Blue Balls

Seriously, the balls on these people:

Rep. Heath Shuler predicted Thursday that Speaker Nancy Pelosi would act in the “best interest” of the Democratic Caucus and bow out of leadership, but said he would challenge the California Democrat for Minority Leader if she tried to stay on and no “viable alternative” candidate emerged.

“If there’s not a viable alternative — like I said all along — I can go recruit moderate Members to run in swing districts,” said Shuler, a leader of the fiscally conservative Blue Dog Coalition. “In that situation, I could do it better than she could, and that’s what it’s going to take. It’s going to take moderate candidates to win back those seats.”

The North Carolina Democrat said he didn’t “think it would be in the best interest” of House Democrats for Pelosi, a liberal, to be Minority Leader, and he predicted she would step aside in the wake of Tuesday’s election in which Democrats lost at least 60 seats. Pelosi has not yet said what her next move will be.

Just to recap, the bluedog coalition was summarily rejected by the voters on Tuesday, and were annihilated, and even Joe Klein will admit they lost because of their own stupidity. The progressive caucus, on the other hand is alive and kicking, with perhaps only three losses.

So obviously, the emaciated blue dogs should come out and start dictating what the majority of the caucus should and should not do.

And am I wrong to see Steny’s hands all over this?

100 replies
  1. 1
    numbskull says:

    Yeah, and this ASSHOLE lied his way into Act Blue money and similar liberal sources to get elected to begin with. If just one Blue Dog gets primaried, this ASSHOLE should be it. Hell, John, let’s start passing the hat today. We should have a nice pile in about a year. Let’s take a personal interest in this ASSHOLE.

  2. 2
    Tom65 says:

    Shitty quarterback, worse rep.

  3. 3
    cleek says:

    So obviously, the emaciated blue dogs should come out and start dictating what the majority of the caucus should and should not do.

    and this would be different… how?

    but he is right: it will take moderates to win back those seats, because those are toss-up districts. … but most of those districts are going to change, in the next year or so, when they get redrawn.

  4. 4
    burnspbesq says:

    Given what we are learning about the brain trauma suffered by NFL players, why does anyone listen to Heath Shuler about anything?

  5. 5
    jeffreyw says:

    You shoot at the Queen, you better not miss.

  6. 6
    geg6 says:

    Well, we are talking about Heath Shuler here. Not exactly the brightest bulb in the box, John. He probably hasn’t figured out that all his base belongs to us and all his prayer buddies have been kicked to the ditch.

    Eventually, it’ll dawn on him. Maybe.

  7. 7
    WyldPirate says:

    So obviously, the emaciated blue dogs should come out and start dictating what the majority of the caucus should and should not do.

    You obviously have not gotten the message about the election:

    1. We are a center-right nation.
    2. Obama’s liebrul, islamososhulist agenda was REFUDIATED!
    3. Palin and the Tea Party emerged looking strong than evah!

    Carry on….

  8. 8
    Dennis SGMM says:

    Right, and if Obama will just move to the center then we’ll be on our way to tax cut heaven and full economic recovery for the richest ten percent of the nation.

    Steny’s hands aren’t all over this but, the slime trail he leaves behind him sure as hell is.

  9. 9
    danimal says:

    And am I wrong to see Steny’s hands all over this?

    Possibly. Though it’s entirely possible that Steny is setting up Heath for the fall. Eliminates a potential rival from the squishy Dem camp if Shuler fails to beat Nancy.

  10. 10
    JGabriel says:

    HuffPo:

    Businessman Killed By Lions In Zimbabwe

    That’s what this country needs. More fuckin’ lions.

    .

  11. 11
    Steve says:

    Nancy Pelosi was a great Speaker. Whether or not she should be minority leader (I think it’s up to her) she deserves better than to have backbenchers kick her when she’s down.

    Sure, if I were a conservative Dem and I had to watch 34239 negative ads linking me to Nancy Pelosi, I might be a little grumpy too. But think about this for a second. The Senate Democrats, instead of being led by a liberal coastal elite, are led by a mild-mannered, moderate red-stater who is pro-gun and anti-choice, among other things. Did that stop the GOP from making Harry Reid into an unpopular, polarizing figure? Did it insulate the Senate Dems from being called liberal extremists? I don’t think so.

  12. 12
    Kryptik says:

    And am I wrong to see Steny’s hands all over this?

    You might be. After all, Steny usually doesn’t directly undermine Pelosi until she actually says something. Then it usually doesn’t take him longer than a couple hours to completely undermine her publicly. This sounds more like Heath Shuler being a predictable Blue Dog, and hamstringing the party because he can.

