Monday, September 21, 2009

Rabid Blue Dogs

As we watch the party of Theodore Roosevelt skipping merrily down the road of utter and permanent self-destruction (TRA-LA! LA-LA-LA!) I think the time is long overdue that we have a blunt and serious discussion about the future of the party of TR's distant cousin, Franklin Delano. The tangible cockiness that has been emanating recently from certain quarters of the Democratic party is, to be polite, somewhat misplaced and extremely premature. Although they now have a substantial majority in both houses of congress, it would seem to me that they're not in control. What the hell is going on here?

Here's what's going on: Over fifty conservative Democrats in the House and Senate - the so-called "
Blue Dogs" - are hellbent on sabotaging President Obama's plans to make life better for the people of this country.

Hey, Democrats! Although I left your silly party over a decade ago, my heart is still essentially with your platform and agenda. That being said, I would ask all of you to think of me as Dr. Degan, your loving and trusted family veterinarian. After a complete and thorough examination of your beloved pets, it grieves me to offer you this final diagnosis:

Your Blue Dogs must be put to sleep.

Let's stop kidding ourselves and face some serious and uncomfortable facts here, okay? Any chance of serious health care reform is about as dead as the nails the GOP has spent the last nine years hammering into their own coffin. And the biggest irony? It was killed by a coalition of "Conservative Democrats" - or DINOs: Democrats In Name Only - which begs the musical question: With donkeys like these, who the hell needs elephants?

The Democratic party has been plagued by their conservative wing from the time they were formed in 1828. It must be remembered that the Republicans were formed in 1856 as the anti-slavery alternative to the Democrats, many of whom were southern slave owners. For almost one-hundred-and forty years, the "Solid South" was committed - although at times reluctantly - to the aspirations of the Democratic party. The conservative southerners were known as "Boll Weevil" Democrats. To be sure, for most of the Twentieth Century it was an uneasy alliance which existed between northern progressives and southern racists. For all the social and economic progress of the Roosevelt/Truman years, the half-wits that comprised the southern wing of the Democratic party just could not bring themselves to join the party of Abraham Lincoln, "that nigger-lovin' bastard that freed the slaves!"

Look away, Dixieland.

Then in 1964 and 1965 respectively, two earth-shuddering events occurred that forever destroyed the Democratic hold on Dixie: the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act. That did it, Bubbah! The very idea of equality with NEGROS was just too much for these assholes to bear. When President Lyndon Johnson signed those two laws into existence, he told his aids, Bill Moyers and the late Jack Valenti, "We've lost the south for at least a generation." It was an understatement. The "Solid South" has been solidly Republican ever since.

In a recent interview, former Mississippi senator Trent Lott said that the great migration to the GOP in the mid sixties was all about economics and had not a thing to do with race. Bullshit. It had everything to do with race. There had been a revolt once before, in 1948 when President Truman courageously told the Democratic convention that he would refuse to accept the nomination unless a comprehensive civil rights plank was included in the party platform. That was all the southern delegation needed to hear. They stormed out of the convention en masse to chants of, "Goodbye, Harry" and organized their own convention which nominated legendary jackass, Strom Thurmond, as the "States Rights" or "Dixiecrat" candidate.

In spite of this and a fourth party uprising on the far left (Henry Wallace and the Progressives) Harry Truman won the election of 1948 simply by showing courage and doing the right thing. It's an example of statesmanship that many present-day Democrats would do well to aspire to.

Fast forward sixty-one years and we find that the party of FDR's major headache is no longer the Boll Weevil racists but the Blue Dog corporatists. They have no intention whatsoever of seeing meaningful reform placed into law for their constituents. Max Baucas, the leader of the Democratic opposition to President Obama's proposed health care bill, is in the pockets of the insurance and pharmaceutical industries. He and his gang of Republicrats are determined to do the bidding of their corporate masters - you and I be damned. A reader who goes by the name of "Kat" just made an astute posting in the comments section of this piece which I think needs to be quoted:

"If I wanted [Republican] obstructionism, I'd have voted for it."

