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About those Florida Blue Dogs...

Monday, May 19, 2008

Digby has a great piece up on her site wondering about the impact of Blue Dog Democrats. We have two here in the state representing the Blue Dog Coalition: Allen Boyd (D - FL/CD#2) and Jim Mahoney (D - FL/CD#16). Currently the breakdown in the U.S. House of Reprsentatives has shifted receently with a pick up in a special election runoff in Mississippi Congressional District #1. Travis Childers (MS - D) took out current Southampton Mayor, Greg Davis (MS - R) with an 8 point win. Digby scores some points by musing over the progressive blogosphere's win at any cost attitude with a conservative either/or a liberal/progressive Democrat:
"There has been a lot of chatter over the week-end about the apparently startling notion that Democrats winning in conservative districts might produce more conservative Democrats. I posted about it here. Matt Stoller wrote about it here, Jason Rosenbaum, here. It's an interesting dilemma for progressives in the Democratic Party which is, as far as I can tell, encouraging all the candidates to run on a vague "change" agenda rather than explicit progressive policies. So, you get a bigger majority, but it's less clear what it's going to do. I guess we'll see."
She then wonders if it is worth it at all to have them in place voting with Republicans:
"From where I sit, there really isn't a huge upside to having a large majority that consists of a substantial number of Grover Norquist's neutered Blue Dogs voting with the Republicans. We need more progressive Democrats to really make a difference."
With Childers' win this past week the 435 seat ratio in the U.S. House of Representatives stands at 236 Democrats and 199 Republicans. There is some speculation that the Democrats will pick up 30 additional seats in November. While this sounds spectacular one does have to have the same questions about this as Digby. With 48 members in the Blue Dog Coalition they make up 20% of the Democrats in the House. Even with a possible 30 seat pick up in November that 48 seat coalition more than negates that loss for the Republicans in practical terms.

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