenda--and I think that she's sincere!


                "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible."-- Frank L. Gaines


                by musiccitymollie on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 04:37:05 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  Dodd-Frank didn't go far enough. (0+ / 0-)
            Marcy Kaptur voted against the Dodd-Frank financial reform, because she argued that it did not go far enough.
            Dodd-Frank is really a terrible bill.  There's no reason for hundreds of pages of complexity.

            Brown-Kauffman was much simpler and much more straightforward.

            -7.75 -4.67

            "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."

            There are no Christians in foxholes.

            by Odysseus on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 06:48:58 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Rush Holt's a Member of New Dems & the PCC! (0+ / 0-)

        Per Wikipedia:

        Holt is a member of the New Democrat Coalition and the Congressional Progressive Caucus. In the 113th Congress he serves as co-chair of the Energy Task Force in the New Democrat Coalition.


        "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible."-- Frank L. Gaines


        by musiccitymollie on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 01:42:48 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  How? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Patango, MichaelNY

      Given what the GOP has been up to in the House since 2010 please explain how you can have a rep who belongs to the PCC and votes with the GOP?

    •  Unintended "Slander" On A Favorite (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Yes, also included in that list, implicitly (though not listed as one of the surviving Blue Dogs), is Rep. Peter DeFazio, OR-4, who I know well to be a true progressive. As noted in the diary, he did vote against cap and trade, but for reasons not at all related to Republican help-corporations-at-every-chance reasoning. His reasons have to do with  flaws in the legislation.

      Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) made one thing clear on Friday: he’s just not that into the cap-and-trade legislation under debate in the House. ...DeFazio decried the focus on creating a market-based system for trading pollution-credits and permitting a substantial use of carbon offsets.

      “There’s an unholy alliance of big business, some environmental groups and Wall Street” backing cap-and-trade, said DeFazio, comparing the scheme to the deregulation of the electricity markets that ultimately led to soaring rates in some states. “Wall Street is excited about another thinly regulated market.”

      A system that caps emissions and allows companies to trade pollution permits would enable financial gamesmanship but do little for the environment, according to DeFazio...he just wants there to be a cap on carbon, and polluters should be forced to stay under that limit. If they exceed the limit, they should be fined aggressively, he said.

      Labels can really suck at times; As an Oregonian, I wish that the diarist had been more careful putting this information together.

      You meet them halfway with love, peace, and persuasion ~ And expect them to rise for the occasion...

      by paz3 on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 04:51:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  ^^^ Link To Above ^^^ (0+ / 0-)

        You meet them halfway with love, peace, and persuasion ~ And expect them to rise for the occasion...

        by paz3 on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 04:54:31 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I was aware (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        James Allen, MichaelNY, Odysseus

        that DeFazio voted against it from the left.  Kaptur also did the same for Dodd-Frank.  I wasn't trying to tar them as conservaDems, just offering a "who's still here but voted against Democratic-led bills?" list (which overall is still an accurate way to look at it), and making conclusions from that.

        It probably would have been better to have put a note in the diary about DeFazio and Kaptur, but as it's front-paged now I don't believe it's my place to edit the diary any further.  Sorry.

    •  sounds like Loebsack (0+ / 0-)

      at least that's the one that comes to my mind

  •  The hell with the Blue Dogs (14+ / 0-)

    I really hate this debate that we need them because often people take too narrow a view of the seats Dems hold.  'We won't get a better Dem in Matheson's UT-04 and the republicans will be worse'.  Well there are 434 OTHER districts we can focus on, many of which we can get a better Democrat to win.  I highlighted over 80 seats that the Dems should target in 2014 ALL of which were bluer than McIntyre's R+12 or Matheson's R+16.  In fact most were R+5 or less.  It would take alot less effort to flip those seats than it does to hold R+12 and R+16 seats.

    There's been a realignment and the sooner we recognize it the sooner we can capitalize on it.  The Dems lost 2 reps in beat red seats but the GOP is unexpectedly losing 7 reps in far bluer seats.  Which would we rather have?  The 2 beat red seats with 50% Dems and 7 bluer seats with Republicans  OR 2 beat red seats with republicans and 5-7 bluer seats with 80% Dems?  Dems need to shore their strongholds and cut off the outposts then attack the GOP where they're weakest.

    Matheson and McIntyre unwittingly did us a favor.  They freed the Democratic party of having to waste money and resources year in and year out defending red seats when the Democrats can instead focus on winning bluer seats once and not have to worry about defending them again.  

    As for centrist Dems, I suspect they'll just take up another form.  The DLC is dead, the Blue Dogs will soon follow.  The New Dem coalition will see 20% of it's membership lost in 2014 due to retirements and so on.  The Third Way is toast.  I'm sure a new coalition will rise up to take their place though.  Meanwhile the Progressive Dem Caucus is 70+ strong.  The goal was ALWAYS to elect more and better Dems.  This is all part of the process but in order to do that we have to be willing to let go of the crappy ones and instead refocus our efforts on better opportunities.  

    This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

    by DisNoir36 on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 09:52:55 AM PST

    •  Just FYI, (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Patango, ArkDem14, MichaelNY, sulthernao

      most members of the New Dems in Congress vote the same way as the Progressives. So before you demonize the New Dems, consider that.

      (-8.38, -4.72), CT-02 (home), ME-01 (college) "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one." -Spock

      by ProudNewEnglander on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 10:06:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  There is some crossover (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Patango, musiccitymollie

        but there is some crossover between them and the Blue Dog/DLC wing of the Dem party as well.  In CT for example there are 3 New Dems, Courtney, Himes and Esty.  Esty is a centrist and Himes is cozy with Wall Street (understandingly so being his district is so close and so populated with Wall Streeters.  

        They're better than Blue Dogs and DLCer but they tend to be more neo-liberal than the typical progressives.

        This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

        by DisNoir36 on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 10:12:55 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The New Dems are a strange group (3+ / 0-)

          While the Blue Dogs are founded directly on the principle of being moderate to conservative Democrats, New Dems span this whole range and do not seem to really move as a unit the way most of the Blue Dogs did.

