Rep. Heath Schuler goes buh bye.
If there was a silver lining to the 2010 midterm elections, it was that Democratic losses were disproportionately born by the corporatist Blue Dog Caucus.

The Blue Dogs began the 2010 cycle with 54 members (out of 257 Democrats in the House). Of the 63 Democratic losses in 2010, 29 of them came from seats held by Blue Dogs, or 46 percent.

That left 25 Blue Dogs. Reps. Jane Harman and Gabrielle Gifford resigned mid-term, bringing their numbers down to 23. But they picked up North Carolina Rep. Larry Kissell and someone else, not sure who, since their numbers are back to 25.

However, both Pennsylvania Reps. Jason Altmire and Tim Holden lost primaries this week. Rep. Joe Donnelly is quitting to run for Senate. And Reps. Dan Boren, Dennis Cardoza, Mike Ross and Heath Shuler are all retiring at the end of this term.

Let's look at party loyalty scores of the current lot, bolding those who are retiring or are already defeated:

50% Dan Boren (OK)
54% Jim Matheson (UT)
56% Collin Peterson (MN)
57% Mike Ross (AR)
61% Jason Altmire (PA)
62% Jim Costa (CA)
65% Heath Shuler (NC)
69% Joe Donnelly (IN)
70% John Barrow (GA)
70% Dennis Cardoza (CA)
73% Henry Cuellar (TX)
73% Mike McIntyre (NC)
74% Ben Chandler (KY)
76% Tim Holden (PA)
76% Larry Kissell (NC)
78% Jim Cooper (TN)
78% Kurt Schrader (OR)
82% Sanford Bishop (GA)
83% Leonard Boswell (IA)
87% Mike Michaud (ME)
90% Mike Thompson (CA)
92% Joe Baca (CA)
93% Loretta Sanchez (CA)
93% David Scott (GA)
95% Adam Schiff (CA)

Six of the caucus' 10 biggest assholes are gone. The most endangered of the remaining lot are at the top of this list (Matheson, Barrow, McIntyre). So not only will we have a Blue Dog caucus in the teens, but the remaining members will be mostly (though not entirely) unobjectionable.

If most of the remaining Blue Dogs vote with the party most of the time and aren't the kind to publicly punch hippies, then we'll have a much more cohesive and effective House Democratic caucus in 2013.

Originally posted to kos on Thu Apr 26, 2012 at 02:37 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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