Blue Dogs Should Blame Themselves.

This should have been obvious to everyone paying attention:

More than half the members of the Blue Dog Coalition—the organization of moderate to conservative Democrats in the House—are in peril in next week's election, a stark indicator of how the balloting could produce a Congress even more polarized than the current one. [...]

Of 54 Blue Dogs in the House, six already have retired or decided to seek other offices. Of those trying to stay, 39 are in competitive races, according to the Cook Political Report, and 22 of those are in pure toss-ups.

As Democrats in conservative, Republican-leaning districts, Blue Dogs were always the most likely to suffer in event of a GOP wave. Of course, you would never know this from their behavior over the last two years. A rational Blue Dog caucus -- with a basic understanding of how elections worked -- would have done their best to move the president's priorities forward; after all, no one does well when the economy is poor and voters are disillusioned, and this goes most for Blue Dog Democrats. Had conservative Democrats been a little less interested in preening for the media and a little more interested in moving legislation, then they -- and the Democratic Party -- wouldn't be facing a conservative resurgence (however fleeting it is).

That said, on balance, a Democratic caucus with Blue Dogs is better than one without; absent the support of conservatives and moderates, the major items on the Democratic agenda would have never made it past Republican opposition.

-- Jamelle Bouie

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