Calling Out Blue Dogs

Paul Krugman offers one of the best analyses of how the Blue Dogs operate and how incoherent their objections to healthcare reform are.  It’s rare that politicians policy statements, especially conservative ones, are evaluated next to each other. The words “fiscal responsibility” are adeptly wielded by Blue Dogs and, generally speaking, the press allows them cover behind them. But Krugman doesn’t.

Well, they talk a lot about fiscal responsibility, which basically boils down to worrying about the cost of those subsidies. And it’s tempting to stop right there, and cry foul. After all, where were those concerns about fiscal responsibility back in 2001, when most conservative Democrats voted enthusiastically for that year’s big Bush tax cut — a tax cut that added $1.35 trillion to the deficit?

But it’s actually much worse than that — because even as they complain about the plan’s cost, the Blue Dogs are making demands that would greatly increase that cost.

There’s much more beyond that, but you get the idea. It’s a truth-telling session. Hopefully many officials in the administration, Senate leadership, and the House read Krugman’s piece and see the need to pressure Blue Dogs to stay with the party line.

More importantly, hopefully other journalists see Krugman’s column and begin to question Blue Dogs who cry fiscal responsibility while pushing for policy measures that will make healthcare reform legislation substantially more expensive. Right now the debate is being dominated by people who aren’t making any sense. And yet they’re holding the House Energy and Commerce Committee hostage, while the Finance Committee in the Senate continues to stall. Together, incoherent conservative Democratic legislator are stopping reform and killing momementum for change.

It’s not as if these legislators aren’t hearing from their constituents that they should support meaningful reform, including a public option. MoveOn, Healthcare for Amerian Now, SEIU, and Organizing for America, among others, have been driving hundreds of thousands of legislative contacts in support of reform. But as Krugman points out, these Blue Dogs are more loyal to their corporate donors and caucus self-interest than their constituents.

Another sure way for the Blue Dogs to lose their influence in this process is if the Progressive Caucus came together to make themselves a comparable obstacle to any legislation that isn’t suitably aggressive in driving reform. Given a counterweight, the Blue Dogs would no longer control the narrative nor the legislative process. This requires a stronger push from progressives to define their lines in the sand…and for a simultaneous effort to let leadership know that they have to make a choice between defending Blue Dogs while getting no meaningful change and defending progressives while achieving landmark reform. The choice shouldn’t be hard, but you never know with today’s Democrats.

2 thoughts on “Calling Out Blue Dogs

  1. LEAD, FOLLOW, OR GET OUT OF THE WAY. (Thomas Paine)

    We have the 37th worst quality of healthcare in the developed world. Conservative estimates are that over 120,000 of you dies each year in America from treatable illness that people in other developed countries don’t die from. Rich, middle class, and poor a like. Insured and uninsured. Men, women, children, and babies. This is what being 37th in quality of healthcare means.

    I know that many of you are angry and frustrated that REPUBLICANS! In congress are dragging their feet and trying to block TRUE healthcare reform. What republicans want is just a taxpayer bailout of the DISGRACEFUL GREED DRIVEN PRIVATE FOR PROFIT health insurance industry, and the DISGRACEFUL GREED DRIVEN PRIVATE FOR PROFIT healthcare industry. A trillion dollar taxpayer funded private health insurance bailout is all you really get without a robust government-run public option available on day one.


    These industries have been slaughtering you and your loved ones like cattle for decades for profit. Including members of congress and their families. These REPUBLICANS are FOOLS!

    Republicans and their traitorous allies have been trying to make it look like it’s President Obama’s fault for the delays, and foot dragging. But I think you all know better than that. President Obama inherited one of the worst government catastrophes in American history from these REPUBLICANS! And President Obama has done a brilliant job of turning things around, and working his heart out for all of us.

    But Republicans think you are just a bunch of stupid, idiot, cash cows with short memories. Just like they did under the Bush administration when they helped Bush and Cheney rape America and the rest of the World.

    But you don’t have to put up with that. And this is what you can do. The Republicans below will be up for reelection on November 2, 2010. Just a little over 13 months from now. And many of you will be able to vote early. So pick some names and tell their voters that their representatives (by name) are obstructing TRUE healthcare reform. And are sellouts to the insurance and medical lobbyist.

    Ask them to contact their representatives and tell them that they are going to work to throw them out of office on November 2, 2010, if not before by impeachment, or recall elections. Doing this will give you something more to do to make things better in America. And it will help you feel better too.

    There are many resources on the internet that can help you find people to call and contact. For example, many social networking sites can be searched by state, city, or University. Be inventive and creative. I can think of many ways to do this. But be nice. These are your neighbors. And most will want to help.

    I know there are a few democrats that have been trying to obstruct TRUE healthcare reform too. But the main problem is the Bush Republicans. Removing them is the best thing tactically to do. On the other hand. If you can easily replace a democrat obstructionist with a supportive democrat, DO IT!

    You have been AMAZING!!! my people. Don’t loose heart. You knew it wasn’t going to be easy saving the World. 🙂

    God Bless You

    jacksmith — Working Class


    Republican Senators up for re-election in 2010.

    * Richard Shelby of Alabama
    * Lisa Murkowski of Alaska
    * John McCain of Arizona
    * Mel Martinez of Florida
    * Johnny Isakson of Georgia
    * Mike Crapo of Idaho
    * Chuck Grassley of Iowa
    * Sam Brownback of Kansas
    * Jim Bunning of Kentucky
    * David Vitter of Louisiana
    * Kit Bond of Missouri
    * Judd Gregg of New Hampshire
    * Richard Burr of North Carolina
    * George Voinovich of Ohio
    * Tom Coburn of Oklahoma
    * Jim DeMint of South Carolina
    * John Thune of South Dakota
    * Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas
    * Bob Bennett of Utah


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