by Alec Kohut
“Why didn’t people like me, why didn’t I get re-elected” asked the Blue Dog Democrat to group of rural voters after losing an election.
A late middle-aged man in jeans, and cowboy boots, with small town common sense looked up and said, “You see, we had the choice of you, acting like a Republican, a then we had a real Republican, guess we just went for the genuine article.”
He paused, then added, “Come to think of it, I mighta voted for a Democrat had one made a case.”
Remember all the Blue Dog democrats after the 2010 midterm election crying how it was President Obama that dragged them down and cost them their precious House seat? For the GOP and Blue Dogs alike there was no question that President Obama would be a one-term President, fulfilling Mitch McConnell’s number one political goal.
But a funny thing happened in 2012. Democrats won! And won big! Dashing the hopes of all the Blue Dog butt sniffers who claim that to win the Democrats must simply be “Republican-lite.” And there’s a big difference between a moderate Democrat, and “Republican-lite.”
We cannot, and will not ever win being “Republican-lite.” We will, and do win being honest, yet politically savvy Democrats. That doesn’t mean Democrats have to be progressive or liberal, or always vote the party line. It means making a better case to voters than showing how you voted with Republicans enough.
What is politically savvy? Look at Senator Joe Manchin in West Virginia, a Democrat that dominates in a state that President Obama lost in 2012 by a 62-36% margin. Does he do it by appeasing the right, and running away from President Obama? Let’s see, he got an “A” rating and scored 92% positive from the NRA.
So do conservatives praise Manchin for “standing up to his party, and against President Obama” on the gun issue. No, they call him “pathetic.” Here’s the first paragraph from a story at RedState.com:
Do you want to know the definition of pathetic? It’s someone who aggressively brandishes his pro-gun credentials in a campaign commercial, and then proceeds to invest his time into expanding gun control laws. In other words, Joe Manchin is pathetic.Joe Manchin is savvy, because unlike the Blue Dogs that were wishy-washing on the gun debate and cowered in their foxhole looking for “political cover,” Senator Manchin leapt from the foxhole of appeasement and yelled “Follow Me!”
Joe Manchin met with the families of Newtown victims, and in near tears said, “I’m a father, I’m a grandfather.” Then instead of looking for “political cover,” he worked to salvage at least expanded background checks on gun purchases. Joe Manchin knows that a Tea Party candidate will surely get the 8% of the vote that opposes any form of gun control, so he opposed the NRA and went with the 92%. That’s political savvy.
Now some may argue that Joe Manchin is indeed a “Blue Dog.” But as this Daily Kos article clearly points out that Manchin does indeed earn his Democratic credentials, Party Matters: [http://www.dailykos.com/...]Joe Manchin is closer to Bernie Sanders than he is to any Republican.
Another glaring fact that Blue Dog butt sniffers fail to realize, is that in 2010, before redistricting, the Blue Dogs got absolutely clobbered in the mid-term election. As NPR reported just after the election:
The Blue Dogs have blamed the nationalization of Tuesday's elections for their downfall. Some of them had tried to distance themselves from the Democratic agenda and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi — "but it just wasn't enough."No, it’s not enough to just try and look like a Republican.
Which brings me back to H.R. 368, and my story published here yesterday: [http://www.dailykos.com/...]
The Seven Lying Democrats That Betrayed Democracy, and Joined GOP on HR 368 to Deny Vote on Clean CR.
Several people in the comments section of the story gave these Democrats a pass, claiming that we’ll need them in 2014 if we are to gain a majority. However, these people miss the point. The point is that these same Democrats are now saying that they want a vote on a “clear CR” and to reopen the government.
Or as John Kerry might say, “I voted to prolong the shutdown, before I said I wanted to vote to end it.” Way to go Blue Dogs!
This vote is a perfect example of the pure folly of “padding” a voting record to make a Democrat look more conservative. In fact instead of providing “political cover,” it exposes them to charges of hypocrisy and being just another one of them.
Just think how easy it will be for the opponents of these idiot Blue Dogs to expose their lying hypocrisy. Let’s hear their response to radio ads such as there:
Congressman Ron Barber said he wanted to end the government shutdown with a vote on a clean bill. Yet, in the early hours of the shutdown, in a late night vote, Ron Barber voted to change the rules of Congress that guaranteed a vote to end the shutdown wouldn’t happen. Ron Barber was for the government shutdown, before he was against it. Can we really trust Ron Barber?
Yeah, that vote sure provided “political cover.”
Alec can be reached at: email@example.com