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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Elections indicate more polarized Congress

Posted By on Thu, Apr 26, 2012 at 6:50 AM

FEWER LIKE HIM: Rep. Mike Ross laments decline of Blue Dogs.
  • FEWER LIKE HIM: Rep. Mike Ross laments decline of Blue Dogs.
The defeat of Blue Dog Democrats in Pennsylvania congressional primaries by more liberal Democrats is seen in this New York Times article as a sign of more polarization in Congress. It says the parties are composed more and more of liberals on the Democratic side ("liberal" having been construed by the media, thanks to GOP messaging, to cover everything from middle-of-the-road sanity to anarchy) and ultra-conservatives on the Republican side (that's pretty well an accurate description.)

Expert witness in the NY Times article: U.S. Rep. Mike Ross, who's fleeing Congress, perhaps to run for governor (where he'll lose the Democratic primary) if he can't first get a high-dollar job as a lobbyist catering to DINOs like himself.

“In civics class in high school, you learn there are 435 members of Congress, and every one of them could lose in the next election. Now we’re down to less than 100 who can ever get beat in a general election,” lamented Representative Mike Ross of Arkansas, a Blue Dog co-chairman who is retiring from Congress this year. “So the Democrats run to their corner. The Republicans run to their corner, and as a result the country is being run by the extremes.”

“Redistricting,” he added, “has been bad for the country.”

With the defeat of Mr. Altmire and Mr. Holden, a Blue Dog coalition of conservative Democrats that peaked in 2010 at 54 dipped prospectively to 23. To advocates for Mr. Critz and Mr. Cartwright, the election showed that Democratic voters are in a fighting mood, and that progressive views are again at the leading edge of the party.

Mr. Cartwright pummeled Mr. Holden for his votes against the health care law. The League of Conservation Voters joined in, highlighting the veteran’s support for Bush-era energy policies that favored oil and gas extraction, and his opposition to Mr. Obama’s effort to cap greenhouse gas emissions.

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