  13. 13
    Tomjones says:

    Bit of a post hoc fallacy, isn’t it? The reason the members of the progressive caucus did so well on Tuesday is that they by and large aren’t in competitive districts.

    Where they were, they got creamed, a la Grayson.

  14. 14
    WereBear says:

    @JGabriel: Kind of a Saul Bellow out of Suddenly, Last Summer, there.

    Speaking of balls, all writers should know about this dustup:

    A Tale of Two Tarts

  15. 15
    Ella in New Mexico says:

    You shoot at the Queen, you better not miss.

    Businessman Killed By Lions In Zimbabwe
    That’s what this country needs. More fuckin’ lions.

    Two best posts of my day.

    As to Shula, explain to me again–how are twelve mangy Blue Dogs gonna take over leadership of 186 members of Congress?

  16. 16
    patrick says:

    I’m still in shock over the loss of Jim Oberstar, who was the rep for the district I grew up in (MN-08) SINCE I WAS BORN….I called up my parents (who still live there) and just asked
    “what the heck?”

    IMHO we need a strong minority leader, which is Nancy, in there….not some blue dog schmuck giving Boehner BJ’s…

    If she ain’t it, I’d like it to be Anthony Weiner…..

  17. 17
    Davis X. Machina says:

    Steny Hoyer has been encouraged by Bruno Tattaglia to start his own family on the east coast….

  18. 18
    Bob Loblaw says:

    @jeffreyw:

    The Queen just got shot 60 times and is on life support…

  19. 19

    @Steve:

    Excellent point. If Zombie Ronald Reagan rose from the grave and shambled into the Congress talking about granting amnesty to illegal immigrants and tripling the national debt like he did when he was alive, the GOP would run his commie-pinko Hollyweird ass outta town.

  20. 20
    morzer says:

    Heath Shuler had better forget about trying the Hail Mary and get his hairy little ass down on its knees for some Hail Nancy.

  21. 21
    p.a. says:

    @numbskull: I second this.

    If the fucking Blown Dogs had spent as much energy attacking Republicans and their bullshit ideology as they did undermining their own party’s positions… aah, just fuck ’em.

  22. 22
    beltane says:

    Does this mean that those of us in Dem held districts should call our reps to voice our support for Nancy?

  23. 23
    cat48 says:

    Did this fucker vote for hcr??

    The fuckin media keeps saying she should leave all together. This is a bunch of crap. She won at 70%…..she’s the only one I trust except for Clyburn. We need him in this state. I realize some hate him, but he’s a good person.

    They’ve said more than once that she should bow out gracefully like Hastert. I want her in the House.

  24. 24
    Pancake says:

    I thought Heath’s main point was that the Dems in the House are basically maxed out since there’s not much stomach for them in any other states/cities beyond where they now hold office. If they want tp expand their number, he seemed to be saying that they would have to “moderate” their views and leaders in Congress.

  25. 25
    MattR says:

    @morzer:

    Heath Shuler had better forget about trying the Hail Mary and get his hairy little ass down on its knees for some Hail Nancy.

    Have you seen Heath Shuler play? He doesn’t have the arm strength to throw a Hail Mary.

    @Pancake: If that is his point, it is a stupid one. Were the Democrats in the House maxed out in 2006? Were the Repulicans maxed out in 2010? I dobn’t expect much from you, but at least try.

  26. 26
    Martin says:

    If Nancy does step down or retire I would love to see Barney Frank in the leadership role. The House isn’t going to accomplish a fucking thing over the next 2 years, so we might as well get someone who can speak clearly to what the GOP is offering and be entertaining to boot.

  27. 27
    Zifnab says:

    @Betty Cracker: Bullshit. They’d run him for President on the platform that deficits don’t matter and it’s Democrats who want to grant amnesty don’t believe anyone who says differently.

    I’m not worried what Republicans will say. I’m worried about the several billion dollars they’re going to get next year from their corporate masters to say it.

  28. 28
    beltane says:

    If Nancy steps down, how about Raul Grivalja instead? He was reelected in a tough district in a tough year without selling out or being an asshole. The fact that the Republicans will make jerks of themselves demonizing a prominent Latino can only bode well for 2012.

  29. 29

    And we wonder why the kids are having trouble with math.

  30. 30
    Joshua says:

    @Pancake: Yea, kind of like how Republicans moderated their views after 2006 and 2008.

    American voters might be dumb, but there’s no point in voting for a phony DINO “Blue Dog” when the real thing is on the other side of the ballot.

