The NRCC (National Republican Congressional Committee) has launched a campaign against five Democratic representatives who proclaim themselves “Blue Dogs” (a label reserved for fiscally conservative Democrats) but vote consistently with their liberal left-wing colleagues in the US House.
So far, they’ve published five radio ads that dispel the myth that Marion Berry (D-AR), Charlie Melancon (D-LA), Earl Pomeroy (D-ND), Zack Space (D-OH), and John Tanner (D-TN) are the least bit conservative with the national checkbook. You can listen to all five ads (and even download them) at the NRCC website.So, are these five as two-faced as the NRCC charges, or is this just a Republican attack on a soft spot in the Democrat’s armor? Let’s take a look at each of the five and see if we can answer this question.
I’ll start with Marion Berry, because he happens to be my representative in Congress. This page on Berry’s website will lead you to believe he stands for a balanced budget, is against excessive borrowing by the federal government, and fights against “reckless spending.” That certainly sounds like a fiscally conservative Democrat, but an inspection of Berry’s votes on the Bank Bailout, the Auto Industry Bailout, Obama’s $787 billion Stimulus Spending Bill, and the latest Bloated Budget tells a different story. Berry voted for all of these, supporting all of those things a “Blue Dog” Democrat supposedly opposes.
Score one for the NRCC. Berry’s obviously conning his constituents with false claims of fiscal conservatism.
Here’s a video I made using the NRCC radio ad for audio. Anyone should feel free to use it so we can replace Berry with a true fiscal conservative.
Score: NRCC 1, Blue Dog Democrats 0.
We’ll focus on the same four bills as we examine the committment to fiscal responsibility of the other so-called Blue Dog Democrats targeted by the NRCC’s campaign. In each case we’ll give the point to the NRCC if the Congressman voted for 3 of the 4 bills in our examination, the Blue Dog Democrats will receive the point if they voted against 2 or more of these bills.
Congressman Zach Space of Ohio doesn’t have a stated position on the federal budget posted on his website, it doesn’t even appear on his Issues page. That’s our first hint that Rep. Space simply adopted the Blue Dog monikker solely to help him remain in office with a conservative constituency. As for our four bills, Space voted for all of them, for the Bank Bailout, for the Auto Industry Bailout, for the $787 billion Stimulus Spending Bill, and for the Bloated Budget.
Video set to NRCC radio ad.
Score: NRCC 2, Blue Dog Democrats 0.
Next on our list is Charlie Melancon of Louisiana. Melancon’s website statement on Tax Relief and Fiscal Accountability doesn’t even hint at responsible spending. The entire statement is little more than a rant demanding the federal government take in enough money to support all the liberal social programs that drain Uncle Sam’s piggy bank and hamstring the economy. (This is already looking bad for the Blue Dogs.) A link on the same page takes you to this press release calling for reinstatement of the pay-as-you-go doctrine in Congress. Melancon is quoted pounding his chest as he boasts on his Blue Dog credentials. So let’s see how he voted on our four key bills–for the Bank Bailout, for the Auto Industry Bailout, for the $787 billion Stimulus Spending Bill, and finally, for the Bloated Budget.
Score: NRCC 3, Blue Dog Democrats 0.
Next we’ll examine North Dakota Representative Earl Pomeroy’s fiscal conservatism credentials. His Issues page doesn’t contain a statement on the federal budget or federal spending either. (Must not be too important to him.) But here’s a press release he issued praising the Obama budget as a “welcome relief from the budgets of his predecessor.” (This stuff just keeps getting better.)
So the so-called Blue Dogs have one more hound in the game, one more chance to score a point in this contest. Let’s see if they can get on the board.
Our last contestant will be Representative John Tanner of Tennessee. His website doesn’t have a stand-alone Issues page, but this press release boasts of his contribution to introducing the aforementioned pay-as-you-go bill. I guess that’s a better start than we’ve seen out of the other four we already examined on their Blue Dog Credentials.
Not only did the so-called Blue Dogs lose each of these five matches, they never even scored a point! Every one of these self-proclaimed fiscally conservative Democrats has proven himself anything but remotely resembling a proponent of fiscal responsibility with these four votes!
I’ll use the NRCC radio ads to make videos for each of the other four falsely labeled Blue Dogs soon. Each time I finish one, I’ll update this post. Anyone who wants to see true fiscal conservatives replace these five is free to use the videos as they see fit. Let’s get the word out on these deceivers of their constituents and bring real fiscal conservatism to Washington in 2010.