Recently the mainstream media has spent a lot of time focused on how divided our nation is. With the sequester happening, and the failure of President Obama to show leadership to get a deal done — many Americans are wondering how we got here. In the past, politicians from both sides were able to make deals because they had a lot more in common than their collective differences. Specifically there were always a group of conservative Democrats in congress that could be counted on to cross the aisle and vote with Republicans on fiscal and economic issues. Where have all the conservative Democrats gone? Let's examine this phenomenon.
(Conservative Democrat from California, Loretta Sanchez wonders where all of the other conservative Democrats have gone — leaving her one of only 14 conservative Democrats in Congress currently!)
For some time now, the Democratic party has been purging itself of conservative Democrats. It would seem that in their effort to purify the party and maintain a hardcore base of "true believers" the conservative Democrat has become a dying breed. There are only 14 members of Congress currently who are members of the so-called "Blue Dog Coalition" who make up a group of conservative Democrats. They are:
John Barrow (GA-12), Co-Chair for Administration
- Sanford Bishop (GA-2)
- Jim Cooper (TN-5), Co-Chair for Policy
- Jim Costa (CA-20)
- Henry Cuellar (TX-28)
- Pete Gallego (TX-23)
- Jim Matheson (UT-4)
- Mike McIntyre (NC-7)
- Mike Michaud (ME-2)
- Collin Peterson (MN-7)
- Loretta Sanchez (CA-47)
- Kurt Schrader (OR-5), Co-Chair for Communications
- David Scott (GA-13)
- Mike Thompson (CA-5)
This small group of conservative Democrats is a stark contrast to the 49 Republicans who make up the tea party caucas on the other side of the aisle, representing an equal number of people willing to cross party lines in efforts to reduce government spending and restore fiscal responsibility in Washington.
According to Wikipedia, blue dog Democrats believe: "
The Blue Dog Coalition is often involved in searching for a compromise between liberal and conservative positions. The Blue Dogs are viewed by some as a continuation of the socially conservative wing of the Democratic party, however, the only stated policy position of the Blue Dogs is fiscal conservatism.
Despite the Blue Dogs' differing degrees of economic and social conservatism, they claim they generally work to promote positions within the House of Representatives that bridge the gap between right-wing and left-wing politics. Blue Dogs are an important swing vote on spending bills and as a result have gained influence in Congress out of proportion to their numbers. They are frequently sought after to broker compromises between the Democratic and Republican leadership, generally lending a more centrist character to US politics."
So where have all of the conservative Democrats gone, you might ask? Well it would appear that the majority of them have been voted out of office, or forced into retirement by the extreme leadership of the Democratic party, as dictated by Howard Dean. It would appear that Mr. Dean has no room in his party for conservative Democrats, because they represent a risk that he is not willing to take. Going forward, the Democratic party appears to have a litmus test for its candidates which includes their support for extreme tax increases on the successful, gun control, and support for growth in the size of government. Requiring support for such hardcore leftist principals makes it clear that there is simply no room in the Democrat party going forward for conservative Democrats. Check out a list of conservative Democrats who were either voted out of office, didn't make the primary, or forced into retirement in 2012:
- Jason Altmire (PA-4) – Lost renomination
- Joe Baca (CA-43) – Defeated
- Dan Boren (OK-2), Blue Dog Whip – Retired
- Tim Holden (PA-17) – Lost renomination
- Larry Kissell (NC-8) – Defeated
- Leonard Boswell (IA-3) – Defeated
- Ben Chandler (KY-6) – Defeated
- Mike Ross (AR-4), Co-Chair for Communications – Retired
Perhaps we're wrong, and it's just no longer considered sexy to be listed as a conservative Democrat in congress. We have just had a tidal wave sweep the nation with the re-election of president Obama, and the leftist tide has risen like never before in our history. Many of us on the right would say that this is the first time in our lives that we have observed unapologetic communists and socialists now roaming our streets, spouting their opinions as if they are the true mainstream. Democrats have overreached on issues such as gun control recently, which have shown how brazen they feel they can be after purging their party of conservative Democrats who would not have normally supported such extremist measures.
As tides continue to shift and the Democrat party becomes more and more extreme — It can only be assumed that fewer and fewer conservative Democrats will be elected to office, and even less will be allowed to stay in Congress. The principals of fiscal conservatism, financial responsibility, and being in favor of a smaller government just don't mesh with the current goals of the Democrat party — and thus, only true believers will be permitted to take party of the Obama revolution.
(Conservative Democrat Loretta Sanchez — "Call Me Maybe")