    Does Tim Kaine still have a job? If so, why?

  31. 31
    morzer says:

    @MattR:

    Thus “forget about TRYING the Hail Mary”.

    Honestly, what do they teach them in schools these days? I blame the parents. Unless the guilty parties are the parents, in which case I blame the kids.

  32. 32
    balconesfault says:

    The critical vote came last summer, when Dems wanted to push through a second stimulus, when it was clear that the first stimulus had stopped the bleeding but not turned things around.

    The Blue Dogs killed the second stimulus.

    It is possible that any Tea Partier who hated Dems for the first stimulus was suddenly going to hold their powder this election because one of those Dems didn’t support the second stimulus?

    No, it is not possible. The Blue Dogs were like drowning men who refused to grab onto a life preserver because it wasn’t a Jet Ski.

  33. 33
    morzer says:

    @Joshua:

    Right. Why order the low-fat shit burger, when you can have the full service one in all its greasy glory?

  34. 34

    @Bob Loblaw: I think you meant to say that Nancy Pelosi got 80% of the vote in her district, meaning that her constituents are quite happy with her and she’s not going anywhere.

  35. 35
    kindness says:

    Wasn’t Heath elected two years ago with ActBlue money?

    We should sue his dumb ass for all of it back. Fuck him.

  36. 36
    John Cole says:

    Bit of a post hoc fallacy, isn’t it? The reason the members of the progressive caucus did so well on Tuesday is that they by and large aren’t in competitive districts.

    Where they were, they got creamed, a la Grayson.

    I love it when folks come in to correct me and then start slinging nonsense like this.

    Grayson wasn’t in a “competitive” district. He was in an extremely conservative district and never should have won in 2008. And then he spent the next two years driving Republicans insane and going out of his way to make sure they painted a target on him, they did, and he lost.

  37. 37
    cmorenc says:

    WITH REGARD TO HEATH SCHULER: yes, many good points about Schuler (and other blue dogs’) lack of insight and sheer brass in light thereof are well-taken.

    NEVERTHELESS, those of us in North Carolina are all too painfully aware that Schuler won the NC-11 Congressional seat (far western North Carolina) by defeating an immensely more odious and regressive GOP congressman, Charles Taylor, who had previously held that seat for many years. By comparison (and relative to the predominate electorate of that district), Heath Schuler IS a liberal, or at least about as close to a progressive Congressperson as is electable from that district. IF there was such a thing as a congressional district that JUST included the Asheville metro area, chances would be very good that a genuine progressive could win election – Asheville itself is a new-age, progressive oasis smack in the middle of a much larger area of western North Carolina that was deep-red Republican even back in the era when the Democratic party was so immensely dominate that except for a small handful of Republicans from western NC, it was virtually the ONLY party in North Carolina.

    In other words, you may not like it, but Heath Schuler is as good as it will ever get for a congressman from that part of North Carolina, at least for another decade or so. Be careful what you wish for – I guarantee you’ll like any replacement who defeats him infinitely less better, and who will be guaranteed to be infinitely more destructive. For example, consider the next congressional district over (in the far west/southwestern piedmont of North Carolina) which just reelected Patrick McHenry by large margins. McHenry has been one of the most extreme (and stupid) far-right ideologues in the US Congress, even before the Tea Party movement ever started – he almost makes Michelle Bachman sound sane by comparison.

  38. 38
    Perry Como says:

    And am I wrong to see Steny’s hands all over this?

    Those aren’t his hands.

  39. 39
    morzer says:

    @kindness:

    Wasn’t Heath elected two years ago with ActBlue money?

    Like many men of minimal natural endowment, Mr Shuler has developed delusions of grandeur minutes after taking the blue pill.

  40. 40
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @John Cole:Intending ‘competitive’ in the sense of ‘cover the spread’, I am sure.

  41. 41
    beltane says:

    @Joshua: Tim Kaine is useless. We need a DNC chair who can boost morale in tough times and it sure ain’t him.

    And can’t they find something for Eliot Spitzer to do? The Republicans just elected a bunch of crooks, pedophile enablers, whoremongers, and other assorted riffraff on Tuesday; surely we can bring back Eliot Spitzer in some capacity.

  42. 42
    Zifnab says:

    @Pancake:

    If they want tp expand their number, he seemed to be saying that they would have to “moderate” their views and leaders in Congress.

