Friday, October 24, 2008

Leader of the Pack

[Election 2008] I forget who, but a while ago some jerk was really hammering me on the whole importance of Blue Dogs, or these kind of quasi democrats that are becoming especially trendy nowadays. In the interest of fairness to the poster, its true that a few hounds of the blue dog pack have very little in common with the democratic party on any fundamental level. Former Sen. Zell Miller of Georgia comes to mind as one ""democrat"" (yes I know, I put double scare quotes on that) who, more turncoat than anything, else was definitely one mangy cur of a blue dog as a political animal and a man worthy of a good punch to the neck if I ever saw him.

The reason I bring this up is, because while most coasty liberals might be wanting to neuter some of these blue dogs, the reality is that under an Obama administration these blue dogs are going to be some critical power players.

This election stands poised to potentially not only get a democrat in the white house but also give us a democratic super majority in congress and perhaps a filibuster proof democratic senate.

Hooray!...Right? Maybe?

Well, actually no, for anyone with a political memory that extends past the last eight years, one might remember that democratic majorities served up with a Dem in the White House helped pave the way for the Gingrich's republican revolution and the coronation of King George Dubya.

If that's not ringing a bell, the heyday Bush had with the republican majority and how that came back to bite the GOP in 2006 and (probably in a couple weeks) should be an example of why any party stands to blow it big time if they have too much power.

Which is why the blue dogs will be important in balancing out what could be a very powerful democratic government in the years to come. Blue dogs will be critical in bridging votes with conservatives and liberals and key to keeping the party from going overboard with the wine and cheese agenda.

Ironically, as one author has pointed out, Obama's biggest challenge in office will be learning how to control his own party and keep them from exacting a payback agenda against former Bush followers, that would be so liberal as to make Huffington blush and Ann Coulter spontaneously combust.

OK, if that weren't an embellishment about Coulter it would be worth it, but otherwise if Obama can't keep things bipartisan, we stand to set ourselves up for the same cycle of bouncing between partisan extremes from one term to the next.

So beware democrats-- you push this thing too hard after the election, and another four or eight years down the road--the political pendulum will come swinging right back into our faces with somebody as bad, or worse than our current Conservative-in-Chief, with cronies in tow. (Eric S. Peterson)


  1. Good post but what do you suggest? Tank some elections? Keep some misguided and arrogant policies in place so as not to upset Rush or Sean? I am sorry, when you get the hammer, you bring the hammer. You might only have one shot to turn this thing around.

  2. Well I think the party has look at its image after this election, and
    consider that a lasting democratic establishment ought to give blue dog
    democrats a decent seat at the table. If they can help bridge the partisan
    divide. That way democrats can create an institution that can survive more
    than eight years in the white house without engendering a conservative
    backlash that puts another W. in power.

    Isn't that the dream anyways? That parties can find common ground and have
    leaderships that reflects a central agenda instead of one that bounces
    between extremes?

    Hopefully Obama brings the hammer to win this thing, but then is magnanimous
    in his reign. If he does that, hell, he might be the "transformational"
    President he seems hyped up to be. --ESP


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