here are 37 Blue Dog or “moderate” Democrats in the 110th Congress. That’s using the projected 229 official Dems, 2 Independents caucusing with us. If the current totals hold, (c’mon Christine Jennings!) that’s still 16%(see the list at http://www.house.gov… )
That seems like a lot, to me. Sixteen percent “moderate” Democrats. Sixteen percent having special little “meetings” with the President. http://www.firedogla… Some of that 16% voting for torture in our name. http://www.dailykos…. Some doing the Family Research Council’s bidding on issues like marriage “protection”, eliminating abortion on military bases, and embryonic stem cell research. http://www.frc.org/g…
Sixteen percent. Well, we can afford it. After all, we’re in the majority, and we can count on “moderate” Republicans voting for common sense issues, rather than picking away at our 16% just for political points. We have moderates, and they have moderates, right? Right?
Well maybe not so much, according to the Washington Post. The 110th Congress isn’t going to have as large percentage of “moderate” Republicans in their caucus as they had in the 109th.
With the defeat of Leach and several other Republican moderates Nov. 7, the Democrats’ victory in the midterm election accelerates a three-decade-old pattern of declining moderate influence and rising conservative dominance in the Republican Party. By one measure, the GOP is more ideologically homogenous now than it has been in modern history. The waning moderate wing must find its place when the Democratic majority takes over in January.
In fact, the Post says the Republicans “moderates” will account for “well under 10%” (of the Republican caucus) http://www.washingto…
And I don’t have to remind anyone here that a “moderate” Democrat is a LOT farther to the Right than a “Moderate” Republican is to the center. In fact, a “moderate” Democrat today probably votes closer to a middle of the road Republican thirty years ago, and a “moderate” Republican today would look like a Goldwater Republican then.
So, what to do? Where to start? Start here:
Start organizing for 2008. Some guy named Stu quoted Chris Bowers:
“I want 80 serious challenges to GOP House incumbents every two years and a Democratic name on the ballot in all 435 districts,” he demands. “I have had enough of just targeting the twenty or so top races – let’s engage in a full-frontal assault. … The first step is to identify eighty Republicans against who we could mount a serious challenge.”
http://www.dailykos…. I say, let’s get our percentage of “moderates” down to where the R’s have theirs. Ten percent of our 229 Dems is 23. Figure we’ll need 20% more serious challengers, since incumbants are entrenched, to win the 14 primaries we’re targeting. That means, to paraphrase Chris, I want 17 serious primary challenges to the Blue Dog Dems, and a Progressive Democratic name in every Democratic primary with a “moderate” Democratic incumbent for the 2008 election cycle. I’ve picked mine: http://dumptauscher….
Look for a candidate. Jerry McNerney was asked to run by his son. http://www.jerrymcne… Who do you know? Who’s on the back bench of your local politics. Your state representative, town councilman, mayor, alderman (sp?). Here in California, we have term limits, so a lot of our state pols are looking for jobs in ’08. How do you qualify a candidate? See the next two steps.
“It’s STILL the economy, stupid” How’s the economy where you are? How’s your potential candidate’s record on small business? Did they vote a big tax break or other incentive so Wall Mart could move into your town? Build any stadiums for multimillionaire sports franchises? What was their reaction when jobs in your neighborhood were outsourced. (see the P.S. below on other Congress-critters that may need replacing.)
Don’cha know there’s a war on? I’ll bet a pizza and beer with the first five people that email me that the war in Iraq is still a campaign issue in 2008. There are quite a few cities and towns that have had symbolic votes for peace. Also, there are more vets coming home every day. We saw in the last election that returning vets can run and win as Democrats, the DCCC’s Duckworth notwithstanding. ($3 million! Oy, vey!)
Why am I suggesting this, since the “moderate” Democrats are in place for the next two years, anyway? I’m glad you asked. Just because the election is over doesn’t mean we can be passive and quiet.
We need to make some noise. Let your blue dog know they’re being watched. An old dog CAN learn new tricks, and as Governor William J. LePetomane (Mel Brooks) said, “We’ve gotta protect our phoney baloney jobs, gentlemen!” http://www.imdb.com/… My little blog is less than 2 weeks old, and I’ve already gotten some email that looks like it came from sources closer to Tauscher than the average constituent. And I just started publicising my blog yesterday! Hmmm…
P.S. There are non-Blue Dogs who actively acted against the poor and middle class, too. That means any Democrat that voted for the bankrupcy bill. (73 names, feel free to find primary candidates for ALL of them, lited here: http://www.commondre… ) Then there’s NAFTA, CAFTA, any “free” trade bill as opposed to a “fair” trade bill. Keep an eye on the upcoming minimum wage bill in Pelosi’s first 100 hours. If she doesn’t get every Democratic vote, you’ve found a blue dog.
Cross posted at Kos and MyDD