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 [...]If the Blue Dogs lose the close races, they could be down to 14, which is on par with the "House Model Train Caucus," if such a thing existed. And really, why would anyone vote for them anymore? Their influence came from being power brokers in a Democratic-held House. They would hold legislation hostage for all sorts of goodies, threatening to bolt to the GOP at the first hint of pushback from the Democratic leadership.
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.
An unsympathetic look at the numbers shows the Blue Dogs could suffer further losses. If Roll Call’s race ratings bear out — that is, if all races leaning Democratic swing that way and vice versa — the group is looking at a ceiling of 19 members.
Well, in a majority chamber, the out party has no power. Republicans have all the votes they need, so they don't give a damn about courting the Blue Dogs. In fact, they'd rather pick up those seats for themselves. Meanwhile, the House Democratic leadership doesn't need Blue Dogs for anything, and even if they did, they can't offer them anything in return.
So if you're a conservative-leaning voter in one of those Blue Dog-held districts, why not vote for the real thing?
Meanwhile, it's important these asshats win for the majority, but if any incumbent Democrats have to lose, let it be these guys.
The losses hit close to home for former Rep. Billy Tauzin (La.). He co-founded the group and hosted its meetings in his office after the Republican wave election of 1994. The coalition owes its name to a painting of a blue dog he had in his office. Though he is now a Republican — he switched parties in 1995 — he still counsels members of the group.If any Democrats takes counsel from someone who became one of the most conservative Republicans in the House and on the GOP leadership team, and who was the chief shill for PhRMA after he retired, that doesn't make them "moderate." It makes them idiots, and they deserve to lose.