Today Rush Limbaugh gave a warning to the "Blue Dog Democrats", saying that if they vote for the health care bill, their careers are over. Rush defined blue dogs as "conservative Democrats from Blue States". One thing that Rush does not mention enough if that we also have "Blue Dog Republicans". These are Republicans in blue states who are really the great enablers for left-wing policies. These are the small handful of Republicans that vote against the large majority of their party, therfore allowing Democrats to call left-wing legislation, "bi-partisan".
Case number 1 is the Stimulus Bill. All House Republicans (over 170) voted against the bill making it a bill owned 100% by the Democrat Party. Until however, 3 out of 41 Republicans in the Senate, crossed the aisle, met for tea with Obama, and voted Yea on the stimulus bill. The 3 Senators? Specter, Collins, and Snowe; Republicans in Blue States. If these 3 had held firm (something they are incapable of doing), cloture on the stimulus may have failed and fiscal conservativism, prevailed. But instead, these unreliable 3, from really, more purple than blue states, lived up to the spineless compromising self-serving hacks that they are.
Case number 2 is the House Cap and Trade Bill. Given that the Democrat Super-majority in the Senate won't bring it up for a vote, shows how bad this bill really must be. Still though, 8 Blue Dog Republicans in the House voted for it. They are Mark Kirk (IL), Mary Bono Mack (CA), Mike Castle (DE), John McHugh (NY), Frank LoBiondo (NJ), Chris Smith (NJ), Dave Reichert (WA), and Leonard Lance (NJ). All from what these 8 must see as hopelessly blue states.
Being a resident of Illinois, I have seen clearly, since Election '08 what a fraud of a Republican Mark Kirk is. Watching local PBS (WTTW), I saw a campaign spot featuring Mark Kirk, and the first thing out of his mouth was that he was proud of his pro-choice record and support of planned parenthood. Since his vote on Cap-and-Trade, he has elected to run for U.S. Senate, and has voted against an ammendment stripping government funding for abortion heavy Planned Parenthood. He lived up to his PP support just like he said he was so proud to do. Before announcing his run for U.S. Senate, he sat tight until Illinois Democrat, Lisa Madigan announced she wouldn't be running. Kirk just assumed she would automatically win, and would have sat out had she run. At least now, he might get the liberal vote. It's the calculating politicians like Kirk and the Blue Dog Republicans that dumb down political representation. Kirk's a "realist" and definitely an opportunist, but he is creating a political reality for himself and Illinois Republicans that is sub-par to the core.
For politicians like these blue dogs, it isn't about priciple or doing what ought to be done. It isn't about seeing the world as it should and could be. It is about seeing the world for what it is and assuming that what is now, will still be later, and it is about maintaining the political status quo as the safest route to a meaningless victory, and a fast road to hell. For what good is it anymore to have these Blue Dog Republicans, clogging up primaries with the uncertain promise that they are the best bet for the general election. They assumed victory to John McCain back in February '08. He was the best bet to beat Hillary Clinton; the polls said so. Only Hillary didn't become the opponent. Nice theory, too bad the variables were changed. It is these calculating predictions leading to political concessions, that will continue to doom the GOP. It's voters would be wise to imagine the possibilities at all times, and not settle on what seems to be the sure shot, too far in advance. The Blue Dogs for both partys would be wise to do the same.