Today's oxymoron - "Fiscally Conservative Democrats"
Roll Call News (in a piece titled "Blue Dogs Brace for Another Drubbing"):
The House Blue Dog Coalition, still reeling from 2010 elections that cut its ranks in half, looks likely to sustain additional losses this year that would cast doubt on the group’s influence in the 113th Congress.There is no such thing as a "fiscally conservative Democrat." Not in the United States Congress, in any event. There may be some Democratic Representatives who think that they are fiscally conservative, or would incline towards fiscal conservatism, or who want to be fiscally conservative, but they aren't. If they were really fiscally conservative, they would not be Democrats. There is nothing - nothing - that the national Democratic Party stands for which is "fiscally conservative" in any way, shape or form. If you are really a "fiscal conservative," you don't caucus with a party whose leaders are Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama and Harry Reid and Charles Rangel and Barney Frank. You're lying to yourself if you vote for Nancy Pelosi to lead your caucus and then think that you are a "fiscal conservative." You're lying to your constituents if you vote for Nancy Pelosi to lead your caucus and then call yourself a "fiscal conservative."
The number of Blue Dogs grew steadily beginning in 1997, peaking at 54 members in the 111th Congress, when the fiscally conservative Democrats reached the pinnacle of their influence during the health care debate. That may have also been the coalition’s undoing: The unforgiving tea party wave of 2010 and opposition to President Barack Obama’s health care law decimated the ranks.
Now, the coalition faces the prospect of membership falling to its lowest ever, less than the 21 lawmakers it counted at the start of the 105th Congress. It ended that term with 25; currently there are 24 members of the group.
And if the health care debate represented the "pinnacle of their influence," then they never had any "conservative" influence whatsoever.
So if their constituents really want "fiscal conservatives," let them vote for Republicans. If they want Democrats, let them vote for real Democrats, and own the results. But right now, at this stage in our nation's history, in this political climate, there is not such thing as a real "fiscal conservative" who is an elected official in Washington with a "-D" behind his name.
So good bye to the blue dogs. And good riddance.