          You've got Jared Polis, John Barrow, Eliot Engel, Mike McIntyre, Andre Carson...I don't get it.  Seems to be more of a fundraising club than anything, or a way for liberal Democrats to try to look bipartisan or whatever.  It does seem like a bunch of them come from suburban and wealthier seats though, and perhaps aren't as populist in rhetoric and legislation introduced as the progressive caucus overall.  Jim Himes is kinda the perfect example...I've never seen him vote with Republicans once, so his record is basically indistinguishable from someone like Rosa DeLauro.

          •  Himes has made some bad votes (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            mostly related to tax issues or issues, Dodd Frank type issues or issues related to the Financial sector which is understandable considering his district.

            This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

            by DisNoir36 on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 10:47:46 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  This: (5+ / 0-)
            a way for liberal Democrats to try to look bipartisan
            I think this is the case with a lot of New Dems. It's certainly the case with my Rep, Joe Courtney. In his newsletters, he talks about being bipartisan, and makes a big show of introducing some bills with Republicans once in a while, but his actual political positions and votes are pretty much in line with the Progressive Caucus.

            But hey, with Courtney, it works. In 2012, he got 68% of the vote, so a non-trivial number of Republicans must have voted for him.

            My guess is that once Esty is more secure in her seat (she got only 51.5% in 2012), she'll vote very similarly to Courtney. Himes basically does already, and he did vote for Dodd-Frank. Himes probably realizes that the voters who allowed him to defeat Chris Shays in 2008 were not the Wall Street types (those people largely stuck with Shays). No, Himes's victory was due to high turnout among urbanites, minorities, and liberals, and he hasn't forgotten that.

            (-8.38, -4.72), CT-02 (home), ME-01 (college) "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one." -Spock

            by ProudNewEnglander on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 10:59:52 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  There are almost no... (0+ / 0-)

              "Urbanites" in CT-04.  Trust me, I grew up there.  There are small areas of Stamford and Norwalk which cater to young professionals who take the train into NYC, but I don't think they swing particularly left.  Beside Bridgeport, Fairfield County's Democratic base is Jews (mainly in Westport and Fairfield) and downscale whites.  

              •  you might be surprised (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                in Red State, Blue State, Rich State, Poor State they found Connecticut, while still a bit polarized by economic class, was among the least polarized states in that way.

                ...better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity, than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference. -FDR, 1936

                by James Allen on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 11:23:58 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  You seem to be forgetting (4+ / 0-)

                that I am from Connecticut, and I am an expert in the political geography of that state. So you probably shouldn't try to out-Connecticut me, because that won't work.

                Anyway, to what you said: 'urbanites' basically means anyone who lives in a city and has characteristic urban political beliefs. Thus, there are plenty of urbanites in Bridgeport, Norwalk, and Stamford (which happen to be the only three towns that Himes won in 2008). Sure, you won't find the large numbers of white liberals living in high-rises like you'd see in Manhattan, but Bridgeport is something like 30% white, and at least a majority of those people voted for Obama.

                Also, there's a lot more to the Democratic base in Fairfield County than the three groups that you mentioned. How about minorities and socially-liberal whites in Norwalk and Stamford? Their rise is one reason why Fairfield County has trended to the left recently.

                (-8.38, -4.72), CT-02 (home), ME-01 (college) "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one." -Spock

                by ProudNewEnglander on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 11:36:11 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  Himes did get some cross over voters in 08 (0+ / 0-)

              Particularly in his home town of Greenwich.  You seem to forget that Shays is from Black Rock so his strong hold outside of the beat red traditionally GOP towns of Darien, New Canaan, Wilton and so on was Fairfield and Bridgeport.  In 08 Himes was carried by moderate Wall Street people as well as the more traditional Dem base that turned out for Obama in Norwalk, Bridgeport and Stamford in HUGE numbers as well as the more liberal towns like Westport, Weston and Redding.  Himes certainly didn't carry many of the smaller towns (he carried none of them in 08 and only Weston, Westport and Redding in 2010) but even if he only lost them 70-30 that was still a big improvement over the 85-15 margins that Dems typically lose by.  

              Also CT is NOT a state that's very conducive to the frothy tea bagger types.  Nutmeggers are far more practical.  Himes is a moderate on many business related issues and has voted on occasion with the GOP.  For example Himes proposed rolling back provisions of Dodd Frank.  It's not that big of a deal because on 85-90% of the issues he's with us but every so often I see Esty making some stupid vote or announcing she's in favor of something that makes me scratch my head and usually Himes is there too.  But Republicans will cross over and vote for him if his opposition is utter crap.    Dan Debicella and Steve Obstinik were both tea bagging idiots with little gravitas.   Even traditional republicans didn't vote for those guys.

              This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

              by DisNoir36 on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 04:16:05 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  A few things wrong with your analysis (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                Himes actually didn't get many crossover votes in 2008. In fact, in many of the towns in his district he did worse than Diane Farrell had in 2006 (and she lost). He won in 2008 by racking up huge margins in Stamford, Norwalk, and especially Bridgeport, and he also benefited enormously from the high turnout caused by Obama.

                Also, Democrats never lose any towns in CT by 85-15 margins (or anything close) except in massive landslides like Rell's 2006 re-election. Since then, only Darien and New Canaan have voted over 70% for any Republican in any statewide election (and that was in 2010).

                Finally, Himes actually won Fairfield by 1 vote in 2010, so add that to your list.

                That being said, I agree with your second paragraph.

                (-8.38, -4.72), CT-02 (home), ME-01 (college) "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one." -Spock

                by ProudNewEnglander on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 05:35:23 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Diane Farrell (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  A few things about the Diane Farrell comparison.  First she was a moderate chosen because of her supposed appeal to moderates.  So it wouldn't be surprising that she had cross over voters, that's why she was chosen to run.  She lost because she had the misfortune of running the same year Lieberman ran as an independent.  He ran up some big numbers in Bridgeport and in Naugatuck Valley, and since he embraced Shays in a big dickish FU Democrats move, Shays who is from Bridgeport, was able to peel some votes in what is a traditional heavy Dem area.  In 2004 when she ran the first time and lost she also underperformed in more traditional Dem areas but it was a tough climb against Shays in a year with Bush at the top of the ticket in a district that was his family's ancestral home.  Farrell was just not a very good candidate or person for that matter.  But in 2006 I believe she was hurt by Lieberman.  I also believe although I could be wrong that she underperformed in her own town of Westport and neighboring Weston.  She wasn't very liked there by some and for very good reasons which I am privy to and have to do with her heavy handed management of the town as First Selectwoman.    

