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When you're a blue dog Democrat, it's normally due to the fact that you're in a Conservative leaning district.  While some blue dogs may actually be Conservatives, a lot are moderate centrists under extreme pressure from local Republican political action committees, national groups that know they're vulnerable, and the slew of Republican contenders that are vying to take out a Democrat, at any cost.  But, we all know that, right?  Well, if you live in a blue dog district, like I do, you get to see the pressure, first hand, and really understand the fine line that these Congressmen and Congresswomen are walking.  Because the wingnuts are in FULL FORCE in these districts.

Take Frank Kratovil (MD-01) for instance:  Remember, this is a PVI R+10 district that Kratovil squeaked through last November... by the skin of his teeth.  

Update [2009-7-28 15:49:1 by Chuck Cook]: - Because it appears that I've been unclear:

I'm not making excuses or saying it's right to vote against health care.  I'm saying that a better understanding of what blue dogs have to put up with is in order.  I've been pushing for constituents to call Kratovil's office and voice support for the public option. We need to let the blue dogs know that they have progressive support in their districts to fight this kind of nonsense.  

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Update [2009-7-29 12:46:19 by Chuck Cook]: - I have changed the paragraph below, because it has been brought to my attention that it appears as if I am implying that Americans For Prosperity were behind the protest at Kratovil's office.  It was not my intention to give that impression.  Monday's event wasn't an AFP event.

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Update [2009-8-6 13:47:30 by Chuck Cook]: And, on Tuesday, the tea baggin' "birthers" stormed an agricultural meeting he was having in Wicomico county to berate him about health care

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Yesterday, a group of pro-corporate profit individuals decided to protest Congressman Kratovil's Salisbury office because of his stance on the health care bill, which is... no stance at all.  His communications director publicly stated that Kratovil has not made up his mind on the bill and would like some more time to review and revise where necessary.  Amazing, right?  Protesting a Congressman, based on no vote, whatsoever.  So, they decided to HANG HIM IN EFFIGY:

hangingKratovil-1.jpg

Here is their little group in it's near entirety.  This protest was kicked off with all of 3 days notice.  Note the effigy behind them, with none of them having a problem with it:

KratovilRally.jpg

And here is Kratovil's Communications Director, Kevin Lawlor, calmly answering every question from this group of extremists (note the effigy to his right.  Gotta have a calm, cool, and collected Comm Director when you're in a district like this)

KratovilRally2.jpg

These kinds of things happen all the time in my district, and, sometimes, I think the Kos community loses sight of the intense pressure that some of the blue dogs are under.  I'm not making excuses or saying it's right to vote against health care.  I'm saying that a better understanding of what blue dogs have to put up with is in order.  I've been pushing for constituents to call Kratovil's office and voice support for the public option. We need to let the blue dogs know that they have progressive support in their districts to fight this kind of nonsense.  

If you live in the district of a blue dog Democrat, and you haven't started any outreach to constituents, you need start now.  The radical right-wing extremists are in full force, and it looks like we're going to have an August recess to fight, every single day, against the PR machine that is fully focused on the blue dogs right now.

Originally posted to Chuck Cook on Tue Jul 28, 2009 at 11:59 AM PDT.

Poll

Do you live in the district of a blue dog Democrat?

17%20 votes
8%10 votes
10%12 votes
33%39 votes
29%34 votes

| 115 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

    •  just called (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      siduri

      the Salisbury office.  

      I started out by saying I'd just seen the pictures from this gathering ... and got a very tentative "yes, ma'am.'  The relief in her voice when I offered my support was palpable.

      I identified myself as one who had put in time during the campaign, and pushed the strong public option as my line in the sand.

      Sometimes the ignorance of my neighbors makes me want to cry.  Other times, I'm barking mad (frequently when reading the Grapevine.)

      Wish I had answers for defeating the propagandized ignorance, but I don't.

      So we keep on keeping on, I guess.

      Thanks for bringing this to my attention, Chuck. I would have missed it otherwise.

  •  Most of the most conservative Democrats (6+ / 0-)

    come from districts that voted for McCain, as I documented in my diary on blue dogs

  •  Blue Dogs need to get off the fence... (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tuma, seabos84, costello7, Floande, siduri

    if they can't handle the splinters. They are either Democrats or they are just DINO's and we don't need them. See the sig line.

