Wednesday, November 25, 2009

THE BLUE DOGS - PART I

According to Wikipedia, the Democratic Blue Dog Coalition in the United States House of Representatives is currently a group of 53 “moderate-to-conservative Democrats…favoring compromise and bipartisanship over ideology and party discipline”. This organization within the Democratic Party was first created in 1995 and, although “clearly not Southern, some view the Blue Dogs as political successors to a now defunct-in-name Southern Democratic group known as the Boll Weevils…” Again according to Wikipedia, Blue Dog Democrats are sometimes defined as being “choked blue” by “extreme” Democrats from the left, or Congressmen that, when left “outside in the cold, turn blue”

With the 2010 congressional elections on the horizon and clearly on the radar screens on both major political parties, a close look at the Blue Dogs, what they stand for, and where they get their funding, is timely and important. Much is riding on the 2010 Congressional elections. Although former Democrat Speaker of the House Tip O’Neal once said that “all politics is local,” the implications of the 2010 elections are national in scope. With President Obama and his associates, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senator Harry Reid, apparently transfixed on the notion that capitalism has failed and that the United States should be transformed into a quasi-socialistic society where fifty percent (50%) or more of the nation’s economy should be driven by government-run or supported institutions and services, those who we elect to Congress in 2010 could very well determine whether America, and the principles that made the country great to begin with, will survive as we have known it in the past.

Reagan and his followers have said at one time or another (1) that government is best that governs least; (2) hard work is the key to success in life; (3) each person is responsible for his own actions; and (4) we are not just a bunch of special interest groups that call ourselves Americans, but we are one nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all. These are the principles that should drive us as we select who to send to Congress in 2010. All politics should not be local next year.

As stated by Wikipedia, it has been my experience that Blue Dog Democrats, particularly in the South, like to portray themselves as non-ideological and as Congressmen who can “bring home the bacon” to their constituents. But a larger question in 2010 is whether these Blue Dogs can stand up to their Democratic leaders that want to remake America. Can they as Democrats, help fight the war in Afghanistan to win; fight hard and openly to defeat the efforts of their leaders to socialize our institutions, nationalize our health care system, and raise our taxes? Are those Blue Dogs who ask to be elected or returned to Congress willing to state publicly that they will not only abstain but will vote against Nancy Pelosi in her bid in 2010 to remain as Speaker of the House of Representatives? Will they organize with the Democrats and insure that radical Democrat Congressmen such as Barney Frank (D-Mass) and Charlie Rangel (D-NY) remain as Chairmen of the key committees in the House of Representatives; or will they support the Republicans when the House is reorganized? These are legitimate questions that should be asked of Blue Dog Democrats in their races against Republican opponents next year.

There are two Blue Dog Democrat Congressmen in Mississippi who will stand for re-election in 2010. In our next post, we will examine their races and what the Blue Dog Coalition really stands for.

Happy Thanksgiving everybody.

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