                  Himes was a bit different and he had a few things going for him in 08 that Farrell didn't.  First he speaks Spanish fluently.  Big plus in Norwalk, Stamford and especially Bridgeport.  Second, Obama at the top of the ticket turned out MANY Democratic voters in those 3 cities.  Himes ended up with over 50,000 more voters in 2008 than Farrel had in 2006 which was a full third of his total and 19,000 more voters than Farrell got in 2004 (a presidential year election).  So that of course helped him alot especially against a strong incumbent who had beaten back tough challengers in very close races in the past.  But don't for a second think he didn't get cross over voters.  He got enough support in the wealthier communities among traditional GOP voters to help both financially and electorally.  So did Obama.  I was exaggerating the Dem GOP margins in the towns and could have just as easily said 90-10.  The point was those towns are very GOP especially Darien, New Canaan (home of Ann Coulter's family and previously of Glen Beck) and Greenwich (home of the Bush's, McMahons and Foley) and the registration in some of them are very lopsided.  Himes lives in Cos Cob so of course he got some votes from Greenwich.  In fact I was there in 08 and saw plenty of Greenwich people turn out for him.  If Himes can get votes in a town once run by Prescott Bush (thankfully they seem to have moved his fucking photo from the Town Hall lobby so I don't have to see it every time I walk in) then that's a plus.    

                  This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

                  by DisNoir36 on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 08:29:56 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

          •  Here's the New Dem (DLC) Hyde Park Declaration (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            below, or a link to it.  

            They were/are a "highly organized" movement, IMHO.

            [Please see my reply to DisNoir36.]

            I don't recognize the names of the lawmakers above, but I"ll be back with a major list of DLC/Third Way/New Dem Democrats.

            Basically, they ARE the Democratic Party Leadership, although a small handful are not formal members.

            My understanding is that Rep James Clyburn was a "charter member" of the DLC, but pulled his formal membership due to constituent pressure, several years ago.

            Many of the most prominent Dems are very quiet about their association with this orgnaization.

            As the Hyde Park Declaration demonstrates, this is a very conservative and business-friendly crowd.

            Here's the link:

            DLC | Key Document | August 1, 2000

            The Hyde Park Declaration: A Statement of Principles and a Policy Agenda for the 21st Century

            Basically, this document provides a broad framework for the Bowles-Simpson Fiscal Commission Chairman's Mark, "The Moment Of Truth."

            But I agree with everyone--the loss of "Blue Dogs" is inevitable, partly due to demographics.  

            It is also a favorable outcome, in the long run.


            "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible."-- Frank L. Gaines


            by musiccitymollie on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 01:10:38 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  That is why the New Dems formed (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            They are basically business friendly and socially fairly liberal.  They separated themselves from the DLC because the DLC was basically the old Jacksonian wing of the Democratic party.

            Newt 2012. Sociopath, adulterer, hypocrite, Republican.

            by tikkun on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 04:09:27 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  That, and the fact that if lawmakers in (0+ / 0-)

          the Progressive Caucus are voting with DLCers and Blue Dogs, it's probably because they are moving to the right--not because the Blue Dogs and DLCers are moving to the left!


          "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible."-- Frank L. Gaines


          by musiccitymollie on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 04:40:44 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Agree with much, but not about the "DLC" crowd-- (0+ / 0-)

      According to one of the co-founders of the DLC on C-Span recently, the DLC "organization" has been folded into the "Clinton Foundation."

      From what I can discern, when the DLC shut down, the "No Labels" organization kicked off.

      And "No Labels" is basically a "bi-partisan" DLC organization--ideologically.

      The same folks who formed the DLC, formed, along with their Republican counterparts, formed "No Labels."

      The "Third Way Movement" was spawned by the DLC--and there is a think tanks by that name, today.

      So, can't agree that "it's dead."

      Wikipedia illustrates "The Third Way" through use of this photo of FP Clinton and Tony Blair shaking hands:

      Considering the fact that talking heads say that FS Clinton is the lead contender for the Dem Party nomination, don't think we can declare the DLC to be "dead."  [Of course, FS Clinton was a prominent member of the DLC during her Senate tenure]

      And Al From is in the process of declaring a "New Dem" victory as we speak.

      As a matter of fact, he was recently interviewed on C-Span about the DLC and the Third Way Movement (Peter Slen was the interviewer).

      Check it out.  

      From's new book is:  The New Democrats and The Return To Power.

      The book "Foreward" is written by FP Bill Clinton.

      IMHO, we progressives have a long way to go, to take back the Party from conservadems and corporatists!


      "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible."-- Frank L. Gaines


      by musiccitymollie on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 12:53:41 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Hear, hear. (4+ / 0-)

      The people who keep defending the Blue Dogs are wholly unable to see beyond the next election in a given seat and see what happens later.  Like you say, the Blue Dogs suck away precious party resources.  Beyond that, they shield and bolster Republicans with bipartisan, reinforce conservative attitudes (or at least fail to challenge them), and distract from Democratic messaging and imaging.  

      The net result of all of that is they undermine the party from within.  In other words, we are better off without the Mathesons and the McIntyres of the world, even if it means a Republican wins those seats.

  •  labels have been useful but it's right to (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    isabelle hayes

    move on.
    I think we have to look at things like voting scorecards in a clearer light. A vote for Obamacare sounds good, but if it was cast just to reinforce the meme that single payer "is politically impossible" then maybe we need to reconsider. A better example is a person who votes strictly pro choice but opposes NSA reform - pro choice can be an easy vote, making the person appear to be a legitimate Democrat, when in reality it's just a mask.
    I think we have to move on to an ontological approach; go beyond conveniently chosen labels and categories to the realities of motivation. Yes, this sounds dangerously like the right's "values" approach, but everything has its dangers, and just because the bad guys have perverted a strategy doesn't invalidate that strategy.