    That’s been the line since the 90s, and it rarely works. How is it that the Republicans always get it but the Democrats never do? The Democrats can’t get elected in red states because they are Democrats. Policy Shmolicy. If they want to win, they need a faux-independent group that pretends to be not-Democrats but rallies the base to vote for Democrats all the same. A liberal Tea Party, if you will.

    Democrats have spent the last 40 years losing the south because they can’t do what Republicans figured out in a meager four years. Rebrand.

  43. 43
    General Stuck says:

    Nancy The Great ain’t goin’ no where.

  44. 44
    Bob Loblaw says:

    @Joseph Nobles:

    Yes, because getting the votes for a leadership position is entirely due to performance within a rep’s own district and has nothing to do with the broader caucus whatsoever…

    You people are acting like it was just the Blue Dogs that got wiped out. Spratt, Shelton, Oberstar…these were committee chairs with longstanding tenure and they went down too. It doesn’t matter if Nancy wins 100% of San Francisco if other reps don’t trust her ability to protect her own people, let alone the random backbenchers.

  45. 45
    morzer says:

    @beltane:

    The Republicans just elected a bunch of crooks, pedophile enablers, whoremongers, and other assorted riffraff on Tuesday; surely we can bring back Eliot Spitzer in some capacity.

    Beltway rule 76.3b sub-section C (the Andrew Alexander clause):

    Liberals who fuck whores are automatically worse than conservatives who rape children.

  46. 46
    Citizen Alan says:

    Can I just remind everyone that Heath Shuler, in addition to being a douchebag Blue Dog, is also a member of that creepy C Street sex cult. You know, “The Family,” the one that says its morally acceptable for members to have extramarital affairs because their status as powerful politicians means that God has already pre-forgiven them. He lives in that mansion where Mark Sanford, John Ensign and Chip Pickering all met with their mistresses.

    Might I humbly suggest that everyone call Congressman Shuler’s D.C. office ((202) 225-6401) and inquire as to whether he has been engaged in any illicit sexual activities while living at the C Street Mansion, since we should probably know about such things before we support him for any high-level position. Perhaps we should also ask him whether he agrees with David Coe, his spiritual mentor, that Christians should love Jesus in the same way that Nazis loved Adolph Hitler?

  47. 47
    RosiesDad says:

    @Joshua:

    American voters might be dumb

    Might is giving them way too much credit. Not only are they stupid and uninformed but they also have an incredible case of amnesia.

  48. 48
    General Stuck says:

    @beltane:

    The Republicans just elected a bunch of crooks, pedophile enablers, whoremongers, and other assorted riffraff on Tuesday; surely we can bring back Eliot Spitzer in some capacity.

    Maybe if he changed his name to Elliot Ness, otherwise, I got no problem with whoremongering, it’s hypocrisy that burns.

  49. 49
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Zifnab: Here are the three futures:

    A.) The Democrats win the South, but cease to be Democrats, or
    B.) the Democrats continue to be Democrats, and consequently lose the South,
    or
    C.) the South ceases to be “the South”.

    The quartum quid is a mirage….

  50. 50
    Zifnab says:

    @beltane:

    And can’t they find something for Eliot Spitzer to do?

    What? He’s no good on day time cable?

  51. 51
    morzer says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    Or: the South becomes increasingly Hispanic, especially in Texas, and the GOP continues its long retreat to being the retirement home for hateful white people.

  52. 52
    Zifnab says:

    @Davis X. Machina: If the Republicans can run on saving Medicare and lowering the national debt, I don’t see why the Democrats can’t run on segregation and a non-existent tax base.

    No one says they actually have to deliver. They just need to plow a few million dollars into these cheap ass states telling the idiot voters what they want to hear.

  53. 53
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Zifnab:

    Democrats have spent the last 40 years losing the south because they can’t do what Republicans figured out in a meager four years. Rebrand.

    Agreed.

    Now let’s see …where is that multi-billion dollar TV network / propaganda mill I saw laying around the house just the other day. It sure would come in handy for this rebranding exercise…

    [checks under the sofa cushions]

    Nope, sorry, I can’t find mine.
    Have you got one, perchance?

  54. 54

    @Bob Loblaw: Oh, forgive me. Your metaphor made it seem you were one of the idiots crowing about “Nancy is DOA! The witch is dead!” without seemingly being aware that Nancy won on Tuesday as did quite a large number of the progressive caucus.

    Everybody you list, funnily enough, were in increasingly conservative districts. And I do believe you are confusing the roles of the Speaker and the Majority Leader. The Speaker’s main job is to get the legislation of the Party through the House. Pelosi did this admirably.

    ETA: And what is Chris Van Hollen’s role in all this, by the way?

