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Ideological myopia in the center

By Greg Sargent

Joe Klein makes an important point here, agreeing whole heartedly with the liberal critique of centrist Blue Dog Dems:

Normally, I don't have much patience for the whining on the left about the Blue Dog democrats -- who were sliced in half on Tuesday, losing at least 28 of their 54 seats. When they lose, the Democrats lose control of the Congress. This year, however, I do feel that there is an argument that, to an extent, the Dogs brought this on themselves by being penny-wise, dogpound-foolish. The argument goes like this: a larger stimulus package might have helped the economy recover at a faster clip, but the Dogs opposed it on fiscal responsibility grounds.

A second argument: the public really has had it with Wall Street, but the Dogs helped water down the financial regulatory bill, gutting the too-big-to-fail provisions. There is real merit to both points. If the stimulus had been bigger and the financial reform package clearer and stronger, the public would have had a different -- and, I believe, more positive -- sense of the President's agenda...

The point is, ideological myopia is counter-productive whether it's found on the left, the right ... or the center.

Klein's take is that the so-called "centrist" Blue Dog Dems suffered from an ideological aversion to government regulation and spending, which prevented them from recognizing that a bigger stimulus and stronger financial reg reform would have worked better in the real world. As a result, Klein notes, Dems lost big, with those very same Blue Dogs suffering heavy casualties in the process.

This is, of course, exactly what many liberals had been predicting would happen for at least a year. Yet Klein couldn't simply say he agreed with them or that they were right. Some hidden set of rules required that he also include a bit of lefty-bashing over some unspecified ideological transgressions that happened at some point.

That said, Klein really hit on the core point here. One of the mainstays of conventional punditry is that ideology is a sickness that only afflicts "extremes" on right and left. Here Klein is pointing out that liberals made the practical case, while centrists were the ones blinded by ideology. I'm glad he said it.

By Greg Sargent  | November 4, 2010; 1:28 PM ET
Categories:  2010 elections, Financial reform, Political media, economy  
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Comments

Boehner, where are the jobs you promised and when are you gonna "man up?"

Posted by: mikefromArlington | November 4, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Maybe we can get the remaining Blue Dog Democrats out next time around ; )

Posted by: JakeD2 | November 4, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Well Joe, I guess it's better to be late to the party than never show up at all.

Posted by: lmsinca | November 4, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

"The point is, ideological myopia is counter-productive whether it's found on the left, the right...or the center."

Everyone needs an editor. When that sentence was written, you'd think he would have reread it and laughed at himself. WTF is ideological myopia? It boils down to thinking you are right even though you are wrong and here is a penetrating glimpse into the obvious, everybody has that problem. So being wrong and being sure you are right is counter-productive. Maybe I could get paid to write stuff like that. I wonder.

Posted by: shrink2 | November 4, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

"Klein's take is that the so-called "centrist" Blue Dog Dems suffered from an ideological aversion to government regulation and spending, which prevented them from recognizing that a bigger stimulus and stronger financial reg reform would have worked better in the real world. ... One of the mainstays of conventional punditry is that ideology is a sickness that only afflicts "extremes" on right and left. Here Klein is pointing out that liberals made the practical case, while centrists were the ones blinded by ideology. I'm glad he said it."

D*mn straight! it was indeed the Republicrat Blue Dog Conservadems who acted ideologically by, for example, opposing all efforts for even a meager public option. No, they declared dogmatically, a government health plan is verboten. Liberals compromised and compromised again and then ended up with nothing at all while the doctrinaire (and stupid by any measure) Republicrats got just what they wanted. And now the Dems got clobbered for it. Liberals in the U.S. are quite willing to compromise. That was the entire foundation for the public option; it is the Free Market ideologues who brook no compromise. And the fact that some of these antigovernment ideologues -- the Republicrats -- reside within the Dem Caucus is the reason the Democratic Party just got walloped.

Posted by: wbgonne | November 4, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

I don't have any polling data to support this, but my Blue Dog (Matheson, Idiot-UT)almost lost his seat with his vote against health care reform. The TP candidate running against him this time didn't pick up any more of the votes than previous R's have, but Matheson lost a huge chunk of us liberals with that vote against health care reform from what I'm hearing on the ground. I think the Dogs have bitten themselves in the butt this time around.

