Dems–boot blue dogs, fold big tent
Ari Berman of "The Nation” does an op-ed for the New York Times in which he pushes for the removal (or at least the non-support) of the blue dog Democrats such as Heath Schuler of NC.
Now that doesn’t come as much of a surprise to me – just as the Tea Party wants the less than conservative members of the Republican party replaced with more reliably fiscal conservative members.
That said, however, I loved the “reasoning” quoted for this desire:
Margaret Johnson, a former party chairwoman in Polk County, N.C., helped elect Representative Shuler but now believes the party would be better off without him. “I’d rather have a real Republican than a fake Democrat,” she said. “A real Republican motivates us to work. A fake Democrat de-motivates us.”
Well there you go – remember the left has been lambasting the right for who knows how long for not offering a “big tent” but essentially being a narrow based “all white male” party. Howard Dean and Rahm Emanuel concocted the 50 state strategy which recruited blue dogs like Schuler because they were “electable” in those districts and that strategy gave Democrats a “super majority”. But what real good did it do?
The argument is “wouldn’t you rather have someone that would vote with you 70% of the time rather than someone who will vote for your programs 0% of the time? The answer is “no”. Not if you actually want to get those things done which require critical votes and the 30% of the time they don’t vote with you is when those votes occur. Tea Partiers figured this out a while ago. And again, they’ve been lambasted for being so non-inclusive. Karl Rove, an inveterate seat counter, focuses solely on the number of “Republicans” in each chamber. Tea Partiers and conservatives focus on the ideology of those running and only support those who are, in Ms. Johnson’s words, “real Republicans” as the TP and conservatives define them.
It appears Democrats, lately of the “big tent”, are now looking toward a smaller tent. That would include the architect of the 50 state strategy, Howard Dean:
Ms. Johnson is right: Democrats would be in better shape, and would accomplish more, with a smaller and more ideologically cohesive caucus. It’s a sentiment that even Mr. Dean now echoes. “Having a big, open-tent Democratic Party is great, but not at the cost of getting nothing done,” he said.
Yeah … exactly what a number of us have been saying for years. Look, people throw the word “ideology” around like it is some sort of bad word. It’s not. It is your political philosophy, your principles, your belief in what politics should reflect.
Does anyone believe those that founded this country weren’t ideologically driven? That they didn’t have a definite set of principles that were foundation of what they created?
“Big tent” is a wonderfully nebulous and useless concept that implies that inclusiveness is more important than principles. It’s nonsense as both sides are discovering. You’re either for something, in terms of principles, or you’re not. “Including” others who don’t necessarily share your principles is simply an exercise in, well, seat counting, which as both the GOP and Democrats have finally discovered, is a waste of time.