Indeed. This is certainly not the type of change I can believe in. It's time for the suits at the Democratic National Committee to get off their asses and work to defeat these worthless Blue Dogs at the primary level next year. Barack Obama's goals for the American people have been thwarted at every turn by these jackasses and their allies within the the extreme Right Wing of the GOP. They need to be brought down. The only way that is going to happen is via an uprising from within. There are enough progressive (LIBERAL) Democrats in the purplest of purple states (and even a handful of red states) to make this happen.

Sit, Blue Dog, sit! Good, Blue Dog! Nice, Blue Dog! Now be a good little doggy and lie down and play dead! On second thought, lie down and stay dead! GOOD boy!

What gives here anyway? I grew up believing that the Democratic party was the "party of the people"! I was reminded of this again last weekend when I made a little pilgrimage to the FDR Library in Hyde Park, NY. President Roosevelt ushered regular people like you and I into the twentieth century. He brought electricity to the rural south! The middle class that we all now take for granted - which hadn't even existed prior to the New Deal - is now in serious danger of vanishing. Look around you. The signs - ominous and disturbing - are all there. The entire reason for the existence of the Loony Right Wing since 1964 has been to roll back the advantages gained by the New Deal and the civil rights movement. Do you think I'm being an alarmist? Fine. Just keep sending these Right Wing extremists and these Blue Dog Democrats to Washington and see what happens.

The Democrats are not going to distinguish their party by trying to sell themselves as Republican Lite. They're not going to turn America around by foolishly preserving the policies of the last thirty years. They need to educate their constituency by showing them the folly of their abhorrence of things "Left" and "Liberal". Three-quarters-of-a-century ago, American democracy was saved by a government that was decidedly left-of center in all but a few areas. It can happen again. But it's only going to happen if WEEDA PEEPOLE refuse to turn right at the next crossroad. It is only down the road.

Now if you'll excuse me, Dr. Degan has some Blue Dogs on his table that need to be put out of our misery.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


The Defining Moment
by Jonathan Alter

This extraordinary book is the story of Franklin D. Roosevelt's first hundred days. It's also as good an example as any I can offer as to how the Liberals once saved this country. They can do it again.

For more recent postings on this subversive, commie-loving site, please do go to the link below:

"The Rant" by Tom Degan

Shame on you for even reading this stuff.


At 10:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, I'm "represented" by one of these Blue Dogs (Arcuri). He barely squeaked by in a run-off so now he has to pander to the Rethugs if he wants to retain his seat in the future. I just don't know how we get rid of these Blue Dogs in future elections...Arcuri's not likely to be chanllenged by a real Democrat since he's the incumbent, so who who do I vote for? The Rethuglican that runs against him?

Geez, if I wanted Rethug obstructionism, I'd have voted for it.


At 11:05 AM, Blogger Leslie Parsley said...

My rep here in Ten-uh-see is a BD. I have a feeling he won't be re-elected. Good article. I wrote something about them not long ago but have forgotten what it was about! ; )

At 11:23 AM, Blogger Linda Al-Sangar said...

Nice to meet you Tom Degan. I followed a link to your blog from a post you made in another comments forum. "Rabid Blue Dogs' is a good article - I will be watching for the rest of it.

At 11:29 AM, Blogger TomCat said...

Good article, Tom. I'd almost rather a Repuglican have the seat than a DINO. In the House, we still outnumber their combined efforts on most issues. In the Senate, the issue is more complex, because if we lose the majority, the Republicans get control of all the committees, and they won't calmly go along with a filibuster on every vote the way weak Harry does.

Kat, in one local election (years ago in Colorado) the Democrat was more of a wing-nut than the Repuglican. I voted for my cat. Bad news... The cat lost.

At 11:53 AM, Blogger Diane said...

How about a 3rd party like Bob Barr ran for president as, for president for 4 years? it would certainly fix many of the problems if you got rid of the current crop (most of them at least) in Washington and replaced them with libertarians.

At 1:43 PM, Blogger Darlene said...

Whoo Hoo, Tom !!! You tell them. I couldn't have said it better myself. Truth to tell, I couldn't have said it as well.