  •  Utah Dems are going to miss Matheson's money (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MichaelNY, Odysseus

    Since apparently whenever he raised a bunch of money, he allowed the Dems in his district to use a bit of it.

    Leftist Mormon in Utah, Born in Washington State, live in UT-04 (Matheson).

    by Gygaxian on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 11:34:19 AM PST

  •  "Destined for irrelevence"..... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    musiccitymollie, TheUnknown285

    as a former constituent of Jim (Blue Dog) Matheson...I would say they've been irrelevant for a long time now!

  •  It's sad really (6+ / 0-)

    Completely agree conservadems in liberal districts should be primaried or at least pressured. However, I respect the blue dogs from conservative district. They are why our party is still functioning. Republican moderates and radicals don't get along. Our moderates and progressives work pretty well together. Our party gets kept in check and moves at a not too fast, not too slow pace. The Republicans just move backward. I'm worried the party may move too quickly on some issues without the check of blue dogs.

  •  Good Riddance (6+ / 0-)

    The Blue Dogs have shown over and over again that they are a cancer for the Democratic Party.  They are always there to provide the Republicans with bipartisan/"moderate" cover.  They are always there to suck away party resources that could be spent elsewhere.  They are always there to disrupt Democratic messaging and provide the media with their "Democrats in disarray stories."  They are always there to help reinforce conservatism and undermine attempts to shift things to the left.  They are always there to piss on the constituencies the Democratic Party purports to represent and care about.

  •  we need to primary Lipinski of Illinois (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cotasm, Jorge Harris, Odysseus
  •  Regarding Blue Dogs, Harry Truman said it best... (11+ / 0-)

    “Given the choice between a Republican and someone who acts like a Republican, people will vote for the real Republican all the time”

    "The political system, including elections, is carefully managed to prevent the threat of democracy."  ~Noam Chomsky

    -7.38, -6.97

    by cotasm on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 03:28:29 PM PST

  •  Rockefeller Republicans and Third Way (3+ / 0-)

    CEOs replaced Blue Dogs.  

    What we need is a Democrat in the White House.

    by dkmich on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 03:28:52 PM PST

  •  A point that is often missed (9+ / 0-)

    in the Blue Dog debate is the fact, IMO, that their disappearance is a positive symptom of the Overton Window moving back to the left.

    The fact that we even had so many "conservdems" in the first place was because the country had moved so far to the right.

    I will be more than happy to see politicians like these guys on the other side of the aisle, which is where they'll go once the GOP finally gets rid of all the crazy.

    Imagine negotiating with a GOP comprised of Blue Dogs as opposed to whackadoodle medieval birther tea baggers!!

    "Mediocrity cannot know excellence." -- Sherlock Holmes

    by La Gitane on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 03:35:14 PM PST

  •  Every time I'm more convinced that (4+ / 0-)

    Every time I'm more convinced that the Blue Dog members strategy of voting vith the Republicans in many of the most important issues has not been succesful.

    It is so clear that these votes worked not enough well for them to survive, and cycle after cycle they are becoming less.

    This is the PVI of the districts of the remaining 12 Blue Dogs that can continue:

    D+19 CA-05 Mike Thompson
    D+16 GA-13 David Scott
    D+09 CA-46 Loretta Sanchez
    D+07 CA-16 Jim Costa
    D+07 TX-28 Henry Cuellar
    D+06 GA-02 Sanford Bishop
    D+05 IL-03 Dan Lipinski
    D+05 TN-05 Jim Cooper, Co-Chair for Policy
    EVEN OR-05 Kurt Schrader, Co-Chair for Communications
    R+03 TX-23 Pete Gallego
    R+06 MN-07 Collin Peterson
    R+09 GA-12 John Barrow, Co-Chair for Administration

    Now most of the remaining Blue Dogs are from D+ districts, and this is a non sense. Most of the remaining Blue Dogs are the Blue Dogs with less conservative voting record. But they voted and they are voting to the right of their constituencies without a real justification in terms of help for their electability. And even half of the remaining Blue Dogs are not white and come from districts with minority majorities.

    It is a non-sense for most of the current members to remain in the coalition. It can only help them being primaried if they keep the label and in they keep their most conservative positions.

    At this point the Blue Dog Coalition seems becoming part of the past of the Democratic Party more than part of the future.

    It is very interesting to note that N Rahall, who is not in the coalition, and who has beeing respectful to the party and to the ideology, even voting conservative some times, has become the last Democrat in R+double digit district that is keeping the fight. I think he is a good example about how to manage a candidature and a voting record in a red district in the future.

    I like the diary, and I think it would be interesting to add more info about recent important issueas like the vote for Speaker.

  •  New Democrat Coaltion Replaced Blue Dogs (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Not to worry!  The New Dem Coalition (heck they even removed the "ic" of Democratic in honor of the GOP talking points) is here to save the day!

  •  Ah, Blue Dogs. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I've always had conflicting emotions about these people.  "More and better Democrats" always meant MORE, at least at first.  Here's the thing though:  voters don't change their stripes.  We are not going to morph more into better the way that America is currently divided along ideological lines.  The same people that sent Republicans to Congress in the past have sent Democrats today, and vice versa.  People have a core set of values which aren't changing barring some life altering epiphany.  Conservatives are conservatives, and if they got pissed off enough at their previous Congresscritter to toss them out in favor of someone new, that doesn't mean that they don't want the new guy to represent their interests in exactly the same way.  Blue Dogs have added to our numbers of late, but are they really Democrats?  When it counts?  I think not, and it's maybe best that the lines are more clearly drawn so as to be more realistic about what and what isn't possible on The Hill...

  •  Nate Silver (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bear83, ER Doc, Odysseus, benamery21

    has a number he calculates to try and show how much politician shifts that districts representation in the House from what it naturally would be.

    In this calculus members Democratic members from deep red districts are very valuable.

    Remember, the most important vote a member of the House or Senate casts is for the control of that body.

    The truth is we have to become as good as throwing out the GOP from deep blue states (ahem Maine) as the  GOP has been at eliminating Dem seats from GOP seats.

  •  McIntyre (3+ / 0-)

    McIntyre always ran tv ads against Obama and Pelosi, we're actually better off not having a candidate that spoils our brand.

