House Blue Dog Dems versus Obama

A Politico article notes a combination of issues that disproportionately affect rural America may be causing regional fault lines among Democrats in Congress.  The car dealerships being closed are mainly in small towns where there will be a noticeable ripple effect among other local businesses. Greenhouse gas regulations could push already hard pressed farmers out of business. Rural electrical coops are disproportionate users of coal fire generating plants.   

What the article didn't mention is that rising oil prices also bite deeper in households that have 60 to 80 mile round trip commutes for shopping and the second jobs that so often augment farm income. Small cars are not the vehicles of choice out here because they aren't as safe as SUVs and pickups on narrow, winding and unpaved roads or in bad weather. In five years living in rural America I have had as many acquaintances killed in auto accidents as I had in over 50 years as a resident of large cities.    Many of the so-called Blue Dogs elected in 2006 and 2008 hale from small town and rural America.  As Ed Morrissey at Hot Air

Call this the Road to Damascus moment for the Blue Dog Democrats.  They got elected in part by promising more honest government than Republicans had presented but not big shifts in policy for conservative constituents.  That was a fairly easy promise to keep while George Bush (or any Republican) occupied the White House.  Divided government kept Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid in check from imposing hard-Left policies, and the Blue Dogs remained popular.  

Veteran Blue Dog Collin Peterson, chairman of the House Agricultural committee had this to say about cap and trade.  

A lot of us on the committee don't want the EPA anywhere near our farmers. 

This is a common refrain on agricultural news programs. Neither the Politico article or Morrissey mention that the Tea Party movement has also been disproportionately a small city movement.  Hundreds of protest marchers turning up in county seats with populations of 5,000 to 15,000 all across the nation had to put a lot of Blue Dog Congressmen on notice that their voters are restless about the direction of change from people who think bush hog must be the punch line to another David Letterman joke about the daughter of a Republican. 

In 2006 the Democrats targeted small town voters, recruiting candidates like Western North Carolina's Heath Shuler specifically to appeal to social and fiscal conservatives instead of running yet another liberal in such districts. 

Today, Morrissey notes:

They're not concerned with rural America any more, if they ever were.  The Democrats want to impose their Ivory Tower elitism on the entire country, especially on the rural voters they succored in 2006 just to sucker them in 2009.