What good is a majority if some of them are wolves (Repubs) in sheep's (Demos) clothing?

At 2:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Republicans are wrong and evil
Democrats are wrong and weak
Either way, americans are screwed

At 5:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know we have read for years about "When [how] Corporations Rule
the World' (David Korten & etc.) but it always seemed a bit abstract
somehow. Now it is out in the open and very in your face. I fear for
health-care reform, and even worse, financial reform isn't getting
any traction either with the Wall Street "dogs" guarding the gates.
And of course, Obama is the convenient scapegoat, kicked from pillar
to post like a football by everybody and his brother. (Can you spare
a dime?) As you see, I'm not feeling very sanguine today!



At 7:43 PM, Anonymous Jane said...

I found your blog over the weekend and just wanted to say THANK YOU!

Fantastic analysis and commentary here.

At 8:05 PM, Blogger Tom Degan said...


Your kind words mean a lot - or, as the Beatles once said, "That means a lot."

You made my day, Jane!

All the best,

Tom Degan

At 9:55 PM, Blogger ralphlake said...

Great argument Tom--very nicely written. I assume you mean brought not bought though--


At 2:08 AM, Blogger Tom Degan said...


Yes, that is exactly what I meant. Ouch!

Thank you for pointing it out. I type too fast,

Tom Degan

At 9:52 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Oh my, I'm sure all the blue dogs are really scared by your threats!

oh me, oh my .... sit boy, sit .... lie down, boy, lie down ... sleep boy, sleep ... die boy, die ........

wow, your rant has weally, weally scawed dem. Those wascally, wabid Bwue Dogs now feel so-o-o-o tweatened, by your scawy widdle voice .... BOOOOO!! See dem jump! An inch or so I tink.

Elmer (Fudd, of course :-)

At 2:21 PM, Anonymous Frea said... there a 'list' somewhere that identifies these Blue Dogs?
I know they are out there, and I know of one for sure. I'll never vote for her again. I'm sure she's worried...NOT!
But that's only one cur in the pack.
How do you stop people like that?
It's obvious they have no conscience, so there's no way to appeal to their sense of humanity.
I'm so naive...

At 4:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The freakin Blue Dogs should have been used by Michael Vick instead of those poor abused pit bulls.No more Demo offerings of beggin strips to these demented bastards in exchange for their perfidious crap. Lets bind our wounds & send these buggers to the pound!

Great column, Tom.

Shag Schenley

At 6:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Tom

The whole damn country needs a long hot shower to remove the immoral filth that Wall Street and "W" and cronies have imposed upon us.

Most of the Blue Dogs have betrayed us

Dr. Rick Lippin

At 9:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Frea asked if there's a Blue Dog list. There sure is. Go to and click on the 'Members' link.


At 9:47 AM, Blogger Ellis D., Esq. said...

Does anyone seriously think that the establishment ( of which the Blue Dogs are members ) is interested in doing anything other than maintaining the status quo ?? All decisions made are based on greed and profit, not on what is best for the majority of our citizens. The reason we can't provide health care for ALL our legal citizens is that so much money is mis-spent on useless and unnecessary wars. These wars don't serve to make us safer.....they cause us to be hated worldwide. It would be nice if our so called leaders were intelligent enough to realize this. I guess there is only so much one can get from an Ivy League education !!

At 10:53 AM, Anonymous Leslie Parsley said...

Was in a huge hurry when I posted two days ago. Again, your research is impeccable. Being a Southern Belle (barf!), I really appreciate the historical background. Some is new, some isn't - but a solid piece of commentary nonetheless.

Mine focused on all the PAC money from the pharmaceuticals and insurance companies that go to these dogs. (Hope I haven't crossed the line here.)

At 4:03 PM, Anonymous Frea said...

OMG! I just went to the Blue Dog website (provided by Kat, thank you)
These bastards are proud of what they are doing!
I thought this website was a kind of 'watchdog' site...but it's not;it proudly brays and promotes their vitriolic agenda.
These cockroaches brag about being around for the past 15 years.
Just what does it take to rid ourselves of these self-serving morons?
Methinks Ellis D. Esq. comments are right on the money (no pun intended)--
We're so screwed....