    Actions speak louder than petitions.

    by melvynny on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 03:46:31 PM PST

  •  Call me a pessimist (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TheUnknown285, musiccitymollie

    but it seems most of them have simply been replaced by 3rd Wayers, or they've morphed into 3rd Wayers if they're still in their seats.

    We've got a long way to go to have actual liberal Democrats be the majority of sitting Democratic members in both houses of Congress.

  •  Blue Dogs are still running the Dem Party (3+ / 0-)

    They and their corporate sponsors have just moved behind the curtain where they control the levers for all DC Dems.   It takes a pretty brave Democrat to speak out against neolib policy and messaging these days.  There are a few in the House, only 1 in the Senate.

    If cutting Social Security & Medicare benefits for low income seniors is what Democrats do after they win a budget standoff, I'd hate to see what they do after they lose one.

    by Betty Pinson on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 03:50:37 PM PST

  •  Implying that Peter DeFazio is a (2+ / 0-)

    Conservative Democrat simply because he voted against Cap & Trade is just silly.  DeFazio is the sort who will often vote against something because it doesn't go far enough.

    We need more like him in the House.

    Comfort the Disturbed and Disturb the Comfortable...

    by raggmopp on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 03:58:27 PM PST

  •  I'm troubled (7+ / 0-)

    By some of the hate and dislike in this thread towards fellow democrats just because they don't vote like Nancy Pelosi.

    I TOTALLY understand wanting to primary Lipinski, but wanting Dems like Matheson and McIntrye gone frankly blow my mind away.

    Some of my favorite Democrats were elected in 06/08 and its shame we won't have classes like that for a while thanks to redistricting this past decade.

    The first part MORE Democrats is extremely important. BETTER comes into play when we can afford it.  Sometimes a district does not allow for a Progressive.

    32/D/M/NY-01/SSP&RRH: Tekzilla

    by Socks The Cat on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 04:02:29 PM PST

  •  Blue Dogs are not conservatives (4+ / 0-)

    Their underlying "principles" are to cater to their Wall Street and wealthy campaign contributors; this makes them corporatists, not conservatives.  I have argued in the past that anyone could make conservative arguments on several issues that would demolish the reasoning for Blue Dogs voting patterns.

    Conservatives are supposed to be suspicious of overseas military adventures, but most Blue Dogs voted for George W. Bush's Iraq War.  

    Conservatives are supposed to be all about fiscal discipline, but how many Blue Dogs voted for Bush's tax cuts?  You don't hear them going on about how wasteful those tax cuts were.  The ACA is a conservative conception that is supposed to reduce health care costs, but most of the Blue Dog caucus said, "Nah!"

    Aren't conservatives against big government intrusion into our lives? But Blue Dogs voted for the Patriot Act.  Seems privacy violations are OK with Blue Dogs.  As for being supposedly prolife, you can make the conservative counter argument that the government has no business in a personal health care decision made by women.  You don't hear Blue Dogs EVER make that argument.

    However, by the modern practice of conservatism, Blue Dogs are conservative, if you define conservatism as protecting Wall Street and the wealthy.

  •  Sorting out the parties (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    When I was in undergraduate school, the thinking among a large segment of academia devoted to studying government and politics was that the U. S. and the two parties might benefit from sorting themselves out along ideological lines.  The suggested ideal was Great Britain, where the Tories really were conservative and Labour really was liberal.  It was thought that this process would give elections more meaning.

    I think that's still correct and I think that elected officials that can't support their party's platform probably ought not to belong to that party.

    "The test of our progress is not whether we add to the abundance of those who have much. It is whether we provide enough to those who have little. " --Franklin D. Roosevelt

    by jg6544 on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 04:05:32 PM PST

    •  Funny thing, though: (0+ / 0-)

      The UK system itself has moved far from that clearly ideologically sorted past. Did you maybe go to undergrad school in the 80s, or at the latest the 90s? Because of course Tony Blair famously/notoriously took the Labour Party so far to the center that it ended up leapfrogging the LibDems, traditionally the centrist party. For a while the LibDems were basically campaigning from the left of Blair's New Labour, because Labour had become so centrist.

      Vice versa, under David Cameron the Tories have tried hard to at least look more centrist, swapping the tough Thatcherite image for a more touchy-feely one, especially on cultural issues. That's been largely form rather than substance, of course, and the party's economic platform has remained pretty hard-right - but it's still been enough to drive throngs of disgruntled right-wing Tories into the arms of the UKIP party.

      So if anything, it seems that Great Britain has moved away from that "suggested ideal" where one party is clearly conservative/right-wing and the other clearly liberal/left-wing.

      •  Ironic isn't it? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        As our system becomes more sharply divided along partisan and ideological lines, the British system does the opposite.

        I was in undergrad school in the '60s.

        "The test of our progress is not whether we add to the abundance of those who have much. It is whether we provide enough to those who have little. " --Franklin D. Roosevelt

        by jg6544 on Tue Jan 14, 2014 at 01:15:09 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  A lot of conventional thinking is wrong... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TheUnknown285, Odysseus

    PVI is not destiny.   And a 60%-80% vote for a candidate does not necessarily mean every one of them even knew who or what they were voting for on most issues.

    It is difficult to flip a deep red district to a blue district but it can be done.  And it can be done with populist and progressive issues and positions if the candidate is willing to step up and argue and educate people.   And if the party is willing to back up the candidate with resources at critical moments.   What we saw in 2006, 2008, and 2010 was money squandered on Blue Dogs who were running away from the President and validating the suspicion of voters in their district in GOP charges.  The Blue Dogs reinforced a lie and then lost because the lie was turned on them.

    This is a year that Democrats should be taking issues to Republicans instead of just sitting back.  And those issues are:

    Minimum wage of $15/hour.  If a Democrat cannot make a strong argument for how that improves the economy and reduces the deficit, they should not be a candidate.

    Increase Social Security payments by 20%.  If Democrats can't use this argument to peel of senior GOP voters, they don't belong in politics.

    Eliminate co-pays and deductibles in health care.  People who are angry about the ACA are angry about out-of-pocket costs nickle-and-diming them after they have made premium payments.  And about balance billing.  Any Democrat who can't discuss that and then ask citizens what their suggestions would be for paying for it (instead of setting themselves up for the tax and spend label) need to get a quieter career.