  55. 55
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Zifnab: We don’t lie (much) and they do (a lot).

    There are worse things than losing elections.

  56. 56
    MikeJ says:

    @Zifnab:

    Democrats have spent the last 40 years losing the south because they can’t do what Republicans figured out in a meager four years.

    Democrats have lost the south for 40 years because the Republicans will hold rallies in favor “states’ rights” in places most famous for lynchings. A solid majority of Dems these days think slavery was pretty bad all in all. That ain’t gonna win you any seats in dixie.

  57. 57
    New Yorker says:

    Looks like Shuler sucks even worse as a Congressman than he did as a quarterback.

    Also too, aren’t there enough hippies in Asheville who could primary his ass?

  58. 58
    Mark S. says:

    Maybe I shouldn’t nitpick on an otherwise pretty good Jokeline post (!), but:

    As I write in my print column this week, there is some blame to be shouldered by the Pelosi wing as well, diluting the focus of the stimulus package with a standard Democratic wish list and making the health care reform less market-oriented than it should have been, by moving 16 million people into medicaid.

    Because nothing is more market-oriented than having the government subsidize people to buy private insurance. But dipshit pundits have been conditioned to always think the market works the best, even when it clearly doesn’t (education, infrastructure, etc.).

  59. 59
    Ash Can says:

    @Bob Loblaw: Huh? How is it Pelosi’s job to “protect her people,” and not the DNC’s, and (especially) the DCCC’s? Why should Pelosi step down and not Chris Van Hollen?

  60. 60
    gwangung says:

    Also too, aren’t there enough hippies in Asheville who could primary his ass?

    Ah, see @cmorenc.

    Context matters. People around here lose sight of the local view while expounding on the need for more progressive politicians. It ALWAYS has to be in the context of the local voters.

    Ignore that, and the voters will say, “Fuck you, outsiders.”

  61. 61
    Ash Can says:

    @cmorenc: This. It’s awfully difficult to change blue dogs without changing their electorates. We can piss and moan till the cows come home, but once the polls open the only people who can do jack about it are the voters who actually live in that district. Sad but true.

    ETA: And, what gwangung said.

  62. 62
    gwangung says:

    It’s awfully difficult to change blue dogs without changing their electorates.

    I like this.

    And that means grassroots efforts, one to one.

    Hard work, hm?

  63. 63
    jlw says:

    OT, but kinda important to understand all this stuff:

    People on the right are trying to spin this as a revolt of the white majority, but the exit poll data point to something really peculiar. White evangelicals increased their share of the voter population from 24 percent in 2006 to 30 percent on Tuesday, and increased their devotion to the GOP from 70 percent to 78 percent. So if you back out the white evangelicals as a separate ethnic group, you get

    White/ev — 78/22 GOP/Dem
    White/non-Ev — 49/51
    Black — 9/91
    Latino — 33/67
    Asian — 41/59

    So a majority of every group _except_ the white evangelicals voted for the Democrats.

    What’s more, when you plug in the increase in voters since the 2006 midterms, it turns out that while there were 6 million more total voters this year, there were 7 million more white evangelical voters and they _all_ voted Republican. (The number of white evangelicals voting Democratic, according to the exit polls crossed with the turnout data, was a constant 6 million.)

    There were other differences to be sure — 4 million more older voters going Republican, for instance — but the dominant factor was the surge in white evangelical conservative voters. They wanted this election more than we did, and they won it.

  64. 64
    Joshua Norton says:

    I can go recruit moderate Members to run in swing districts

    Rahm Emanuel 2.0 – thanks but no thanks.

  65. 65
    Bob Loblaw says:

    @Ash Can:

    Van Hollen’s leadership career is dead. He just oversaw the second worst defeat in a century. He’ll never get anywhere above the committee level, and even then he’ll always have this stink on him no matter how quickly the party recovers as a whole.

    I’m not saying Pelosi definitively will or won’t be voted Minority Leader, I’m just saying that there are a lot of Representatives seriously weighing their options right now about how to deal with this new two year (or more likely, four year) stint back in the minority.

  66. 66
    Lawnguylander says:

    @John Cole:

    Hold up, most of the progressives who won were not in competitive districts like Grayson’s, that’s what I think TomJones said. He’s not in disagreement with you on that point. And Grayson’s district is not extremely conservative, it leans Republican. +2 according to Cook but it did go for Obama by 5 points. I suggest taking a look at the analysis that a guy named Yeggo did yesterday for context on where and why Blue Dogs and Progressive Caucus members lost. The Blue Dogs who lost were mostly in districts like Grayson’s and in many cases, much more conservative districts. TomJones is largely right. So many of them ended up losing anyway so, yeah, it would have been nice to see them act like liberals and see how it would have worked out but it’s hard to see how being more conservative than Nancy Pelosi was obviously stupid.