Posted by: Michigoose | November 4, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Michigoose, check out the Dem memo I posted earlier today. It gets at some of that.

Posted by: Greg Sargent | November 4, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

@michigoose,

Where are you in UT? I used to live in there in West Jordan, Sandy and finally had a little house in Copperton.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | November 4, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Michigoose:

Like I said, maybe we can get the remaining Blue Dog Democrats out next time around.

Posted by: JakeD2 | November 4, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Dream on!

There's no proof that a larger stimulus would have "worked" any better, and the admin got the stimulus they wanted.

The idea that a "tougher" set of Wall St regulations would have helped avert electoral disaster is a fantasy.

Posted by: sbj3 | November 4, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Unless Dems can find causes to fire up younger voters in mid terms like say, the Iraq war, then expect more fear tactics to fire up the elderly that vote Republican for some odd reason.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | November 4, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

@Greg--I did, and couldn't agree more! :-)

@12Bar--in SLC, working at that Ivory Tower up on the hill. Which makes me an elitist liberal and a member of the "Not Real Amurkins".

@Jake--I've never agreed with you before, but I'll agree with you on that one!

Posted by: Michigoose | November 4, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

My wife and I are "elderly" and we voted Republican this time (usually voted American Independent Party) to stop ObamaCare.

Posted by: JakeD2 | November 4, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

@michigoose,

You must mean the state, unless you are talking about the Church office building. LOL.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | November 4, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

mikefA, stop asking Boner for a job. As he sobbed, his chin wattled as he blubbered,

"I spent my whole life chasing the American dream. I put myself through school...working every rotten job there was and every night shift I could find. I poured my heart and soul into running a small business...*self rightous sniff*...and when I saw how out of touch Washington had become with the core values of this great nation, I put my name forward and ran for office."

So you can too Mike, go out and compete with illegal labor in industries run by Boner's friends. Snap up every bad job you can find and maybe someday you too can cry in front of the camera while about your values.

Posted by: shrink2 | November 4, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

My wife and I are "elderly" and we voted Republican this time (usually voted American Independent Party) to stop ObamaCare.

Posted by: JakeD2
++++++++++

Then let's go "all in" and get rid of that vile and incredibly expensive federal government run health care system, Medicare. Elderly people can deal with the private insurance market, just like the rest of us. Pre-existing condition? Sorry, not covered.

Posted by: bearclaw1 | November 4, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

@12Bar, worse--the UNIVERSITY! And even worser--as a Research Scientist!!

Posted by: Michigoose | November 4, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

"Some hidden set of rules required that he also include a bit of lefty-bashing"

Thank you, Greg, for saying this! I am so tired of liberals being accorded second class status and the pundits' default setting being "blame liberals" with the only other option being "blame liberals or conservatives with equal equivalence."

As goes Joe Klein, I sometimes agree with him but this kind of kneejerk liberal-bashing sets my teeth on edge.

Posted by: ANDYO1 | November 4, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

leftists are not liberal

Posted by: shrink2 | November 4, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

So, looking at this chart:

http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/socdemo/voting/publications/p20/2006/tables.html

I find in 2006, during the first Dem wave, about 20% of those 18 to 24 voted.

I heard last night I think that only 16% of those voters came out this time.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | November 4, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Unless Dems can find causes to fire up younger voters in mid terms like say, the Iraq war, then expect more fear tactics to fire up the elderly that vote Republican for some odd reason.

*****

Yep, it all comes down to GOTV. Young people don't tend to vote in midterm elections. That is one of the problem we had this year.

I'm hoping the Dems come up with a coherent strategy for 2012 and can manage to get their congresscritters to toe the line. The Dems really need to work on message discipline.

The states can do their part too by ginning up some ballot measures to help turn out the youth vote (see Prop. 19 for an example.) Republicans have been doing this for decades (see all the "gays are icky" ballot measures.)

Ironically the loss of so many of the Conservadems could make attaining party unity easier. Maybe.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say turnout in 2012 will probably be largely driven by a backlash against the Tea Party and by Republican stupidity. I'm going to guess that the American populace won't take kindly to the probable Republican attempt at impeaching Obama for wearing white after labor day, or whatever other nonsense the GOP uses to justify their impending witch hunt.

