The Hunt is on for Blue Dog Democrats

May 2, 2012
In The News
By Joseph Cotto

Due to copyright laws, only excerpts are available.  To read the column, please visit the Washington Times directly at the link below.

Over the last several years, the media has placed great focus on the fact that moderate Republican politicians are not only becoming a rare breed, but in fact stand ripe for extinction during low-turnout primary races.

As an Eisenhower-Rockefeller Republican myself, this has come as news of only the most unwelcome variety. However, I have also been perplexed that news of centrist Democrats being targeted and defeated in a similar fashion has not been in the news. Last week, said puzzlement waned as two prominent Blue Dogs from Pennsylvania's U.S. House delegation, namely Representatives Tim Holden and Jason Altmire, went down to defeat at the hands of left-leaning, if not outright left-wing, challengers.


"Redistricting and a broken, polarized Congress have made it tough to be a moderate," Representative Mike Ross of Arkansas, the House's leader of Blue Dog Democrats, observed. Chris Stirewalt, a writer for, dug a bit deeper: "Three consecutive wave elections have left Americans with the most conservative House since the 1930s, the most liberal president since Lyndon Johnson and the Senate at a standstill. With so little middle ground, voters will face a stark and decisive moment this fall."


Should our indisputably broken political process ever be placed back together, it will require a strong coalition of unabashed moderates to do so. With the conditions that Ross spoke about, though, this appears to be a feat harder to accomplish now than ever before. What a shame that is.

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