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Blue Dog Republicans?   September 23rd, 2009
Just an interesting hypothetical       

 
QUICK OBSERVATIONS

More observations...
 

While certainly not likely, what if the Blue Dog Democrats exerted their muscle... by becoming Republicans?

Speaker Pelosi is backing away from a deal she cut with centrists to advance health reform, said a source familiar with talks.

Pelosi's decision to move away from the agreement that was made with a group of Blue Dogs to get the bill out of committee would steer the healthcare legislation back to the left as she prepares for a floor vote.


Sounds to me like Speaker Pelosi totally shafted the Blue Dogs. She threw them a bone to get the plan out of committee and, now that it is, she's taking the bone back. The Blue Dogs, in the words of Rodney Dangerfield, just aren't getting any respect from their leadership.

And many of these Blue Dogs are going to be fighting for their seats next year. Many are in fiscally conservative districts (which is why they're Blue Dogs in the first place) and the wind is not going to be at their backs in 2010. If they want to save their seat, they need to be able to take credit for stopping liberal health care reform and other fiscally destructive plans being contemplated in Congress.

But Pelosi seems to be relegating them to warm body status. All their 52 members are good for is giving the Democrats a majority in the House. But once they've served their purpose in giving the Democrats their majority, their concerns are pretty much ignored by their leadership.

So here's a question... Why aren't they Republicans?

Seriously, as I wrote back in April, the core principle of today's Republican party is fiscal conservatism. While the party does have positions on other issues, fiscal conservatism is the core that today's Republicans demand. I'm not familiar with all of the positions of individual Blue Dogs, but their core conservatism on fiscal matters would seem to make them quite at home in the Republican party. They're the ones that made a lot of President Reagan's agenda possible. In other words, they supported our best recent conservative.

I do admit that I'd be nervous by a massive defection to the Republican party in the House; it would tend to dilute the party's conservatism on other issues. But, today, the most pressing issue our country faces from within is fiscal irresponsibility. If the Blue Dogs were to actually switch party en masse, the Republican party would be the majority party and would be able to put an immediate stop to it.

If I were a Blue Dog, I'd be a little tired of being hoodwinked by the Democrat leadership and having my issues ignored when its the Blue Dogs that give the Democrat party their majority.

The best chance many Democrats in conservative districts have at keeping their seats in 2010 is to become a Republican. Granted, they're going to face the same problems Specter did when he changed parties, and switching to the Republican party won't guarantee their survival... but if they do it now and hand control of the House to the Republicans, at least they'll have some conservative street cred going into the primaries.

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