Tuesday, August 04, 2009


"Blue Dog" Bart

The folks at National Review, the Weekly Standard, and RedState.com have all expressed shock that U.S. Rep. Bart Gordon (D-Murfreesboro) caved on cap-and-trade, caved on ObamaCare, and caved on an amendment to ObamaCare that would prohibit public money from being spent on abortions. Speaking as someone who's actively observed Bart Gordon's political career, and who worked for the last two candidates to give Bart serious competition (Marsha Blackburn and Steve Gill), I can say that I'm not shocked at all.

We Republicans like to speak of big government-lovin' Republicans as being RINOs, or Republicans In Name Only. Well, Bart Gordon is a Blue Dog In Name Only. Blue Dog Democrats fancy themselves as deficit hawks and social conservatives who ain't afraid to buck their party's leaders whey they tilt too far to the left. Bart Gordon ain't a deficit hawk, and he ain't socially conservative. And Bart Gordon has NEVER bucked his leadership on any issue. Indeed, if Nancy Pelosi called Bart Gordon today and said, "Bart, I want you to paint my house," ol' Bart would ask, "What color paint do I need to buy?"

Please to enjoy something I wrote about Bart Gordon back in November (the last paragraph kinda makes me look like a soothsayer):

Writing in yesterday's Nashville City Paper, Clint Brewer said this about the U.S. House of Representative's Blue Dog Coalition:

Four of Tennessee’s five Democratic Congressmen are members of the increasingly influential Blue Dog Coalition within the Democratic House Caucus. Congressmen Jim Cooper, John Tanner, Bart Gordon and Lincoln Davis are all Blue Dog stalwarts, and their caucus within a caucus seeks to pull House Democrats to the reasonable middle of the road on policy matters.

Unfortunately, Mr. Brewer don't even know what he's talking about. Influential? Middle of the Road? The Blue Dogs? Puh-leez. Never in the history of Congress has there ever been a more irrelevant and/or ineffectual caucus that the group of individuals who've dubbed themselves the Blue Dog Coalition. Case in point:

U.S. Rep. Bart Gordon -- a "card-carrying" Blue Dog -- is basically a city councilman masquerading as a Member of Congress. In his 20+ years in Congress, Gordon has never sponsored a piece of legislation that would significantly change America's tax code or entitlement system or military or judiciary. His most important legislative achievement is a law which bars jailbirds from receiving Pell Grants. Good one, Bart.

Now, if you want to know why your grandma's Social Security check was late in coming, or if you want the bridge that straddles the creek near your house named after your semi-famous grandpa, that's when you call Bart Gordon ... and that's when he shines like the midday sun in July. Gordon is an expert when it comes to piddlin' around, but he's a 13-term amateur when it comes to grasping and tackling the major issues of the day. See what I mean when I say he's a city councilman masquerading as a U.S. Rep? "Influential?" Hardly.

That said, Bart Gordon ain't no middle-of-the-road Congressman, neither. He's pro-choice; he's a proto-Keynesian; and his lifetime score from the American Conservative Union is 29. (By comparison, Lincoln Davis, another Tennessee Blue Dog, gets a 60 score from the ACU.) Furthermore, in his 20+ years in Washington, Gordon's never - ever - bucked the Democratic leadership on any important issue. Whenever his party's leaders've have instructed him to jump, he's jumped.

When B. Hussein Obama and his congressional henchmen/henchwomen start proposing billions of dollars in new spending next year without truthfully revealing how they intend to pay for it, don't expect Bart Gordon to stand athwart House Democrats shouting "Stop!" What he'll do is fall into line and do what he's been instructed to do. Just you wait and see.

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