  67. 67
    Joshua says:

    @RosiesDad: Sure but only one party takes advantage of that. While Republicans run on the same old turds from decades ago (they don’t even bother to polish them), Dems spend their time apologizing for Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter and “librul overreach.”

    I wonder what would have happened had Democrats actually enacted the agenda they were elected to enact. My guess is the enthusiasm gap would not have existed, and this election would not have gone the way it did.

  68. 68
    Cermet says:

    @Ash Can: Strange, but if the unemployment was falling and if real health care passed, many blue dogs would have won re-election; turn out was the key and it failed. How else did most win before? Sorry, thugs are too stupid to vote against fellow thugs just because their leader cheney with his hand puppet bush ran the country into the ground.

  69. 69
    Ash Can says:

    @Bob Loblaw: And I’m saying that it makes no sense to pin it on Pelosi, because it’s not her job to get the other Dems in the House re-elected.

  70. 70
    Lawnguylander says:

    Forgot the link to the guy named Yeggo. Here it is.

  71. 71
    beltane says:

    @jlw: Your comment deserves its own post. That is some fascinating data you provided us with. It sounds like 2010 was similar to 2004 with zombie evengelicals deciding the election. Is it OK to scapegoat these people for plunging our country into the abyss?

  72. 72
    Comrade Sock Puppet of the Great Satan says:

    “Van Hollen’s leadership career is dead.”

    This pisses me off.

    GOP fuckwits – Santorum, Gingrich, Palin, etc., can screw the pooch royally, fuck up on a monumental scale, and still be a celebrity welcome at the national GOP level.

    A Democrat can get buried by a load of GOP slime (cf. Kerry, J.) and we treat them like herpes.
    Even Gore had to win an Oscar and a Nobel to come out from the cold.

  73. 73
    TuiMel says:

    I called the Speaker’s office today to thank her for her courage and for doing the heavy legislative lifting – while powerful men let her do so. Nancy Smash indeed.

  74. 74
    Zifnab says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ:

    Nope, sorry, I can’t find mine.
    Have you got one, perchance?

    Republicans didn’t build FOX News overnight. Democrats have DKos and a bunch of other grass roots operations. And the President has been pushing OFA or whatever it’s called. But this is the sort of thing Democrats should have been doing decades ago.

    You don’t need a multi-billion dollar operation to rebrand (although if you want to do it quick, it helps). But you do need to at least get the ball rolling. I just feel like Democrats aren’t interested in your votes unless you promise to hand them victory on a silver platter. Republicans will spend years getting laughed on and tossed out until they hit on something that pulls in voters. The leadership in each party is in a totally different place.

  75. 75
    MikeJ says:

    @Zifnab:

    I just feel like Democrats aren’t interested in your votes unless you promise to hand them victory on a silver platter

    And many Dem leaning voters aren’t interested in voting unless they get a pony every day starting yesterday.

    Both the party and the voters need to think longer term.

  76. 76
    Joshua says:

    @beltane: And they would be fine with that, since the abyss = Jesus coming back!

    I’m not really sure if this has sunk in with the non-wingnut populace yet: the evangelicals support politicians and policies they believe will bring about the Rapture quicker.

    You’re never going to convince them to stop voting this way, because you know, it’s their religion and all. The only way to halt their influence is to beat them.

  77. 77
    Sanka says:

    The progressive caucus, on the other hand is alive and kicking, with perhaps only three losses.

    Yeah. Because the 80% in districts like Pelosi’s or Waters or Rangel were REALLY sitting on the ideological fence. Those districts really dodged a bullet this time around, boy.

  78. 78
    joe says:

    We, the long-suffering fans of the Skins, called this crappy quarterback Baby Heath. He was terrible, found new and inventive ways to fumble and throw interceptions.

  79. 79
    Suck It Up! says:

    @Zifnab:

    Democrats have DKos and a bunch of other grass roots operations.

    No one has Dkos and a bunch of other grass roots operations. They pride themselves on being independent of The Man so they aren’t going to do anything the Dems tell them.

  80. 80
    jlw says:

    @beltane: I’d love to see these figures get some publicity, so if you know how to get it on the front page, I’d be grateful. For anyone who wants to check my math, the exit poll data is available via CNN and the Pew Center, and the turnout data was from an AP article (published in the Trentonian). Cross multiply and voila.

