Monday, October 23, 2006

Blue Dog Moose

The Moose contends that next year the Blue Dogs will have more bite than bark.

What is the dog that has not barked recently in American politics? The answer - the coalition of 37 conservative House Democrats known as the Blue Dogs. These congressional canines will undoubtedly hold the balance of power in a narrowly divided House that will likely be controlled by the Democrats.

The Dogs are particularly valuable to the donkey because they will ensure that Speaker Pelosi will put the caucus's left wing on a short leash. Saturday's Washington Post,

"The Blue Dogs could hold the balance of power in a Democratic House. With 37 members, the group already has clout; 16 Democratic candidates have the Blue Dogs' endorsement, and a dozen of them could win. That would give them numbers surpassing the Congressional Black Caucus's 43 members.

"Rep. Dennis Cardoza (D-Calif.), a Blue Dog co-chairman, promised that the group would be "a moderating influence on any excesses that might be brought forth by other wings of the party."

"That's not a threat," he said. "That's just the facts of life."

Although it is likely that many moderate GOP'ers will lose next month, the center will be where the action is in the House. Any Republican hope that the Donkey's will over-reach will be thwarted by the savvy and significant Blue Dogs. They will undoubtedly be dogged in their efforts to keep the party in the political mainstream and defy rabid partisanship. Impeachment, for instance, will simply be a dog that won't hunt.

The Moose has a favorite potential member of this kennel who is running in his Lone Star homeland. Although his race has not received much national attention, Shane Sklar is someone to keep an eye on. He is running against a genuine loopy, crypto-Buchananite, anti-Israel, paleo con libertarian Ron Paul who is at once an isolationist and someone who would dismantle the entire safety net if he had his druthers.

Shane is a hawkish, pro-gun economic progressive in the tradition of the late Senator Lloyd Bentsen. Shane is a honest to goodness rancher, and the Moose particularly liked this excerpt from his campaign bio,

"Recently, news reporters from across the country turned to Sklar for accurate information and knowledgeable opinions regarding the outbreak of mad cow disease in Texas."

Brother Sklar, the Moose believes that we could really use your expertise in combating the mad cow disease that seems to have afflicted the nation's Capitol the past few years! Hopefully, you will soon be joining your former boss (and the Moose's hometown Waco Congressman) Chet Edwards in Washington.

All of this talk of home makes the Moose long for a chicken fried steak and a Shiner. Now, that is really blue dog chow!

To paraphrase HST, if you want a centrist in Washington, get a Blue Dog.

-- Posted at 8:22 AM | Link to this post | Email this post