    Strengthen working hour restrictions and overtime pay and enforce those laws strictly so that wage theft no longer occurs.  Think that Republican wage workers haven't experienced wage theft and given up on there being any fairness in the workplace?   Are these Democratic candidates dumb as a post or are the paid to lose?

    Where are the Democrats who will toss the political red meat about farmers and workers interests like they used to?

    And where are the Congressional challengers who can count to 170,000 and go get those votes.

    I'm not nostalgic at all for Blue Dogs.  Time to expand the progressive Democratic map.  And all that seems to be in DeeCee are wimpy consultants who tell all the ways that it can't be done.

    50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

    by TarheelDem on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 04:06:13 PM PST

    •  Exactly. We need a 50-State Progressive Strategy (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Odysseus, Lucy2009

      I am so god damn sick of the people who call themselves "pragmatists" trotting out the line that we should cower because 1) progressive ideals are untenable and 2) that it is set in stone.  Both notions are bullshit.  Public opinion research has shown how malleable public opinion can be.  So, let's make a stand and make an argument instead of chasing after some non-existent middle.

    •  Statistically your statement that PVI is not (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      James Allen, Skaje, MichaelNY

      destiny is not true. The correlation between Obama's performance (PVI) and the House candidate in the 391 contested districts yielded an r-squared value of .91 out of 1 which means a very high correlation.

      But really what you're saying means that we should spend our limited money in ineffective ways. Sure, if I dumped $100 million into a small conservative state like North Dakota on a campaign trying to educate and inform people I could probably do a considerable amount to turning it blue.

      But I could also fully fund 25-30 congressional campaigns and the impact of electing 25-30 more Dems is a hell of a lot higher.

      Educating people and changing their minds takes a lot. Convincing a small sliver of them to change their voting choice is a lot less expensive.

      •  Correlation is not causation.... (0+ / 0-)

        The statistical argument is the same fallacy that the NSA is making with its embrace of big data.

        I'm saying you are already spending your limited money in ineffective ways and the results show it.

        Is convincing a small sliver to change their voting choice less expensive really?  You are going at that same small sliver over and over again and not making any lasting impact on shifting trends.   But the folks who are selling conservative...conservative...conservative are making long-term commitments in their voters.   And the Democrats have been facing them down with a retreating battle of "Me too".

        How did we go from a progressive governor and a Democratic Senator in South Carolina to thinking we are totally locked out?

        What happened in Wisconsin and Michigan in 2010 and why can it not be reversed?

        Educating people and changing minds is what politics is about and what progressive Democrats should be engaged in over the long term.  What those worrying about how much it costs and running x number of campaigns is marketing.  And corporations can outspend Democrats in marketing (except when Democrats sell out to corporatiosn in order pay for their marketing).  In 30 years short-term marketing thinking and allowing money to swamp poltics has come close to killing the Democratic Party in a lot of states.  Capitulating and writing off those states serves no one.

        We need to figure out how to win a state like North Dakota or even Wyoming without having to spend outrageous sums of ineffective media that only enrich the media companies that are financing the opposition.

        50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

        by TarheelDem on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 07:06:58 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  who's partisan? (0+ / 0-)

    I haven't thought of this before in quite this way, but reading this story I realized that the recent elections are pretty good evidence that it is the Republicans who have gotten more radical. If the 2010 election was a reaction to the actions of Congress, it would make sense that the losses would have been incurred across the spectrum. Instead, Dems who voted against many Obama initiatives or got changes made to legislation lost as much as anyone, if not more.

    I guess my analogy would be to a Republican who came out relatively early against the excesses of the Nixon admin and then lost in the next election. I'd be curious to see what happened that year. I'll go look up that survey from the other day that showed partisan swings over the years.

  •  Schrader Joined (0+ / 0-)

    The Third Way/New Dem Coalition as did Debbie Wasserman-Schultz. If memory serves he's no friend of those on UI, SNAP, Etc Cut Funding for EPA (just weeks post Fukushima)---He's reliable to vote with the GOP on the major stuff, most of the time...and he's gotta go if folks Really want Democratic Representation, imo.
    I disagree that DeFazio belongs on and is mentioned in the same light as the Blue Dogs..I don't recall ever seeing DeFazio on Any Blue Dog Membership List--ever.
    Imo-Some of his votes might be questionable, but in his case--ask him why before assuming.

    •  DeFazio is a member of the Progressive Caucus, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Skaje, abgin

      not the Blue Dog Caucus. He voted against these from the left, not the right.

      ...better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity, than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference. -FDR, 1936

      by James Allen on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 04:27:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The Better Has to Come First (0+ / 0-)

    Better Democrats make an argument on why the conservative way is wrong and help move opinion to the left.  A more liberal public is far more conducive to holding and keeping seats and majorities.  ConDems like Matheson and McIntyre undermine attempts to shift the narrative and reinforce conservative views with partisanship.

    Better Democrats come through for the constituencies that the Democratic Party purports to represent and relies upon (like the poor).  The ConDems piss all over those constituencies and make it apparent to them that they have no one on their side.

    We tried the more part last time, gorging ourselves on Blue Dogs.  We ended up with a dysfunctional party that failed to act adequately when given a tremendous opportunity.  It was a party where a sizeable chunk bolstered the opposition with bipartisanship and "moderation," undermined Democratic messaging, and made the party and it's leaders look ineffective.  And as a result, we got our asses kicked up and down the ballot, losing many good Democrats in the process.  

    •  If you believe that, invent your own party then (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY, GradyDem, benamery21, CF of Aus

      You'll have the best "better" you can imagine.  Then you can deny entrance to your party to anyone who doesn't agree with you on 100% of the issues.

      You're focusing on trivia.  The "better" that really matters is "a better world", or "better lives for the people of the world."  

      Your politics are far to the right of mine, but we'll agree on quality of life issues most of the time.  Then there are some people who we'll both agree with only some of the time.

      I'll gladly agree with people some of the time if it makes a better world, even if they disagree with me some of the time.

      And none of that ever means I have to compromise my beliefs or (gasp) shift my "narrative".