    What’s interesting is that the focus was on the amorphous, hard to pin down “Tea Party” demographic, when the real decisive action was among the evangelicals that no one was talking about. It’s almost as if the Tea Party folks were a diversion: If the traditional left-ish groups realized that the evangelicals were going to make a push (or putsch) in this election, maybe they would have spent less time shitting on each other and more time getting out the Democratic vote. It will be interesting, in the Chinese curse sense, to see what the evangelicals do with their newly gained power.

  81. 81
    suzanne says:

    @beltane: Grijalva would be so damn awesome.

  82. 82
    Steeplejack says:

    @jeffreyw:

    Heh. Win.

  83. 83
    Cheryl from Maryland says:

    @Tom65: Word.

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    Mnemosyne says:

    @Lawnguylander:

    So many of them ended up losing anyway so, yeah, it would have been nice to see them act like liberals and see how it would have worked out but it’s hard to see how being more conservative than Nancy Pelosi was obviously stupid.

    It was the point where they decided to run against a popular president who had won their districts and gotten them elected on his coattails two years previously. At that point, people are thinking, “If I’m going to vote for a representative who hates Obama and will do everything he can to block his agenda, why not vote for the Republican?” The Blue Dogs were unable to answer that question, so they got their asses kicked.

  85. 85
    joe from Lowell says:

    Oh, Heath, haven’t you learned yet that you’re not a starter?

    Anyway, that’s quite a larf about Pelosi not being able to win back the House. Somebody remind me, who was the House Minority Leader the last time the Democrats won back the House?

    Oh, right…

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    drkrick says:

    @burnspbesq: He didn’t play enough for that to be an issue.

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    Steeplejack says:

    @jlw:

    It will be interesting [. . .] to see what the evangelicals do with their newly gained power.

    What power?! They just voted in the same gang of Republicans douchebags who pander to them ideologically but don’t do anything for them substantively. The Republicans held Congress for most of the last decade, and when exactly did they take any action to restrict abortion rights, which is supposed to be such a hot-button issue with evangelicals?

    The evangelicals gave the GOP the keys to the car, and the GOP is waving in the rear-view mirror as they drive away.

  88. 88
    SlyFox says:

    Damn, them tackles fucked him up when he played for the Saints. Its not happening Heath. Your 12 member blue dog caucus may vote you in, but the rest are Pelosi’s babe.

  89. 89
    Jeff says:

    @Comrade Sock Puppet of the Great Satan: It may not be Van Hollen’s fault, of course, but he’ll be blamed for it. I put the blame also on
    Tim Kaine’s lame-brained tenure as DNC chair. He was virtually invisible throughout the campaign, and the losses in Virginia, which is his backyard, shows that he didn’t have his finger on the pulse of the party.
    NOw if it were up to me , which it ain’t, I would bring back Howard Dean for a encore presentation. Now that Rahm is out of the picture at the WH, there might not be so much bad blood flowing. And they need some one like him to get the blood pumping again.

  90. 90
    AR says:

    If House Minority Leader Heath Shuler tried to pass a bill, would it be intercepted?

  91. 91
    Lawnguylander says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Very few of the Blue Dogs that lost were in districts that Obama won. The following copied and pasted from that link I left above. The first number is the PVI and the second the 2008 presidential election result:

    Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D-S.D.) R+9 McCain by 8

    Rep. Baron Hill (D-Ind.) R+6 McCain by 2

    Rep. Allen Boyd (D-Fla.) R+6 McCain by 10

    Rep. Brad Ellsworth (D-IN) R+8 McCain by 4

    Rep. Gene Taylor (D-Miss.) R+20 McCain by 26

    Rep. Michael Arcuri (D-N.Y.) R+2 Obama by 2

    Arkansas 1st (Rep. Marion Berry) R+8 McCain by 20

    Rep. Bobby Bright (D-Ala.) R+16 McCain by 26

    Rep. Chris Carney (D-Pa) R+8 McCain by 8

    Rep. Travis Childers (D-Miss.) R+14 McCain by 24

    Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper (D-Pa.) R+3 McCain by 1

    Rep. Lincoln Davis (D-Tenn.) R+13 McCain by 29

    Tennessee 6th (Rep. Bart Gordon) R+13 McCain by 25

    Rep. Frank Kratovil (D-Md.) R+13 McCain by 19

    Rep. Jim Marshall (D-Ga.) R+10 McCain by 14

    Louisiana 3rd (Rep. Charlie Melancon) R+12 McCain by 24

    Rep. Walt Minnick (D-Idaho) R+18 McCain by 28

    Rep. Harry Mitchell (D-Ariz.) R+5 McCain by 5

    Kansas 3rd (Rep. Dennis Moore) R+3 Obama by 3

    Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-Pa.) D+2 Obama by 9

    Rep. Glenn Nye (D-Va.) R+5 Obama by 2

    Rep. Earl Pomeroy (D-N.D) R+10 McCain by 9

    Rep. John Salazar (D-Colo.) R+5 McCain by 3

    Rep. Zack Space (D-Ohio) R+7 McCain by 8

    Rep. Charlie Wilson (D-Ohio) R+2 McCain by 3

    What I don’t get is how some of these people won in 2008 with McCain running away with it in their districts. I doubt that the reason they were voted out was because they didn’t sufficiently support his agenda. What support they did give him, most of these reps voted for the stimulus for example, must have cost them a lot of votes.

    ETA: Fucking block quotes, how do they work? The closed tag is after the Charlie Wilson line. I don’t get it.

  92. 92
    Yeggo says:

    @Lawnguylander

    As I went on to explain in the comments to my post, the way they were able to win in McCain districts is simple: 2006/2008 actually WAS a wave election. This year was simply the snapping back of a rubber band that had been stretched as far as it could go.

    There are 243 districts in the country that have a Republican lean, or are demographically dead even. The GOP now has 242 seats. The biggest surprise from election night is how surprised people were at election night. The economy sucks, and the House reverted back to the norm.

  93. 93
    drkrick says:

    @jlw:

    It will be interesting, in the Chinese curse sense, to see what the evangelicals do with their newly gained power.

    As usual, they will have little to no power. The GOP has treated them as useful idiots to whom nothing but lip service needs to be delivered before trotting them out for the next election for the last 30 years. I see no reason to expect that to change, or for the Evangelicals to wise up this time.

    The question is whether the Tea Party is willing to be treated the same way. I’m guessing no, which could lead to some interesting, in the Chinese curse sense, times for the GOP leadership.

  94. 94
    Nick says:

    @John Cole: Progressives in uber-democratic districts had a hard time too.

    Anthony Weiner only got 59% when he routinely got well over 65%

    Raul Grijalva, the chair of the Progressive Caucus, barely squeaked by

    Kucinich only won by 9, Maurice Hinchey by 4, Rush Holt, they barely held on.

  95. 95
    joe from Lowell says:

    @Comrade Sock Puppet of the Great Satan:

    A Democrat can get buried by a load of GOP slime (cf. Kerry, J.) and we treat them like herpes.

    Support.

    Doing this just empowers the GOP slime.

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    Bob L says:

    What the heck with conservatives and “We’re screw up and luzers, so we should call the shots” mem. The GOP and the Blue Dogs. Is there something about modern conservatism that precludes self criticism?

  97. 97
    Lawnguylander says:

    @Yeggo:

    I understand that 2006/2008 were what you’d call wave elections and I hope more people will read your post. In fact, it would be great if someone like Cole would give it front page attention. But I don’t get why in 2008 people would go in and vote for a Democrat for their Rep. and then vote in huge numbers for McCain over, oh, wait. Never mind.

  98. 98
    MTiffany says:

    @drkrick:

    As usual, they will have little to no power. The GOP has treated them as useful idiots to whom nothing but lip service needs to be delivered before trotting them out for the next election for the last 30 years.

    Yeah, my boyfriend and I celebrating the tenth anniversary of our big gay marriage is testament to the “lip service” the GOP pays to the American Taliban.

  99. 99
    Comrade Sock Puppet of the Great Satan says:

    “Yeah, my boyfriend and I celebrating the tenth anniversary of our big gay marriage is testament to the “lip service” the GOP pays to the American Taliban.”

    I think the hate teh Ghey meme is weakening: it wasn’t used to get out the base as it was 2004 or 2006.

    Within a decade, the GOP will be pretending they never opposed it and they were in favor of it all along.

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    RosiesDad says:

    @Joshua: As long as the economy was still in mediocre to poor shape (or as long as unemployment was at or near double digits), the incumbent party was going to suffer. Did the Dems suffer more because their messaging sucks? Absolutely. But the only thing that would have saved them from losing large would have been an unemployment rate that was falling substantially from it’s peak. (The other thing that might have saved them also didn’t happen–and that would have been the perp walk of those responsible for the current economic disaster. But that’s a whole other subject.)

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