Blue Dogs Gaining Strength

Blue Dogs Gaining Strength


How have Democrats retaken the House of Representatives from Republicans and why are they positioned to gain even more seats next Tuesday? Because they’ve run candidates who can compete against Republicans. And that means the House is filling up with conservative Democrats know as Blue Dogs.

As The AP reports:

Majority Democrats are positioned for big gains in next week’s congressional election. But many of the new faces would join a growing chorus of “Blue Dogs” who often part from the party base on big issues like taxes and increasing federal spending.

That could set up a roadblock for Obama, who has promised to broaden health insurance coverage, start a new round of public works projects and improve early childhood education, among other things — all initiatives that would require substantial government spending at a time of soaring deficits.

The 49 House Blue Dogs, about one in every four House Democrats, could grow by as many as 10 in Tuesday’s election with wins in mainly Southern, conservative-leaning districts. Overall, Democrats are expected to pick up 20 or more House seats.

The Blue Dogs are also reaching out to the Senate where they’ve endorsed the candidacy of Mark Warner in Virginia. Undoubtedly, they could also find common ground with current Senators from red and purple states. If even a quarter of all Democrats in Congress end up being Blue Dogs, their influence could temper the legislative agenda of the more liberal branch of the party.

We might not end up with divided government, but the Democrats could end up being a divided party.

Hopefully, if Obama wins, he’ll be more than willing to listen to what the Blue Dogs have to say.

  • BBQ

    While that does make me feel good, especially as someone who sides more with Blue Dogs and the DLC more than the GOP.

    However don’t think the progressives aren’t going fight them.

    I am as interested in the fight between moderate Dems and progressive Dems as much as the fiscal conservative vs social conservative in the next coming years.

  • Avinash_Tyagi

    While the Blue dogs may make it harder for some of the more liberal aspects of the Dem agenda to pass, the Dems are much less divided overall then the Republicans, but tend to more or less agree on , who face a very polarized future, everything from Bush and Iraq, to Sarah Palin and Racial attitudes divides the GOP at the moment, and the party is already turning its guns on each other, and depending on the next few years we could see stunning changes in the party structure of the united states, the kind not seen since the Whigs ripped themselves apart and were replaced by the Republicans. My instincts tell me that the GOP will be tilting hard right while many of the moderates in the party, will likely desert the party.

  • kranky kritter

    Arf, arf, baby!

    The blue dogs will be an important coalition. And I expect them to get a LOT of support from moderates and independents. To say nothing of selective support from moderate republicans.

    We could see actual “issue-based” coalitions in congress. Imagine that! I think it may well be necessary for the blue dogs to lay a big fat turd in the progressive punchbowl.


  • L

    While I would agree that the Republican party is more divided right now, Democrats haven’t had much of a reason to divide just yet. Six of the past 8 years have been spent in defense against the executive and a majority in the legislature, and the last 2 have been spent trying to overcome friction between the legislature and executive to get something done.

    As soon as the Democrats have both a majority and the executive, I think we’ll be seeing a lot more friction within the Democratic party. Hopefully common-ground and compromises will be emphasized but a lot of that depends on the leadership in the Democratic party.

  • mike mcEachran

    Meet the 2012 Republican leadership.

  • kranky kritter

    Meet the 2012 Republican leadership.

    Sure, if the blue dogs get treated like Lieberman did.