      Mr. Gorbachev, establish an Electoral College!

      by tommypaine on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 04:52:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Though I know it's early, I'm very interested (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    in seeing overall analyses of what's likely in the 2014 elections - I keep hearing we're in strong danger of losing the Senate, and extremely unlikely to regain control of the House, but haven't heard much in terms of specific aggregated predictions....

    Republican threats amount to destroying the present if we don't allow them to destroy the future too. -MinistryOfTruth, 1/1/2013

    by sleipner on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 04:25:24 PM PST

  •  Reposted from another diary (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Odysseus, ssgbryan

    I'm reposting this from another diary

    Less money wasted on holding red seats means more money can be spent competing for more competitive seats.  The McIntyre and Matheson losses can be more than made up in the 6 or so seats that are far more competitive now that the incumbents retired or died.  The Dems barely held onto these two in a presidential election year and spent considerable sums in doing so.  Given a choice I'd much rather cut those all but guaranteed 2 losses and compete in these other 6 districts VA-10, PA-6, NJ-3, IA-3, FL-13, AR-2.  They're far easier to win, far easier to hold in the future and will get us a far better Democrat.  Plus since most of these were really not on the Dems radar prior to the incumbents vacating the spot, that means all the other juicy targets for Dems still exist.

    The Dems should be competing in CA-10, CA-21, CA-25, CA-31, CA-39, CA-49, CO-5, CO-6, FL-2, FL-7, FL-10, FL-15, FL-16, FL-25, FL-27, IA-4, IL-6, IL-13, IL-14, IL-16, IN-2, KS-3, KY-6, MI-1, MI-2, MI-3, MI-4, MI-6, MI-7, MI-8, MI-10, MI-11, MN-2, MN-3, MT-1, NE-2, NJ-2, NJ-4, NJ-5, NJ-7, NJ-11, NM-2, NY-2, NY-11, NY-19, NY-22, NY-23, NV-3, NV-2, OH-1, OH-7, OH-10, OH-14, OH-15, OH-16, PA-7, PA-8, PA-11, PA-12, PA-15, PA-16, VA-1, VA-2, VA-4, VA-5, WA-3, WA-8, WI-3, WI-6, WI-7, WI-8  

    All these seats are either slightly D or R+7 or less with the exception of KY-6 which is an R+9 but was barely won by Barr in a state where Obamacare is taking off.  McIntyre's seat is R+12 and Matheson's was R+16.

    -In Michigan, the Dems should be competing for EVERY seat.  Michigan has a very unpopular Gov running for re-election and they were the worst of the gerrymanderers.  Not one of their seats is stronger than an R+7.  They spread themselves out too thin.  
    -Same in OH.  Outside of Boehner's R+15, every other seat is in the single digits R+9 or less.  Kasich is not very popular and he's up for re-election in 2014.  
    -Same in PA.  Of the 13 GOP held seats 10 of them are R+9 or less.  Corbett is dead man walking in the Gov race and turnout will likely be depressed as a result.  Dems have a real opportunity to flip a good number of these seats.  
    -Florida has about 13 GOP held seats that are R+10 or less and they fucking hate their governor Scott who is also up for re-election in 2014.  Plus demographics are turning against them badly.  
    -Then there's NJ. The GOP's strongest seat is R+7.  Despite Christie winning resoundingly in 2013, he had NO coattails whatsoever.  Now with this bridge scandal swirling around, it's a good opportunity to strike it while it's hot.  Make it about the GOP and the Dems can have a real shot at picking a few of these seats off as well.  
    -In NY, NY-27 is an R+8.  Everything else is considerably less like R+1, R+2 and even D+1.  There is no reason outside of the fact that this is an expensive market, why the Dems shouldn't be competing in EVERY SINGLE DISTRICT.  
    -WI has 5 GOP held seats and outside of Stalinbrenner who is safe in his R+13 seat EVERY SINGLE OTHER SEAT is R+5 or less.  Gov Walker is up for re-election and he's a very divisive figure who has sparked up a considerable amount of grassroots anger.  Outside of WI-5 every single seat is winnable, even Ryans.    

    ALL these seats represent far better targets for the Dems to spend their money and resources on than the R+12 and R+16 seats where we had Blue Dog Dems who only voted with us half the time and provided cover for the GOP on many issues.  That's over 80 districts total which the Dems should be focusing on rather than wasting resources and money winning and holding blood red districts.  For one, these races are more competitive, second they will be easier holds once the Dems win them and it's much more likely the Dems will get BETTER Dems from these districts. We only need to win 20 or so to flip the House.  Because of 2010 and the shitty tea bagging governors that were elected then, the Dems have a unique opportunity to cash in on the hatred and anger in several states.  That in turn can be used to wash out some GOP reps down ticket from the Governor's races in those states.  Of course Dems have to turn out, but in those states Dems are a bit more enthusiasm to turn out, certainly more than in 2010.  

    This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

    by DisNoir36 on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 04:26:13 PM PST

  •  Gerrymandering is behind the losses (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lordpet8, Odysseus, lzmd

    Before 2010, Dems held a 8-5 majority in purple NC, including McIntire, Heath Shuler, Bob Etheridge, Brad Miller and Larry Kissell - 3 Blue Dogs in the group, and Etheridge was no liberal.

    Etheridge lost in 2010, Kissell lost in 2012, and Miller and Shuler saw hopeless districts and retired in 2012. With McIntire out this year, it will be a 10-3 GOP majority in 2015 in a state that went to Obama in 2008 and went 51-49 for Democratic reps in 2012.

    Say what you want about Blue Dogs, but Democrats were far better off with McIntire, Shuler, Etheridge, Miller, and Kissell in the House than they are with the 5 Republican clowns who replaced them in carefully engineered 58-42 districts.

    Filibuster reform, 2013 - woulda, coulda, shoulda.

    by bear83 on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 04:30:52 PM PST

  •  Walt Minnick didn't help Idaho Democrats any (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TheUnknown285, Odysseus

    He was the last Democrat elected to the House in 2008, narrowly defeating Bill Sali, an unhinged Repub who replaced Helen Chenoweth, an even more unhinged Repub.
    Sali was despised by the state's GOP leadership for being a loose cannon and for his witless remarks. A former Speaker of the Idaho House once became so infuriated with him that he threatened to throw Sali out of a second floor window!

