So-Called “Moderate Democrats” Now Have No Place to Hide

February 8, 2011

The Democratic Leadership Council, long a centrist voice in the Democratic party, is closing its doors.

“The centrist Democratic Leadership Council, which fought and largely won a battle for the soul of the Democratic party in the 1990s, is on the verge of bankruptcy and is closing its doors, its founder, Al From, confirmed Monday.” (Ben Smith, “The End of the DLC Era,” Politico, 2/07/2011)

This collapse, however, has been a long time coming. So-called “moderate Democrats” in the Blue Dog Coalition were led into the extreme wing of their party by President Obama and Nancy Pelosi. Blue Dogs supported the Obama-Pelosi agenda in large numbers during the 111th Congress when nearly every Blue Dog voted for either the stimulus, ObamaCare or the cap-and-trade legislation.

Of the 54 Blue Dogs serving at the end of the 111th Congress26 voted for the climate change bill in June 2009, 30 voted for the final version of health care reform in March 2010, and 42 ultimately backed the financial services bill in late June this year.” (Josh Israel and Aaron Mehta, “PACs Flocked to Conservative Blue Dog Democrats, Then Fled After Crucial Votes,” The Center for Public Integrity, 12/7/2010)

On the biggest, defining votes since the Democrats took the House, the Blue Dogs have voted almost in lock-step with their party leaders.

“And with one leader in particular the Blue Dogs are more like lap dogs. Of the 62 votes cast by Speaker Pelosi during the current 111th Congress on economic issues, the Blue Dogs voted with her 80 percent of the time.” (“The Blue Dog Report,” The Club For Growth, 10/4/2010)



Fannie & Freddie Bailout




2009 Stimulus


Cash for Clunkers


2009 Obama Budget


Auto Bailout




(“The Blue Dog Report,” The Club For Growth, 10/4/2010)

These so-called “moderate Democrats” who joined the Pelosi wing of the party were rejected en masse by voters last election, with only 26 Blue Dogs out of 54 re-elected to the House.

“The election took a big toll on the Blue Dogs. Only 26 were reelected, while 28 either retired or were defeated.” (Janet Hook and Patrick O’Connor, “Blue Dogs’ Votes Sought in Tax Deal,” The Wall Street Journal, 12/11/2010)

The remaining “moderate Democrats” are continuing to veer left. On the recent House vote to repeal ObamaCare, only 3 Democrats joined 242 Republicans in voting to undo the job-destroying legislation.

FINAL VOTE ON OBAMACARE REPEAL: 245-189, with only 3 Democrats joining GOP. (House Vote #14,1/19/2011)

A flood of long-time Democrats in Southern states recently shifted allegiances to the Republican Party, citing the increasingly liberal agenda of Obama and Pelosi.

“Since the midterm election, 24 state senators and representatives have made the switch in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and Texas….

“The trend continued through late January — when nine officials in Lamar County in northeastern Texas left the Democratic Party — and into last week, when Louisiana Atty. Gen. James D. “Buddy” Caldwell switched parties, leaving the GOP in control of every major state office in Baton Rouge…

Merle Black, a political science professor at Emory University in Atlanta, said the party-switching — in addition to big Republican legislative gains in the South in the November election — reflect[s]… ‘the increased liberalization of the Democratic Party.‘ “Many of the defectors have echoed Bell’s assertion that Democrats have become too liberal.” (Richard Fausset, “Conservative Democrats Switch to GOP Across Deep South,” The Los Angeles Times, 2/07/2011)