Health Care & Blue Dogs – Slogging It Out With Alternative Plans … Republicans M.I.A. … Red Dog Future?


What I like about Republicans as they prepare for 2010 is their ability to offer new ideas, to put alternatives on the table, to meet philosophical challenges head on with … oops, its the Blue Dog Democrats doing that. Where are the Republicans?

A June 29th report from the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) outlines how the progressive and conservative branch of the Democratic party, AKA the Blue Dog Democrats, are butting heads with their liberal brethren over health care, and energy, and all the things that my party should be weighing in with opinions and comprehensive alternative plans (i.e., details included).

The WSJ reported on June 29th that Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT), “… who has a long history of irritating fellow Democrats by deviating from party orthodoxy, is working hard to forge a health bill that can attract Republican support.”

Talk about a bipartisan moment, Senator Baucus’ plan slashes the Obama Health Care Plan to $1 trillion from $1.6 trillion, in part by trimming subsidies for the uninsured. Senator Kent Conrad (D-ND) contributed to the Baucus plan of by creating a nonprofit cooperatives to offer health insurance, rather than a public plan. These guys should be Republicans … or maybe we should be what they are?

Anyone interested in becoming Red Dog Republicans? That which unites us and the Blue Dogs makes us Americans, seeking answers for a united America — rather than a permanently divided set of colors and dogma. If these Blue Dogs are reaching out their hands to seek our support shouldn’t we be at the table? (Say Yes!)

The energized give-and-take of ideas has even led to growth within the  conservative “Blue Dog Coalition” — 52 members in the House — a group of mostly Southern Democrats concerned about fiscal responsibility.

Another Blue Dog-like group, the “New Democrats”  with a pro-business agenda have grown their House membership to 68  from 60 since the last election.

So our guys, the Republican Class of 2010, should be thinking that only great things are ahead if the pro-business, pro-fiscal responsibility sector of the Democratic party are growing in numbers … oops, Republican popularity dropped another 2 percentage points over the last month or so. Gosh darn it! What’s up with that?

Thinking to myself that maybe our guys just weren’t getting their point across — not that I can recall any recent points or ideas made by our guys — I went to the source of all knowledge: Google.

Lo and behold the Republicans did offer some ideas in mid-June … so why can’t I recall that? (Must be senility … although I do pay attention and look for this stuff).  CNN provided coverage and outlined the Republican 2-page plan (should be easy to understand, eh?!).

One of the Republican point men for the  health care alternative plan is Representative Dave Camp (R-MI), with support and ideas from Republican  progressives like Representative Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Eric Cantor (R-VA) — although in an interview last week Cantor could not explain what this plan actually did, or how it worked.

Seems to me that we Republicans are getting pummeled on issues that we should be winning on, and the best champions thereof. But pesky details … or plans lacking details or support from more than a handfull of Republicans … just isn’t a plan.

Could it be that to be successful we first need to take on some sacred cows within our own party? Could it be that we progressives are more concerned with being ravaged by the right wing of our own party than any concern for doing battle with the other party.

Could it be that we have followed the party line so closely since 1994 that we do not know how to debate issues without first knowing what the party line is?

Could it be that it’s Red Dog time?

Just a thought.

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1 Comment

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One response to “Health Care & Blue Dogs – Slogging It Out With Alternative Plans … Republicans M.I.A. … Red Dog Future?

  1. Darrel Maire

    Great posting

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