    In comparison to the 2 previous Representatives, Minnick, always a very conservative Democrat, looked reasonable. He won by a narrow margin, and Sali went back to his old job- playing bass in a local band.

    Once in D.C., Minnick voted with the Democrats 71% of the time, but opposed all of Obama's most important economic legislation during the Crash of '08, and voted against the ACA.
    As a result, he became disliked by both parties in his home state, and made it worse by running his 2010 campaign with arrogance mixed with anger and resentment.
    He came across as being surly, defensive, and feeling entitled to the job by everyone.

    He lost to teabagger Raul Labrador, who ran a very weak race. Labrador wasn't expected to get the nomination, but got it by default after the GOP's hand-picked candidate, Vaughn Ward.
    Ward was a native who hadn't lived in the state for 20 years, and was caught plagiarizing major portions of Obama's speeches just 2 weeks before the election. Ward left the state again for good shortly afterwards.

    So our Blue Dog did us no favors at all in his single term. 2010 was a crushing year for Idaho Democrats, and much of it can be placed on his shoulders.

    Right many are called, and damn few are chosen.

    by Idaho07 on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 04:32:20 PM PST

  •  Think of the Blue Dogs! (0+ / 0-)

    Won't anyone think of the Blue Dogs?!

    There is not a violin small enough...

  •  You know what I find interesting? (0+ / 0-)

    All 6 of the example votes passed the House.  The 7th example (Stupak) was not included in the final legislation.

    What is the similar progressive agenda success since 2010?

    Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

    by benamery21 on Sat Jan 11, 2014 at 01:05:46 AM PST

  •  The congressional delegations (0+ / 0-)

    have been becoming more polarized for a long time.

    There is ample data to support this at VoteView, which has tracked the positions of the parties for the whole history of the country.

    There is no overlap between the two parties, and has not been for several cycles.

    In the 112th House, the most conservative Democrat per their ratings was Heath Shuler. On their scale (with negative numbers being more progressive) he got a -0.095. The most liberal Republican was Smith (NJ) who got a 0.131.

    Going back to the 105th House (just to pick one), there was some overlap. The most conservative Democrat then was Virgil Goode (VA) who got a + 0.126, while the most liberal Republican was Morella (MD) who got a -0.031.

    But the divergence started with the Civil Rights Act, when LBJ said "Take our bigots".  In the 85th House (late 1950s) there was a lot of overlap indeed, with a Rep. Tuck (D-VA) getting a 0.2 while Rep Burdick (R-ND) got a 0.04

  •  In 2010 we lost 66 seats, 63 net (0+ / 0-)

    Of those 66, only 13 were R+10 or worse, while 14 were even or better.  26 were R+2 or better (yes we'd have kept the majority if we'd kept seats that were R+2 or better), 40 were R+5 or better, 46 were R+6 or better.  The median seat lost was R+4.  

    It is not accurate to describe the majority of our losses as deep red, or out of reach.  We will not build a majority without seats like these.  Republicans hold only 5 seats that are better than even PVI for us.

    If we want a progressive majority we need to register voters and GOTV to move these PVI numbers.  Supporting one candidate over another with the electorate we have, will only do so much.  Opposing moderate Democrats running in R-leaning seats will keep us from setting the agenda.

    Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

    by benamery21 on Sat Jan 11, 2014 at 06:10:34 PM PST

  •  Blue dogs are preferable....... (0+ / 0-)

    Have a good friend that lives in a district that has a blue Dog.   When we criticize the guy, my friend has this to say---"The Blue Dog will sometimes vote with the Democrats---the Republican Never will".    So be careful what you wish for.

  •  $15 / hour (0+ / 0-)
    Minimum wage of $15/hour.  If a Democrat cannot make a strong argument for how that improves the economy and reduces the deficit, they should not be a candidate.
    This is easy for any voter to understand. The town of SEA-TAC passed a $15 / hour initiative, next the new Mayor of Seattle followed suit with $15/hour for city employees, by executive order. No Democrat can be against it because theres no wiggle room. No hedging allowed. It explains itself, like the right to marry the one you love.

    Could the president order up by executive a $15/hour wage for all federal employees?

    "I've got this pen. I'm ready to do it."

    by mrobinson on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 01:41:04 PM PST

  •  HYSTERICAL... (0+ / 0-)

    In today's polarized political atmosphere, with the Republican Party having been hijacked by Tea Party nut jobs who wouldn't know the meaning of the words "bipartisanship," "compromise" and "centrist" if they jumped up and bit them on the sticks shoved up their tight asses, there is no room for Blue Dog Democrats anymore. In fact, the term "conservative Democrat" is an oxymoron, at least in light of TODAY'S brand of right-wing political ideology.

  •  The Blue Dog-in-Chief (0+ / 0-)

    Is still screwing us.

    Keep your eyes on things that the TPP.

    Don't make excuses for neoliberal assholes.

  •  I've still got one (sorta). (0+ / 0-)

    I live in the 18th NY, traditionally a fairly red district, and my current Congress-critter is a Democrat named Sean Patrick Maloney (not to be confused with (not-Sean) Patrick Maloney of the 19th FL).  Although socially liberal (he's openly gay and married), he's a DLC-darling, a true fave of the Clintons, and fiscally VERY conservative.  He voted with the Republicans on the Obamacare-Shutdown and spent LOTS of time trying top sell that disaster of a Farm Bill (I like to call it the "Monsanto Protection Act") to the small, family-held farmers in our community.

    Unfortunately, the Republican who he replaced, Nan Hayworth (who initially said she'd think about relief funds for Hurricane Irene, which flooded much of our area, if & only if the costs could be offset), will run against him again this year, and she's even worse.  It even looks like the Working Families Party will be endorsing Sean again, despite his lack of any real progressive bona-fides.

    It's almost enough to make a guy wanna run for Congress himself ... ALMOST!

    OF COURSE the New Right is wrong - but that doesn't make WRONG the new RIGHT!

    by mstaggerlee on Tue Jan 14, 2014 at 07:45:24 AM PST

  •  Well... (0+ / 0-)

    Some of the Blue Dogs are in Congress, and many are in the Clinton campaign.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site