Posted by: nisleib | November 4, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

"Then let's go "all in" and get rid of that vile and incredibly expensive federal government run health care system, Medicare. Elderly people can deal with the private insurance market, just like the rest of us. Pre-existing condition? Sorry, not covered."

That's exactly what I said. If we're going to get rid of the protections that were provided by the recent expansion of health care, then lets get rid of Medicare too.

Just refund everyone their inflation adjusted money and be done with it.

We can't just let a certain age group be selfish.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | November 4, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Mike

Here's the demographics compared to 2008 from Ed Kilgore:

"Voters under 30 dropped from 18% of the electorate to 11%; African-Americans from 13% to 10%, and Hispanics from 9% to 8%. Meanwhile, voters over 65, the one age category carried by John McCain, increased from 16% of the electorate to 23%".

Posted by: lmsinca | November 4, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

lmsinca, I was trying to show a comparison of mid-terms in terms of % of the age group, not the % of who showed up.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | November 4, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

@goose,

Oh, THAT! Well, you know that no state employee could possibly be creating anything. ;)

Posted by: 12BarBlues | November 4, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

All, check this out, depressing thing about the current standoff with McConnell:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/11/dems_constrained_from_respondi.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | November 4, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Just refund everyone their inflation adjusted money and be done with it.

We can't just let a certain age group be selfish.

Posted by: mikefromArlington
+++++++++++++++

Of course, you have to reduce any refund to the extent of any Medicare benefits already received.

And then be done with it. Think of the economic stimulus created by having all of those dollars invested in the private insurance market! Think how much the elderly will enjoy being denied coverage for pre-existing conditions! Think how much they will enjoy being told by their own private insurers that the operation they need isn't covered!

I think this is an excellent idea, and completely in keeping with "smaller government" and trusting private enterprise to meet all of our needs.

Posted by: bearclaw1 | November 4, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

bearclaw1:

Let's get the feds COMPLETELY OUT of healthcare : )

Posted by: JakeD2 | November 4, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Ideology has nothing to do with it, donors trump ideology 24/7.

Jeez, wake the @#$% up Klein.

Posted by: superfly13 | November 4, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

We have to operate government like a business. Elderly people are cost centers. SSDI recipients are a cash flow nightmare, (our fair state still classifies them as "mental defectives") people with severe brain disorders like schizophrenia, cerebral palsy, spinal chord injuries, they didn't even pay into the system like the old people did. On the other hand, illegal laborers are revenue centers. They contribute to a raft of entitlements they are not entitled to receive.

Posted by: shrink2 | November 4, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Greg:

As if the Dems losing 65+ seats in Congress is not "depressing" enough?!

LOL!!!

Posted by: JakeD2 | November 4, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

The Liberals don't get it - from a practical point of view, it is virtually impossible for the democrats to have a majority in either House of Congress without a large group of Blue Dogs on their side.

The liberals need the Blue Dogs - lots of them in order to have a majority.

The liberals are pretending that if the Blue Dogs were not there, the persons representing those districts would be liberal votes. That is simply not at all true, those districts elect Republicans long before those districts will elect liberals.

So, the choice is clear.

The liberals have a choice - life with the Blue Dogs and they share the majority, or they are in the minority. Clear. Simple.


.

Posted by: PolarBearMadness | November 4, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Once again, Democrats are working their way through the Kubler Ross grieving process. They are mourning the death of their majority.

Joe Klein's piece seems like the siren song of denial. People didn't reject liberalism, or Obama or anything like that. Oh no, the Democrats got screwed by the blue dogs.

yeah, that's the ticket. Let's convince ourselves of that. Why if we had only spend MORE and regulated MORE we would have been fine. But nooooooo, traitors from our own side of the aisle kept us from doing what we KNEW was right.

guys, just listen to the voices of the opposition. You know the guys who WON on tuesday? What are they repeating like a mantra? Less spending, less borrowing, less regulation. That theme won for them. Why not shake off your denial and face facts?

One of the the truly funny aspects of this excersize in denial is the contention that different, stronger financial regulation would have perserved the Democrats in power.

yeah, right. The fact is that even in his home state of CT, Dodd was a goner. The Democrats passed a huge, ugly regulatory bill that was written, and named after, an acknowledged crook.