At 4:41 PM, Blogger Linda Al-Sangar said...

Please excuse my ignorance, but after visiting the Blue Dogs website, I was a little surprised to find that this is an actual organization (I thought it was a nickname). Even more surprised to find my congressman on the membership list. How is it that my Congressman is a member of a group that I can only describe as a congress within congress? He was elected to represent this state, not some coalition. Am I missing something here? Does this coalition contribute anything meaningful to government?

At 7:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tom , your admiration for FDR is amazing. You are completely dumb.
Read this :
"On March 5, 1933, in the depths of the banker engineered “Great Depression,” newly elected Franklin Roosevelt declared a “bank holiday” that forced banks closed for four days. Roosevelt then rammed the Emergency Banking Act through the legislature. Passed by Congress on March 9, the act granted FDR near dictatorial control over the dealings of banks. It also allowed the Secretary of the Treasury the power to compel every person and business in the country to relinquish their gold and accept paper currency in exchange.

On March 10, Roosevelt issued Executive Order No. 6073, forbidding people from sending gold overseas and forbidding banks from paying out gold. A few weeks later, on April 5, Roosevelt issued Executive Order No. 6102 ordering Americans to deliver their gold and gold certificates to the Federal Reserve bank in exchange for paper fiat money.

In other words, FDR engaged in one of history’s greatest rip-offs — that is until now.
FDR not only ripped-off the American people, but foreigners holding dollars as well, thus ensuring the “Great Depression” would spread around the world like a bankster engineered contagion."

Another fact you must know abou FDR:

"In 1939, the FBI compiled a “Custodial Detention Index,” whereas FDR signed Executive Order 9066 on February 19, 1942, which permitted the incarceration of not only Japanese, but Americans, including orphaned infants and anyone deemed a “dissident” as well."

You can do your homework and do some research if you're able to think freely, but i have news for you if you don't know:

At 8:48 PM, Blogger Tom Degan said...

"Tom, your admiration for FDR is amazing. You are completely dumb."

You've been reading Mitch McConnell's revisionism, haven't you?

C'mon! Be honest!

All the best,

Tom Degan

At 9:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I found your blog after you cross posted to a right winged blog I watch to keep an eye on the opposition.
As a dem, I find your site interesting, yet I am very dismayed at your hatred for the Blue Dogs. Blue Dogs stand for Fiscal conservatism. Pay as you go rules. What is wrong with this? Do you want healthcare reform at ALL costs or at a more reasoned and measured cost? Do you want clean air so bad you cant find fiscally sound ways to promote that? If I wanted more fiscal failure Id have voted for a republican too! I love my Blue Dog Congressman. He believes in democratic principles and a balanced budget. He does not believe in spending $$ he does not have. He does not believe in raising taxes on middle income. He voted against his own automatic pay raise, where most dems did not. (What, 165k a year wasnt enough, they needed more?) What do you have to say about that?
Your position suggesting putting Blue Dogs to sleep is just as bad as Club for Greed, I mean, Club for Growth and The Eagle Forum unseating moderate republicans with far leaning right wingers. Thank goodness their little plan like that in Marylands First District meet with failure. Instead of RINO, or moderate republican, Wayne Gilchrest, incumbent of 18 years, Club for Greed and eagle forum heavily funded Andy Harris and Harris got ugly and beat Wayne out in the Primary by calling him a liberal RINO. Then came trouble. The General election - Md's first voted overwhelming for McCain for Pres 62% and Kratovil, Dem, Blue Dog, for Congress. No Obama factor for my dem, too heavy a republican district, yet moderate enough for voters to see the evil of Dr. Andy Harris. Kratovil took the seat, turned the district Blue for the first time in 18 years! Redistricting begins next year in Maryland. Is now the time to persecute my Blue Dog who captured a long coveted seat? NOT! Dont cut your nose off to spite your face. Learn from history, read about the last race in Md's First. A conservative Dem is preferred to a far leaning right winger any day.

At 10:06 AM, Blogger Tom Degan said...