    The only thing you get from sitting on the fence is splinters in your ass. My Granddaddy!

    by SallyCat on Tue Jul 28, 2009 at 12:10:53 PM PDT

    •  They need pressure and support (6+ / 0-)

      Not intimidation.  Otherwise, in the MD-01, Andy Harris will win, and then you've got a ULTRA-Conservative tea bagging extremist in office.  As it stands, Kratovil voted for the stimulus and cap and trade.  I'll take that over someone who will ALWAYS vote the wrong way.

      Blue Dog districts are tricky, and shouldn't be simply shat upon.  The Congressmen need to see that there exists support within their district from Progressives.  They need to know they can proceed in a more Progressive way, and that we will help them do that.

    •  I'm sorry but (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Marylander, Chuck Cook

      don't you think it is a bit out of line to tell someone else whether they are Left or Right?

      No two people's litmus test would be the same on that, so how can a determination of who the 'true' democrats are be made?

    •  We do need DINOs (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      siduri

      Every DINO in office is one less republican to filibuster, one less committee vote given to republicans.

      The hatred of RINOs within the republican party is one reason the Democrats are doing so well. Let's not make the same mistake on our end.

      Hey, you guys lost. It's supposed to taste like a s**t taco. -- Jon Stewart

      by lostboyjim on Tue Jul 28, 2009 at 01:01:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  One thing though...... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    beltane

    Yes, they are under pressure but judging from the small crowd and in face of the fact that the Congressman hadn't even taken a position leads me to believe that those people will oppose him NO MATTER WHAT.

    So, he should do the right thing and re-election will take care of itself. To compromise is to lose.

    Sometimes the magic works.......sometimes it doesn't. Old Lodgeskins

    by Unrepentant Liberal on Tue Jul 28, 2009 at 12:12:26 PM PDT

    •  Typical republicans (0+ / 0-)

      When are democrats going to realize repubs have zero class and wage war on everyone.

      They are at war with us now without guns. You can't cooperate with them because they see it as a weakness.

      To them compromise means letting you do whatever they want you to do.

  •  Great Post (4+ / 0-)

    I'm frankly amazed that hanging someone in effigy isn't considered a death threat, that's how I would take it.

  •  Sorry, they could just as easily sit on the (7+ / 0-)

    sidelines and shut their yappers. Instead they are actively trying to deep-six substantive health care reform.

    That's not a group that needs our help. They need to get back in line.

  •  I agree. Some of he blue dogs ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    costello7

    really need our help .... to retire.

    In honor of the Obama Administration's actions on GLBT issues during Pride month, Pride 2009 is proclaimed "Back of the Bus Pride Month".!

    by emsprater on Tue Jul 28, 2009 at 12:31:04 PM PDT

  •  I love what you are saying, Chuck (0+ / 0-)

    There was a reason that these folks won in 2008! And it is two things: 1. the guy sitting in the White House, and 2. the nut jobs that the Republican put up to run against them.  
      Now, is that going to turn around in 2010? Is the world going to turn against Obama and demand that we return to the good ol' days of Bushonomics? I don't think so.
      Sometimes I think these guys are just scaring themselves...for reasons I'm not sure of except for what I call the Democratic Party Foxhole Syndrome -we have been beat down and mucked over for so long we really are not sure it is safe to come out of our hole.  At least that is true in parts of Texas.  
      So, I agree that the best thing that we can do for these guys is to help them get the progressive message out but somewhere along the line these guys are going to have to suck it up and play the man. Majorities still win elections and dollar don't register to vote!  Besides, I know their mother loves them but the world will not end if they are not reelected...if it would have, it would have ended years ago.  A little courage and pride in, as LBJ used to talk about, "...them that brung you to the dance."  
      This is why the Organizing for America program is so smart and why the 50-state campaign was smart and IS smart.  We have got to come at these local elections from a national perspective so that locals know that there are people all over the country supporting them in their efforts.  MoveOn.org is doing this and now we have the vehicle (OFA) to do the same.
      And as for being hanged in effigy.  If blacks had been intimidated by this they would have gone back to Africa 100 years ago.  Let's all get a grip!
    A Congressman worries about being lynched?  Give me a break?

