In the immortal words of Jonathan Swift (paraphrasing Erasmus and Hamlet) “Every dog must have his day.”
According to our correspondent Andy Sullivan, Blue Dog Democrats may have had theirs already. His report from Vermillion, South Dakota suggests the Blue Dogs may be a dying breed, their centrist brand of conservatism in danger of being swept away by the Republican tide in the midterms.
The original Dogs were actually yellow, of course, from a Southern nickname for party loyalists who would vote for a yellow dog if it were on the ballot as a Democrat. The Blue Dog Coalition took its name from the view that members’ moderate-to-conservative ideas had been “choked blue” by the party in the run-up to the 1994 election. (Suggestions for alternative color schemes gratefully received at the Democratic National Committee.)
Centrist Republicans have also been under pressure from the rise of the Tea Party. While that will likely make the next Congress more fiscally conservative, it will not necessarily translate into a bipartisan deal to reduce the budget deficit, former Congressional Budget Office director Rudolph Penner warned today.
“A real problem here is that the Tea Party is going to scare the bejeebers out of any Republican that is talking about compromise, for fear of what will happen in the next primary,” Penner told a Chamber of Commerce forum. “There is no way we’re going to get out of this problem without a compromise between the two parties.”