You make some excellent points, no doubt. But it is my belief that America is more-than-capable of having the same type of universal health care that has existed in England and France for decades now.

And the reference to putting the Blue Dogs "to sleep" was just my twisted attempt at humor. I wish no one any harm.


Tom Degan

At 10:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for your response Tom. It is always invigorating to debate reasonably. I took no offense to your pun, put the dogs to sleep, as I recognized your satire. Although in MD's 1st, we are a little sensitive as our Blue Dog was recently hung in effigy, not for being a Blue Dog, just a dem.
Im not so sure the other commentors here recognize the implications of unseating Blue Dogs at a critical time.
Blue Dogs are an essential part of our party. They should not be disenfranchised by the base, they should be embraced.

At 10:27 AM, Anonymous SteveinTulsa said...


I only discovered your blog today following a post you made on "The Hill." Great piece, can't wait to read more.

Here in Oklahoma (reddest of red states in 2008) those of us on the left have to hunt for intelligent analysis. Your "RANT" is a refreshing break from the likes of our two hideous senators - Inhofe and Coburn - and our only democrat congressman, Dan Boren.

Danny is blue-dog son of former Senator, David Boren, and has now found his calling in the family business. Danny represents southeast Oklahoma, one of the poorest regions in a very poor state, yet he somehow can't seem to summon the courage to support a Public Option.


At 11:52 AM, Blogger Tom Degan said...

Hey there, Steve in Tulsa!

Thanks for the thoughts, pal! Keep those cards and letters coming in.

All the best,

Tom Degan

At 1:25 PM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Hey Steve, I'm a former resident of Tulsa. Not from there, but attended HS during my senior year, and graduated from TU. I had the opportunity to leave and build a new life, so did it. Is Cherry Street still around? (15th St., if I remember, right off Peoria Ave.) That was one of the few liberal enclaves back years ago (with plenty of head shops, and great independent album shops), in a city that's probably, by default, the "crown jewel" of liberalism in that reddest of red states. My daughter, although highly sought by TU admissions folks, also bid her city of birth, adios!, and attended college far enough away as to not be influenced to return too often. She's since settled in AZ and, although a lot better than the Sooner State, is still too red for her tastes. Affairs of the heart seem to have a greater influence on your whereabouts when you're young, so I'm sure she'll remain there until her soon-to-be-husband is transferred elsewhere.

I remember when James Inhofe was only the mayor of your fine city, but of course, he, like most politicians there and elsewhere, was always available to the highest bidder. Unfortunately, those doing the bidding are hardly ever the people. The residents you describe in the southeastern part of your state -- the part I wouldn't dare stop in while on road trips to, and from, Dallas -- are very similar to those in just about any rural or semi-rural part of America. They're the bedrock of a permanent underclass in this country, and as Joe Bageant brilliantly captures in his Deer Hunting with Jesus -- Dispatches from America's Class War, most don't even have a HS diploma. "Nearly everyone over fifty has serious health problems, and many have no health care. Credit ratings are low or nonexistent, and alcohol, overeating, and Jesus are the preferred avenues of escape." The rightwing has purposely courted them over the decades; they've targeted their strong sense of patriotism, as misplaced as it is, and played to their fundamentalist beliefs. It's too bad no Democrat or liberal seems able to grasp that much of this caste's eagerness to join the corporatists, at putting the liberals in their place, is revenge based. As Bageant knows, "[w]orking-class people can perceive the upper-middle-class snobbery toward them."

It's one of those mysteries I've constantly grappled with, and I'm sure you have too, that seems will never go away. I've realized we'll never become loosened from the tentacles of rightwing corporatism without their help. The fact is, liberals and working people need each other to survive the growing economic calamity that's not going to go away, easily -- if at all, and will only continue to persist until, eventually, the middle-class is only an iconic term from yesteryear.

Hope you return again to Tom's fine blog. His perspective on political and human events is never disappointing, and his humor is cutting-edge. There's been more than once that I couldn't stop laughing -- but between the laughs, his commentary is on the mark. I encourage you to visit often, and say a lot.