The opposition didn't get sullied by any argument about "no regulation" instead they simply bashed the concept of regulation and won on it. That should tell the Democrats that more regulation, even regulation that is, in the opinion of Mr Klein anyway, clearer and stronger, was a loser for the election.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | November 4, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Oh okay mike, wasn't sure where you were going with it.

bearclaw

Population control, woohoo !!!!!!!

Posted by: lmsinca | November 4, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Yes, if the liberals want to end Medicare, I'll gladly help.

Hey, mike from arlington, when do we get started?

Posted by: skipsailing28 | November 4, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

shrink2:

Not even counting the money they SEND BACK HOME OUTSIDE the United States, illegal aliens cost upwards of $25 billion per year. These expenses do not include the costs of illegal aliens incarcerated in federal prisons, public safety expenditures, detention pending trial, expenses of trial proceedings, interpretation, public defenders, or the incarceration expenses of immigrants for minor offenses that do not meet the standards of the SCAPP reimbursement program.

http://www.fairus.org/site/PageServer?pagename=iic_immigrationissuecentersf134

Someone earlier was complaining about the backlog of federal courts. Wouldn't that be eased if there were no more illegal aliens to clog up the system?

Posted by: JakeD2 | November 4, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

lmsinca,

Yes, if older Americans are overwhelmingly in favor of smaller government and opposed to government-run health care, I say we accommodate them as soon as possible. Why am I paying taxes to fund government-run health care for people who are opposed to it? End Medicare now.

Posted by: bearclaw1 | November 4, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Here are just some of the raft of entitlements they ARE entitled to receive:

Public Education K-12

Public Higher Education

ESL and Bilingual Education

Food Stamps

AFDC

Housing Assistance

Earned Income Tax Credit

Medicaid

Medicare A and B

(from "The Sinking Lifeboat")

http://www.fairus.org/site/PageServer?pagename=research_researchba61

Posted by: JakeD2 | November 4, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Bearclaw, I'm with you. Let's end Medicare today. What's our first move in that direction?

Posted by: skipsailing28 | November 4, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

bearclaw1:

As I said, let's end Medicare and get the feds COMPLETELY OUT of all aspects of healthcare : )

Posted by: JakeD2 | November 4, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

I agree Jake, illegal labor is a disaster.
So why do you think they are here? Follow the money. Who profits from their work? Since they cost the country terribly and they are still here, they must be good for someone's bottom line. We know liberals don't operate small businesses, let alone Agri-business...I can't figure this out. Little help?

Posted by: shrink2 | November 4, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

skipsailing28:

How about if Obama, Biden and the remaining Dems in Congress resign?

Posted by: JakeD2 | November 4, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Oh and they do not get Medicaid (apart from kids) or Medicare, you'll just have to trust me on that. Its my job.

Posted by: shrink2 | November 4, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

shrink2:

I'll be happy to give you a little "help" just as soon as you reconcile:

A) illegal laborers are revenue centers

with

B) illegal labor is a disaster [and] they cost the country terribly.

If you are suggesting that we will all have to pay a few more cents per head of lettuce, let us.

Posted by: JakeD2 | November 4, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Jake and Skip,

Only the House can initiate legislation to
end both the taxes and the appropriations for Medicare. But with a GOP-controlled House, that should be a piece of cake. Boehner should make that a priority for the first 100 days of the new Congress. Think of the private-side stimulus -- tax reductions and a new private insurance market!

Posted by: bearclaw1 | November 4, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Greg wrote:

"Klein's take is that the so-called "centrist" Blue Dog Dems suffered from an ideological aversion to government regulation and spending, which prevented them from recognizing that a bigger stimulus and stronger financial reg reform would have worked better in the real world. As a result, Klein notes, Dems lost big, with those very same Blue Dogs suffering heavy casualties in the process."

Sorry Greg, there's no evidence that throwing much larger sums in the same losing direction would have made a difference.

Now it you were to argue that a totally different TYPE of stimulus might have produced better results, you would have my approbation.

Also you could only have had stronger fin reg if you made it a first term first month priority over HCR and hammered away it as a populist issue. You preferred HCR, so you can't have your cake and eat it too.

