OK, Blue Dogs, it is
Chris Bowers has a very good diary posted at Daily Kos, showing yet again, why he leaves mere mortals like me in the dust.
First, let me say this: every progressive reader of this blog should read his diary. It's quite important.
In a nutshell, Chris points out using a detailed analysis of recent voting patterns that the Democrats in Congress who stray the farthest when it comes to voting on progressive issues are NOT the DLCers, but the so-called Blue Dog Democrats. Here is his summary:
- Progressive Caucus: 97.3% loyal
- DLC: 79.0% loyal
- Blue Dogs: 54.3% loyal
As Chris also points out:
Do we justifiably dislike the DLC because of the cottage industry From, Reed and others make out of using Republican caricatures against fellow Democrats? Yes. Do we justifiably not like the DLC because of their foundational ties to large corporations? Yes. However, we need to wake up and smell which faction is actively dissenting from the party on key votes, and it is not the DLC. Our problems in Washington are tied far more directly to Blue Dogs than to DLC members.
So please, fellow denizens of the blogosphere, I urge you to keep whipping he party into line, but use your whips correctly. Stop blaming the DLC for everything--it only obscures our real problems in forging a majority. The truth is that the average Democrat falls precisely in between two loyal Democratic factions: New Democrats and Progressive Democrats. No one group represents the party more than the other. Blue Dogs, on the other hand, are basically a third party operating outside of both Democratic and Republican control. This is a real problem for us, because while there are thirty-five Blue Dogs, there is only one Republican "problem child," Ron Paul of Texas. Paul is the only Republican who breaks with his party at least half the time, and he does so because he is a true libertarian.
I've said before that I don't have a problem with the DLC per se, only that I find the fake bashing of progressive groups by people like Al From troubling. So, let me use this opportunity to say "Amen" to what Chris has to say.