The Blue Dogs make a pretty good case: they bellied up to the bar and by-and-large supported a spending bill that Joe Biden warns will be used against them next year. Now the House leadership seems likely to ask them to line up and vote to end the secret ballot for union organizing — which is likely to wind up even less popular than the ‘stimulus’ vote. According to the Arkansas News, the Blue Dogs have told House leadership they don’t want the measure to come up for a vote:
An official informed the group that Berry recently had told him that he thought the bill was a piece of junk and that he only voted for it because he knew then-President Bush would veto it.
The official then told the group that Berry recounted to him a recent discussion the Blue Dogs had with House Democratic leadership. According to Berry, the Blue Dogs told House leadership that card check wasn’t a free vote for them anymore and that their constituents were giving them a lot of grief over the issue.
The Blue Dogs strongly urged House leadership not to bring this bill back up on the House floor until the Senate had passed something first, because they look like idiots for continuing to pass it and then it dying in the Senate.
You can bet both the Nutroots and the AFL-CIO are livid when a moderate Democrat goes off the reservation like this. The unions expect a bailout of the automakers and passage of Card Check this Congress; the last thing they need is for individual Members of Congress to go voting their consciences or expressing their views.
You may remember a few years ago when ‘progressives’ were thrilled with the moderate Democrats who won in marginal districts and gave them a majority. Now that Democrats are running the show, they no longer want those Members to ‘vote their districts.’ They want them to toe the party line.
The Blue Dogs folded like a house of cards on the Obama-Reid-Pelosi spending plan. Will they show some backbone on Card Check?