What Do People Want in a Conservative Democrat?

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Totally agree with Jake on the 12th District politics, and I like that he said what positions his dream Blue Dog would support. Non-Jake political activists should try to be clearer about what they mean when they say we should nominate a “conservative” Democrat.

When people say that the 12th District is more conservative, I don’t think that means they want to be represented in Congress by an insurance company lobbyist. I also don’t think it means they want a Congressman who votes to let telecom companies rip you off, or let banks fraudulently foreclose on you, or trick you into some sinister financial instrument like a reverse mortgage, or let prescription drug companies charge you insane prices.

But that is the real legacy of the Blue Dog caucus. Being conservative to those dudes has basically meant emulating the worst corporatist tendencies of the Republicans.

I’m fine with Democratic candidates running to the right on issues where there’s actually support for Republican policy positions in the district, but the Blue Dogs take “conservative” much further than that, and vote with Republicans on issues where the right wing position is just unarguably terrible for their constitutents.

In many of these districts I really think there’s got to be some kind of Jacksonian populist argument that can be made against the more corporatist Republican positions, that won’t set off the usual “liberal” red flags right? The Blue Dogs certainly are not backed into those kinds of positions by popular opinion.

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