Bill Maher Taken to School By Fareed Zacharia
Middle of the road Democrats, known has Blue Dogs, had their ranks seriously thinned on Tuesday because they represent districts that are, in their hearts, right leaning. As a result, they were ripe for the plucking in a swing election.
In addition to the 23 Blue Dogs defeated at the polls, four others had chosen not to run, and two made unsuccessful runs for the Senate. All were replaced by Republicans, bringing the total Blue Dog losses to 29.
Bill Maher seems not to understand this when he argues that Blue Dogs would have retained their seats if only they'd fought for the radical agenda. Fareed Zacharia, of all people, takes him to school.
Twenty-five Blue Dogs managed to hang onto their seats, although for some - for example, Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona - it was a narrow victory. More than half the caucus, including two of its leaders, will thus be gone when the 112th Congress is seated in January.
Most of the thrown out Blue Dogs picked up their seats in the anti-GOP waves of '06 and '08, making them more vulnerable to this wave.
Since the 79-member Progressive Caucus saw only four of its members defeated, the partisan divide likely will be sharper than in the current House and Speaker John Boehner will find fewer allies across the aisle willing to give cover to Republican initiatives.
Even though the left likes to talk about the GOP as the party of no, the socialists hate Blue Dogs because they work with Republicans. It will be liberals who exascerbate the partisanship in Washington moving forward.