Are Blue Dogs Boehner's Ace In The Hole Against Teabagger Defections In His Own Caucus?


It shouldn't surprise anyone that the corporately funded-- albeit greatly shriveled-- Blue Dog caucus is working with Wall Street shills John Boehner and Paul Ryan to shred the social safety net for the poorest Americans. This week, after Heath Shuler-- one of the Blue Dogs who has voted more frequently on substantive issues with the GOP than with the Democrats-- went on another of his whiny attacks against Nancy Pelosi, the most corrupt member of the Blue Dog hierarchy, Mike Ross started publicly hinting the Blue Dogs are going to join the GOP jihad against the middle class.

The Blue Dogs were decimated in the November elections as Democratic voters sat on their hands and helped defeat over half the caucus. They lost another member yesterday when California conservative corporate shill Jane Harman announced her retirement from Congress. Among the Blue Dogs defeated in November were many of the ones who voted with Boehner as a default position-- slimy right-wingers like Jim Marshall (GA), Allen Boyd (FL), Bobby Bright (AL), Travis Childers (MS), Glenn Nye (VA), Gene Taylor (MS), Harry Mitchell (AZ), Frank Kratovil (MD), Walt Minnick (ID) and Lincoln Davis (TN). Most of the rest of the defeated Democrats were conservative Blue Dog allies like Michael McMahon (NY), John Adler (NJ), Suzanne Kosmas (FL), Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ) and Ike Skelton (MO). Blue Dog candidates for Senate like Charlie Melancon (LA) and Brad Ellsworth (IN) were soundly beaten and the House challengers backed by the Blue Dogs, like Lori Edwards (FL) and Chad Causey (AR) were all thoroughly thrashed by teabagger sociopaths running as Republicans.

Blue Dogs have an ace in the hole with former caucus member and new DCCC chairman Steve Israel-- who has already been strutting around Washington declaring himself "Rahm without the filthy mouth," meaning he'll be doing everything in his power to keep progressives out of primaries while bolstering anti-Choice, anti-gay, anti-immigrant, anti-union conservatives like Ross, Shuler, Jim Matheson (UT), John Barrow (GA) and the rest of the Blue Dog left behinds. The Blue Dogs are raising a huge warchest from shady lobbyists and corporate sources with which to shoe horn conservatives into Democratic primaries, guaranteeing that voters have no choice between a conservative Republican and a conservative Democrat. Blue America fights that here and could use whatever help you can afford.

The 26-member Blue Dog Coalition met Monday in New York with former President Clinton to discuss ways to move a centrist political agenda through a divided Congress. Clinton advised the group on ways to handle the situation and discussed budget, housing and energy policy, Rep. Jim Matheson (D-Utah) said.

“One of the reasons we invited President Clinton was he had to work with Republicans after the ’94 election,” Ross said.

He said that even though the coalition lost half its members in the most recent election, it might have more clout this Congress.

That’s because Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) could have trouble winning the support of some Tea Party-backed freshmen. The Blue Dog Coalition could provide needed votes to move centrist bills through the chamber, Ross said.

“Blue Dogs have always been about bringing people to the middle,” Ross said. “If we can play a role … we are all about that.”

Coalition member Rep. John Barrow (D-Ga.) told reporters that the Blue Dogs would be looking to partner on ways to reduce burdensome regulations and lessen the negative impact of the Dodd-Frank financial reform act.

Blue Dogs are wrestling to find the right balance between cutting spending and investing to create jobs. Democratic leaders have argued that cutting $32 billion in spending this year could harm the economic recovery.

The Blue Dogs will be focused this year on restoring fiscal discipline while looking to “jumpstart our economy and put people back to work,” Ross said.

Clinton told the group that he believes government should foster innovation to provide the economy with a “new game-changer that creates new types of jobs,” Matheson said.

Ross is hoping to provide the votes Boehner needs when nascent shreds of populism pull teabaggers away from the anti-family, Wall Street agenda that is shared by the Blue Dogs and Republicans of the Boehner-Cantor-Ryan ilk, the architects and strong arms behind Bush's TARP Wall Street bailout.



Rep. Dave Reichert (R-Naturally) Jokes About The Death Of Hillary Clinton

NW Progressive:

Not only is Dave Reichert an ineffective congressman, but he has a twisted sense of humor, as the Tacoma News Tribune's Niki Sullivan reports:

Right now, U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert is up. He repeated a joke I first heard him tell at the Pierce County Republicans' Lincoln Day breakfast earlier this year. It involves an airplane that's going to crash, one fewer parachute than passengers and, ultimately, Hillary Clinton dying.

It sounds, as David Goldstein observes, like an unoriginal, crass schoolyard joke I used to hear all the time from classmates when I was younger and attending elementary school. [..] The punch line relies on the assumption that the adult in question is stupid.

Now, Reichert or anybody else can argue that Hillary Clinton is ambitious, or stubborn, or shameless, but she is certainly not dumb.

To her credit, she's exceptionally sharp and calculating in addition to being determined... and that has carried her a very long way.

Joking about the death of one of the two Democrats seeking the presidency, if not inappropriate, is certainly not classy, and is further evidence that Dave Reichert himself does not have good judgment.

Perhaps this is because he isn't truly invested in his job.

He doesn't work hard on Capitol Hill, his campaign is ambling or meandering along at a lazy pace, and he's frequently careless with his choice of words. Last cycle his campaign finished with a condescending, sexist TV ad.

Reichert is running against Blue America candidate Darcy Burner. Please considering helping Darcy's campaign so we can show Reichert out the door.



Susan Collins needs to apologize!

Collins has a very troubling man---Director of Internet Strategy, Lance Dutson running her operation. Jamie highlighted his post here...FDL responded in a press release....

I'm deeply offended that Senator Collins would speak about professional women in such a degrading and offensive manner," said Hamsher. "It is well beneath the dignity becoming a sitting Senator to engage in such coarse and misogynistic rhetoric."

Christy Hardin Smith, featured FDL blogger, said: "The sexist undertones used on Sen. Collins' blog are appalling ? the use of "fem-blog" is erroneous and dismissive. Citizens in this country have a right -- an obligation -- to hold those who ask us for our votes accountable. Women have just as much right as men to speak up for their country and their families, whether Senator Collins likes that or not."

Tom Allen can use your support....Full release below the fold:

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Dan Gerstein: A Permanent Blog Stalker

dangerstein1.jpg Gerstein has a problem with my friend, Jane Hamsher. Yes, Hillary Clinton blogged at FDL. It made sense: discuss equal pay on a blog that is run by strong, progressive women. I'm asking other candidates to come on our Blue America team to discuss other progressive issues as I blog right now and that has irked old Dan. I wonder how long it will take Lieberman's good pal Sean Hannity to pick up on this? He needs help. I'm starting a new 12-step program for politicos that have no political life left except to attack bloggers.

And he can't get his facts straight. Forget her movie credits, now Jane is best known for changing the way "trials" and events will be covered. FDL's live blogging of the Scooter Libby trial was incredible and she got a front page article from the NY Times about it. But he's not going to give credit to a top-tier blogger whose tireless work gave Ned Lamont the Democratic ticket in Connecticut, since it proved how out of touch Dan was with the Democratic voters in his work for Holy Joe. He's completely irrelevant to the netroots and what's new and refreshing in politics today and it makes him sulky. He's not alone.

I feel for you, Dan. I can help you if you let me. But the first step is understanding you've hit bottom and admitting you have a problem.

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