Many of us are unclear of what a Blue Dog even is. Wikipedia tells me it’s
a caucus in the United States House of Representatives comprising members from the Democratic Party who identify as fiscally responsible and centrist. The caucus professes an independence from the leadership of both parties and promotes national defense.
Fiscally responsible and centrist is the definition of what Republicans once were, back when I was one of them. Throw in a lust for military adventurism dressed up as national defense and you’re in very dangerous territory for what is supposed to be an opposition party.
It’s something else as well
Blue Dogs are the main reason Democrats get crushed by Republicans even when they have majorities in Congress and the Presidency. Just ask Barack Obama why he had such an awful time in his first-term, when he owned the government.
The Blue Dog caucus currently has eighteen members in a House chamber with a narrow nine-member majority. That’s no majority at all—that’s asking the Republican minority to run the football down your throat. And they’re good at that.
Plus an even split in the Senate and mid-terms in two years
So I’ll haul Will Rogers out of the closet and dust him off once again: “I’m not a member of any organized party. I’m a Democrat.” Rogers said that ninety years ago. It was true then, is true now, and has been true all the years between.
America is falling apart at the seams economically, ecologically and socially, with a great shot at Joe Biden moving boundaries on all those issues. But not with eighteen Democrats essentially allied against all those goals.
With goals come goal-posts and Blue Dog Democrats are a major reason there haven’t been any points scored on liberal political issues in forty years.
I’ve argued for a third-party for just those reasons
We’re simply not going to get there with Democrats. If by ‘there’ we mean a decent living wage, green energy before the planet burns to a crisp, a fair shake for our kids and infrastructure ahead of unwinnable wars—all those goodies are down at the other end of the field, out of reach before the whistle blows.
Our two major parties used to be able to haggle out bi-partisan agreements, but that was before Republicans became radicalized and Democrats froze like deer in the headlights. Today both parties are too close, too vicious and too self indulgent to get anything useful accomplished.
Change in Washington comes far too close to the final whistle. I welcome it and wish it well
But what we really need is an electorate that can read a score-board.
Image Credit: MATSON Nashville Scene