Finally:

"One of the mainstays of conventional punditry is that ideology is a sickness that only afflicts "extremes" on right and left. Here Klein is pointing out that liberals made the practical case, while centrists were the ones blinded by ideology. I'm glad he said it."


Aren't you tired of patting yourself on the back; and what are you congratulating yourself for?

If liberals made the practical case then why did the Dems lose 60 seats? It's just another version of "smart pundits, stupid voters" that you have been selling for 48 hours. Remember how the election was really a victory for Dems since the Tea Party kept the Reps from taking over the Senate?

I am really surprisded that you have such a strong aversion, really an allergic reaction, to admitting the obvious.

Policy wise and presentation wise we backed the wrong horses!


Posted by: 54465446 | November 4, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

It's your job to catch Medicare and Medicaid fraud, or is it your job to get as much money as you can out of those two "silos" regardless of whether the patients really have the proper documentation to be in the country legally?

Posted by: JakeD2 | November 4, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Yes, we have to pay more to stop illegal labor. They are not revenue centers, that was a sick joke, a riff on the operate-America-like-a-business joke. C3 says my jokes are not funny and sometimes I don't want them to be.

To be clear, illegal labor is a cancer, an unmitigated disaster, a disaster for them, a disaster for the social and political structures of their countries, a disaster for America, no joke. As I say, leftists are not liberal.


Posted by: shrink2 | November 4, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

The liberals are suffering from some sort of bi polar disorder around illegals.

On the one hand they want to bash businesses for hiring illegals. Why? because bashing business is mandated by liberal dogma. Liberals MUST punish success and since businesses are successful or they are gone, indiscriminate bashing is required.

On the other hand liberals oppose every attempt at stemming the tide of illegals and showing those already here the border. Why? Because illegals are an approved special victims group, according to liberal dogma.

sooooo, which is it guys? Or is the liberal ideal a country where illegals get to stay but cannot work and so must subsist on tax payer funded entitlement programs?

When you guys get strongly behind tools like E verify I'll believe your sincerity. Until then this bloviating is just the result of too much dogma and too little SEROQUEL XR (quetiapine fumarate)

Posted by: skipsailing28 | November 4, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

shrink2:

We don't have to "pay more". I say that we let all the (non-violent offender) illegal aliens out of jail and use those cost savings to start throwing the employers of illegal aliens in jail.

Posted by: JakeD2 | November 4, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Jake, illegals get health care, lots and lots of health care. But its cost is not debited to or the money for that care does not come from the M&M silos, not directly anyway. Their health care is an unfunded mandate, embedded within the highest cost centers of the health care system. They cost everybody but nobody in particular. They are dealt with as indigent even though they are not. Did I mention cancer?

Posted by: shrink2 | November 4, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

skipsailing28:

An added bonus to Tuesday's electoral romp is watching wbgonne and shrink2 go bonkers ; )

Posted by: JakeD2 | November 4, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

So bearclaw, copy me on the letter you send to Boehner demanding action. While you're at it, why not copy your congressional delegation as well. That way everyone will know where you stand on the issue.

yes, a private insurance market would work well. Just look at how well the Medicare advantage plans have performed. Why? Because they can deliver excellent service for LESS than Medicare's expected cost per capita. Amazing, ain't it?

Posted by: skipsailing28 | November 4, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

wbgonne:

On a personal note, you are coming across as very bitter and angry at everyone lately.

"Banish all dismay
Extinguish every sorrow
If I'm lost or I'm forgiven
The birds will still be singing"

After Obama won I noticed that the sun still rose the next day. The union is not broken and you will survive.

As to your (sarcastic, on the prior thread) comment: "So I guess the deficit is gone now. Good to hear."

Even Obama wants to make the middle class rates permanent... sounds as if your disagreement is with him.

shrink2:

C3 is right about your jokes. Perhaps you should take the wbgonne pledge to stop posting here too?

Posted by: JakeD2 | November 4, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

skip, liberal policies dance with Republican policies with regard to illegal labor.

It is like the old joke. A guy goes to a psychiatrist and says, "Doc you got to help me, my wife thinks she is a chicken, my life is a nightmare." The doc says, "Well maybe I can help, but why are you married to a woman who thinks she is a chicken?" The guy, nonplussed says, "In need the eggs."

