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July 29, 2009
Blue on Blue: Rep. Waters warns Blue Dogs about 2010
The Democratic party is in the process of melting down over health care reform and liberals, who outnumber moderates about 2-1 in the House, are getting ready to flex their muscles.
How? By finding liberal primary challengers to run against more moderate members who are dragging their feet on health care reform, according to Mike Soraghan and Jared Allen in The Hill who quote ultra-liberal Maxine Waters:
"On the one hand they don't want to spend money, but on the other hand they want to spend money when it benefits them or their district," Waters said on MSNBC, referring to Blue Dogs' demand to increase Medicare reimbursements for rural physicians.
Seven Blue Dogs on the House Energy and Commerce Committee have effectively blocked the panel from working on the bill for more than a week, saying it's too expensive and puts too much of a burden on small employers.
Asked if she would recruit more liberal candidates to run against Blue Dogs, Waters said, "That's normally not done."
But she added: "There may be people out there listening and observing all of this who may get motivated based on what they're seeing and throw their hat into the ring."
She also criticized White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel for recruiting many of the House's more conservative members when he headed the House Democrats' campaign arm. Now, she said, "The chickens are coming home to roost."
Nothing could please the GOP more than to see bruising primary fights in these closely contested districts where Blue Dogs have barely won races in 2006 and 2008. In many of those districts, the Republican who lost will be making another try - this time with better name recognition and probably a better organization. Given the off year history of the party out of power picking up seats, a battered Blue Dog emerging from a tough primary fight with a liberal (or if the liberal would happen to win) would be easy pickings in many cases for the GOP.