Well, it appears that nothing has changed for the decimated Blue Dog coalition of self professed moderates. They have always launched their rebellion against the leadership in highly symbolic ways, while acquiescing to them like lap dogs when it really counted. Nothing has changed in this congress.
19 Democrats voted for someone other than Nancy Pelosi for Speaker:
Jason Altmire of Pennsylvania, John Barrow of Georgia, Sanford Bishop of Georgia, Dan Boren of Oklahoma, Jim Cooper of Tennessee, Dennis Cardoza of California, Jim Costa of California, Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona, Tim Holden of Pennsylvania, Ron Kind of Wisconsin, Larry Kissell of North Carolina, Daniel Lipinski of Illinois, Mike McIntyre of North Carolina, Jim Matheson of Utah, Mike Michaud of Maine, Mike Ross of Arkansas, Kurt Schrader of Oregon, and Heath Shuler of North Carolina
Yet, when it came time to vote for the Republican rules package, not a single Democrat crossed the aisle to buck their leadership. Their strategy is quite transparent. The Blue Dogs wanted to avoid being viewed in a TV ad as supporting Nancy Pelosi, so they took that off the table by voting for somebody else. But when it comes time to vote on substance, they will usually vote with their leadership. Luckily, their votes don't matter any more. We own the House!
However, it is still important that we target every remaining red district Democrat and expose their left wing voting record throughout the session. As we have explained in a previous post, there are 17 Republicans who represent blue districts (following Charlie Cook's PVI) and will be relentlessly targeted by the Democrats. While it is imperative that we rigorously defend those districts, we must also launch a counteroffensive against the 17 remaining Democrats in red districts.
A quick check of the 19 votes against Pelosi reveals that only 10 are from R rated districts while 9 are from D leaning districts. This means that there are seven Democrats who represent R leaning districts who still supported Pelosi for Speaker: Here are the Pelosi poodles:
Jerry McNerney (CA-11)
Ben Chandler (KY-6) (R+9 District)
Tim Walz (MN-1)
Colin Peterson (MN-7)(R+5 District)
Bill Owens (NY-23)
Mark Critz (PA-12)
Nick Rahall (WV-3)(R+6 District)
These guys should be toast in 2012. Any potential opponent should already be preparing a TV ad which depicts them standing on the House floor and declaring "Pelosi".