Hey Tom! When are you coming to DC so we can throw paper rocks at the 9/12vers? Plan a trip. There has to be more than one bar down here you haven't visited. ;-)

At 12:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

imho, the representative system has been a captured system, bought and paid for when corporations where recognized as 'persons' with the same rights and entitlements as actual, flesh and blood people...we the voters are trotted out two choices every voting season, labeled "Republican" and "Democrat", which is supposed to offer some kind of substantive differentiation, when in reality, the simulacrum of a 'representative of the people' is really a tool of whichever corporate entity bought and paid for him...this elective system is long broken and it's time to recognize that...what to do about it since our only tool is the vote, which is worthless because the product of our vote is damaged goods before we even get to vote, is the real problem...we can cry and whinge about the unfairness of it all but the corporate 'persons' will not allow the flesh persons to change this system in any real, tangible way...only the window dressings and accessories may change but the underlying broken, corrupt corporatocracy will remain, sucking the life blood out of lives, forever and ever...cheers!

At 4:40 PM, Blogger Ellis D., Esq. said...

I prefer to state the point about the representative system being broken more bluntly: The system is a SHAM. Amerikans are sold a bill of goods from the time they are first " socialized ". The government is NOT your friend.... the government is your enemy. It is time for folks to stop the bullshit and DO something about it !!!

At 4:25 AM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

You're so, so, right, Anonymous. Corporatism, or the existing corporatocracy as you mentioned, was spawned by the legal fiction of corporate personhood, which is the root cause of just about all of our social, political, and financial ills that we experience in this country. Until we start addressing and treating the real disease -- and not just the symptoms -- we'll continue to suffer the loss of our democratic values and rights as intended by the Constitution.

At 5:09 AM, Blogger ralphlake said...


The government can become your enemy. No one would deny that. But that is not because it's any kind of government but because it is a type of government run by a certain type of people.

You're saying, however, that any government is the enemy of the people. What is the mechanism for that?

At 10:34 AM, Blogger Ellis D., Esq. said...

Ralphlake....The government is the enemy when it becomes a corrupt, unresponsive detached entity with much less regard for the people it represents than paranoia over perpetuating itself by maintaining and preserving the status quo. Government is the enemy when it is out of the peoples' control. This is what we have in Amerika today I am sad to say. What good is the right to vote when all candidates have the same agenda ?? That agenda being helping the upper class hold down the middle class and the poor and create an obscene disparity in wealth. They have many mechanisms for that with IMPERIALISM being at the forefront, followed by the sick, deck stacked game they call CAPITALISM.

At 3:06 AM, Blogger ralphlake said...


I agree with most of what you're saying. Of course, capitalism is the culprit and governments are largely working hand in glove with that ideology. For it to do otherwise would imply a different political and economic system than the one we (most of the world) has. It is also a corrupt system where the rich get richer at the expense of the poorer. Granted.

However, the alternative is no rosier. Socialist governments are also rife with corruption. We needn't mention dictatorships which are built on corruption.

Socialists talk sometimes of permanent revolution (at least Trotsky did). Permanent revolution was thought necessary to avoid the calcification that comes with one party rule. When that was put into effect in China, it lead to The Cultural Revolution and the near destruction of Chinese society.

For all its many and manifest shortcomings, capitalism does create wealth and little by little the material improvement of society. It is not meant to address any other social issue. What we really need is permanent revolution within the capitalist system, something that broadens and humanizes it. We need to strengthen the socialist impulse without abandoning the drive to wealth. People make decry the latter but it's essential for the socialist program to work. The computer you are reading this on is an example of this process.

At 6:15 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

You know what makes those Blue Dogs so blue?

Blue Dog Syndrome is contracted due to the lack of oxygen up the corporate ARSE (American Republican Suppression Engine).

At 5:31 AM, Anonymous alyson emmins said...

The parallels between your commentary on 'your' right and the rantings of 'our' right (in Australia) are fascinating, except so far we don't have the threats of violence. It's certainly racism and recidivism and hatred of change ( read, loss of power and benefits) that breeds the group here to the point where one could almost see an international dalliance, if not conspiracy of the right against knowledge and change. That would be right!


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