Posted by: shrink2 | November 4, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Jake, you I can stand, you are capable of (rudimentary, but still recognizably human) communication. And your grand-daughter is a coastie and so you must be a productive member of society. That meth head from Georgetown, no way. But speak of youngsters gotta go for now.

Posted by: shrink2 | November 4, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

"On a personal note, you are coming across as very bitter and angry at everyone lately."

I am. But thanks for the cheer!

Posted by: wbgonne | November 4, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

wbgonne:

You're welcome! May I suggest that you join bernielatham in taking an extended leave of absence from the "The Plum Line". Do it for the children!

Posted by: JakeD2 | November 4, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

I just can't agree with this:
===============
Jake, illegals get health care, lots and lots of health care. But its cost is not debited to or the money for that care does not come from the M&M silos, not directly anyway. Their health care is an unfunded mandate, embedded within the highest cost centers of the health care system. They cost everybody but nobody in particular. They are dealt with as indigent even though they are not. Did I mention cancer?

=======================

yes, the healthcare of illegals is a mandate. That mandate is embedded in COBRA and the subsequent EMTALA laws that the congress foisted on the country. Any illegal that gets to an America ER will be screened and treated.

If by M&M you mean medicare and medicaid I have to disagree. They are funding this and to the tune of billions.

Recently I did a study of DSH payments by county, based on CMS data. I created a national average DSH payment per county and then checked each county that bordered Mexico. All of them, each county, without respect to the state they are in, had DSH payments that were higher than the national average. In many cases MUCH higher. I then compared a randomly selected number of counties that bordered Canada and discovered that these had DSH payments at or below the national average.

yes, this is an effect and I am extrapolating to the cause, but the data seems to paint a very clear picture. Since I understand the dynamics of medicaid funding for hospitals pretty well I'm convinced that the uptick in DSH is the result of the presence of illegals.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | November 4, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

wbgonne:

You're welcome! May I suggest that you join bernielatham in taking an extended leave of absence from the "The Plum Line". Do it for the children!

Posted by: JakeD2 | November 4, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Jeez, now I CAN'T leave.

Posted by: wbgonne | November 4, 2010 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Fine, then I'm leaving!

Posted by: JakeD2 | November 4, 2010 5:29 PM | Report abuse

skip, you did agree with me. Thanks. All I said was, not directly, you filled in a couple of the blanks, the way the silos deal with each other. See, it's not that hard to agree with a leftist. You can pretend you are not agreeing, but then you'd have to stop making sense.

Posted by: shrink2 | November 4, 2010 5:56 PM | Report abuse

I have heard and read countless pundits who blather on about progressives as if they are completely coterminous with Democrats, conservatives as if they were likewise totally coterminous with Republicans, and Independents as if they occupy some mythical space in between. While that might be a convenient shorthand, it really doesn't describe, I don't think, what is going on among the electorate. Independents can be found all over the ideological map, and thus cannot be assumed to be some sort of mythical "centrist" group between Republicans and Democrats. I think it is a terrible mistake, therefore, to assume that the voters were sending a message to Democrats that they must tack to the center.

Posted by: markpkessinger | November 4, 2010 6:50 PM | Report abuse

I agree with you markpkess, just right.

Posted by: shrink2 | November 4, 2010 8:06 PM | Report abuse

Was it really ideology that motivated the Blue Dogs? I thought it was money - campaign cash from the financial, insurance, weapons-making and energy companies whose special interests the Dogs were protecting. They bragged about killing the public option in health reform, watering down the Voelker rule and killing the too-big-to-fail amendments proposed in the financial reform package and whined about having to take a tough vote on "cap and trade" climate change legislation (which their counterparts in the Senate killed anyway). Who needs them?

Posted by: PeterGrfx | November 5, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Was it really ideology that motivated the Blue Dogs? I thought it was money - campaign cash from the financial, insurance, weapons-making and energy companies whose special interests the Dogs were protecting. They bragged about killing the public option in health reform, watering down the Voelker rule and killing the too-big-to-fail amendments proposed in the financial reform package and whined about having to take a tough vote on "cap and trade" climate change legislation (which their counterparts in the Senate killed anyway). Who needs them?

Posted by: PeterGrfx | November 5, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

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