    Candidate for 32nd CD of Texas to replace Pete Sessions"

    by Steve Love on Tue Jul 28, 2009 at 12:33:00 PM PDT

  •  Health Care is Non-Negotiable... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chrississippi, SallyCat, seabos84

    I think the Democratic Party's 3 main planks are:

    1.  Peace & Prosperity At Home & Abroad
    1.  Equality for All
    1.  Fairness in the Economy

    Healthcare combines all three of those planks, if a Democrat unless they are in an R+15 district or higher, cannot vote on this they don't deserve to be a Democrat.  If they are in an R+15 district or higher, I think I will be able to forgive them as the fact they are Democrats amazes me!

    Dr. Dean...Paging Dr. Dean...he's not on-call you say...then get me DR. MATT!! STAT!!!

    by doctormatt06 on Tue Jul 28, 2009 at 12:36:02 PM PDT

  •  No matter yr politics, hanging anybody in effigy (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DeLLBerto, Marylander, Chuck Cook

    is seriously bad juju.  

    People here went bats over the displays of empty nooses in racial disputes last year.  Filling those nooses with someone's image is pretty horrid.

    Whatever you feel about blue dogs, lynching is ugly, ugly shit.  Are we willing to stand up only for those with whom we agree?

    Songs up at da web site! Also. . . It's Kostown, Jake. . .

    by Crashing Vor on Tue Jul 28, 2009 at 12:38:24 PM PDT

  •  Big deal... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    esquimaux

    ...those people out in front of his office never voted for him, nor will they vote for him in the future...

    Watering down the health care bill won't change their minds, either... only make them more agressive...  The best thing he can do is do the best to help the voters who actually VOTED for him instead of alienate them...

    Mr. Kratovil, however, needs every single Democrat in his district to vote for him... if he screws up health care reform, they will stay home and he will lose...

    SOMEONE needs to get this through their collective heads!!!

    DARTH SPECTER: I am altering the deal! Pray I don't alter it any further!
    LANDO REID: This deal keeps getting worse all the time!

    by LordMike on Tue Jul 28, 2009 at 12:38:39 PM PDT

  •  not to mention (0+ / 0-)

    that Kratovil has come out in favor of a public option.  

  •  Rahm's shortcut strategy fails yet again (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Phoenix Woman, rlochow, esquimaux

    Instead of building a progressive majority, which Howard Dean wanted to do, Rahm wanted pro-life, pro-gun Democrats to form a QUICK "majority" and take back the House. Well, he succeeded, but at what cost? At the rate Obama's polls are falling, along with consumer confidence, and with historical midterm trends being what they are, it seem very unlikely these Blue Dogs are going to want to buck their Republican districts on healthcare, or anything else that isn't wildly popular.

    •  Umm... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Phoenix Woman

      do you realize, if we hadn't taken back Congress in '06, the kinds of bills a GOP-controlled Congress would've passed in Bush's last two years?

      And as plf515 shows above, most of these conservative Democrats you're complaining about come from districts where McCain beat Obama.  Face it, these districts are places where progressives CANNOT win at this point.

      At some point, it must be asked, why are these Republican districts so against health care reform, when they are some of the most impoverished?  At what point will we drop the political correctness and just admit that a lot of these people are plain stupid?

      Now.  How do you fix stupid?

  •  LEADING = NOT Selling Out AND Beat the (0+ / 0-)

    other f'ker at the rules, OR
    change the rules so you can win.

    the blue dogs and the thugs represent 5% of the population, at best - in reality, they represent 1/2 a percent.

    They ran for leader,
    they got the job of leader,

    they should LEAD or quit, OR

    keeping making excuses and living on the public tit and selling us out ... ooops! that is what they're doing!

    rmm.

    Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look; He thinks too much: such men are dangerous

    by seabos84 on Tue Jul 28, 2009 at 12:53:55 PM PDT

  •  What about doing what is right, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rlochow

    but I am naive.

    Everyone knows the insurance companies are the trouble, so why don't they talk to their constituents and counsel?

    Can we not expect anything?

    The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it. - George Bernard Shaw

    by Mean Mr Mustard on Tue Jul 28, 2009 at 01:05:46 PM PDT

  •  Kratovil is likely to lose in 2010 anyway (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Phoenix Woman

    He might as well just bite the bullet and vote for reform.  At least then he will have contributed to giving healthcare to every American.  

  •  He looks so happy (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Phoenix Woman

    The guy standing next to the gallows that is.  Is he one of the protestors?  I tend to think that if I were so driven by anger that I would be threatening a congressman's life, I might look a bit more serious about it.  But then, that's not something I would do in the first place.

  •  Where are the Dem support? (0+ / 0-)

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