Archive for the ‘blue dog coalition’ tag
What is with the propensity to come up with comic book, superhero names for political factions, politicians and generals in Washington? Down through history, we have:
- “Old Rough and Ready” (Zachary Taylor),
- “The Railsplitter” (Abe Lincoln),
- “Old Hickory” (Andrew Jackson),
- “Young Hickory” (James Polk),
- “Sage of Monticello” (Thomas Jefferson),
- “Sons of Liberty” (anti-Loyalist group in American Revolution)
- “Copperheads” (anti-Civil War, pro-peace and possibly slavery faction of the old-school Democrats)
- “Blue Dogs” (current right-wing faction of the modern Democrats, once known as Dixie-crats”)
There are actually many more of these sorts of nicknames. The most recent to my knowledge has been this anti-health-care reform faction of Democrats known as the Blue Dog Coalition. The Copperheads, or the Peace Democrats, actually strike me as a similar group to the Blue Dogs. Although the party today and the party in the mid-19th stood for vastly different ideals, I see similarities. As we know, the Republicans in the mid-19th century were the more progressive, generally anti-slavery faction, while the Democrats were generally in favor of the South and for maintaining the institution of slavery.
The Copperheads wanted to the Civil War to end and blamed it on the abolitionists. They wanted peace, to their credit, but that would be at the expense of allowing the institution to continue. They said Lincoln was abusing his powers as president. Bizzarely, the most prominent Copperhead faction was the Order of the Golden Circle (the Golden Circle being the perceived and wished for circle of slavery extension from the southern United States around through a portion of South America back around to the South), and its most prominent politician was Clement L. Vallandigham, who was exiled in Canada for awhile.
The Blue Dogs, thus, are the fiscally conservative wing of the Democratic Party, as it exists today, but they are also, to their discredit, the more lobbied group by the health care industry:
… more than half the $1.1 million in campaign contributions the Democratic Party’s Blue Dog Coalition received came from the pharmaceutical, health care and health insurance industries, according to watchdog organizations. — Democratic Underground
and, like the Copperheads, are speaking out against the president taking too many liberties to expand federal power.
Given their ties to the health care industry, the Blue Dogs have largely adopted stances against health care reform. Go figure.