Blue Dog Democrat Mike Ross to leave seat wide open for Republicans

posted at 4:40 pm on July 25, 2011 by Tina Korbe

He’s the only Democrat left in Arkansas’ U.S. congressional delegation, but Rep. Mike Ross won’t seek reelection in 2012. The Wall Street Journal reports:

“While I have worked hard to bring folks to the middle to craft commonsense solutions to the many problems that confront our nation,” Mr. Ross said in a statement, “Washington is mired in gridlock, gamesmanship and constant partisan bickering.”

Mr. Ross represents a district that supported Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.) over President Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential election, 58% to 39%. He is the only Democrat in Arkansas’s four-member House delegation.

According to the non-partisan Cook Political Report, Mr. Ross’s district is likely to lean more Republican after a redistricting plan goes into effect. The report said the newly created district would likely be a “headache for Democrats” if Mr. Ross didn’t run.

The ranks of the Blue Dogs have already dwindled significantly, thanks to the 2010 midterm election, in which a number of moderate incumbents met defeat. According to the WSJ, “mod Dems” in the House shrank from 51 in the 110th Congress to just 25 in the 111th.

Some (Ross, included, it appears) might say that that reflects the increasing partisanship that characterizes politics — and that’s true. But it is also a reflection of just what a watershed the passage of Obamacare really was. Some Blue Dog Democrats might have fought for a less expensive bill, but, in the end, the president achieved the signature legislation he so acutely angled for. And that fact made conservatives in both parties realize they’d better vote for the most conservative candidate, period. After all, when all is said and done, a Congressional representative with a “D” behind his name answers to the pressure of Democratic leadership in Congress — and that leadership cannot, on any level, be characterized as “conservative.”

From a certain nostalgic, idealistic perspective, the shrinking numbers of Blue Dogs is truly lamentable. How nice it would be if our senators and representatives still met over friendly meals and met in the middle on controversial issues! But from a practical, forward-thinking perspective, the increasing polarization at least makes the choice between big-government and small-government advocates clearer (especially when Republicans actually hold the conservative line — but more on that in another post!).

It’s certainly encouraging to see the congressional delegation of a conservative state like Arkansas actually reflect the conservatism of the state. Ross’ exit opens the door for a complete transformation of that delegation.


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Someone please forward this to Heath Shuler (D.,N.C.).

molonlabe28 on July 25, 2011 at 4:44 PM

Good. Every seat is going to make a difference in the next congress.

GaltBlvnAtty on July 25, 2011 at 4:45 PM

Someone please forward this to Heath Shuler (D.,N.C.).

molonlabe28 on July 25, 2011 at 4:44 PM

Why bother? It’ll just get intercepted.

teke184 on July 25, 2011 at 4:50 PM

Blue Dog is nothing more than someone who understands that Americans will not tolerate fast and far reaching lurches towards the progressive agenda, very much like every RINO and libertarian, they offer no future prosperity to the nation.

astonerii on July 25, 2011 at 4:50 PM

Blue Dogs?
I thought they were all dead..

TexasJew on July 25, 2011 at 4:50 PM

Looks like Ross is contemplating a run for Governor after his term expires…

Gohawgs on July 25, 2011 at 4:54 PM

Word on the street here in Arkansas is that he wants to run for governor.

ArkCon on July 25, 2011 at 4:55 PM

According to the WSJ, “mod Dems” in the House shrank from 51 in the 110th Congress to just 25 in the 111th.

Well the WSJ is wrong.

In 2010 the # of Moderate Democrats went from 0 to 0 and will increase to 0 in 2012.

angryed on July 25, 2011 at 4:56 PM

Fleeing Congress makes sense for Rep. Ross.

Can you imagine how hard it must be for a Blue Dog Democrat to be under the thumb of Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi?

wren on July 25, 2011 at 4:59 PM

There is no such thing as a Blue Dog Democrat.

fossten on July 25, 2011 at 5:00 PM

Blue Dogs?
I thought they were all dead..

TexasJew on July 25, 2011 at 4:50 PM

There is no such thing as a Blue Dog Democrat.

fossten on July 25, 2011 at 5:00 PM

Dead puppies aren’t much fun!

Mary in LA on July 25, 2011 at 5:01 PM

Well the WSJ is wrong.

In 2010 the # of Moderate Democrats went from 0 to 0 and will increase to 0 in 2012.

angryed on July 25, 2011 at 4:56 PM

Exactly there is nothing moderate about ObamaCare. There were some Dems who claimed to be Blue Dogs, but they were liars.

jeffn21 on July 25, 2011 at 5:02 PM

Someone please forward this to Heath Shuler (D.,N.C.).

molonlabe28 on July 25, 2011 at 4:44 PM

Why bother? It’ll just get intercepted.

teke184 on July 25, 2011 at 4:50 PM

Nah.

Shuler was only good at throwing interceptions, not catching them.

either orr on July 25, 2011 at 5:03 PM

Looks like Ross is contemplating a run for Governor after his term expires…

Gohawgs on July 25, 2011 at 4:54 PM

Word on the street here in Arkansas is that he wants to run for governor.

ArkCon on July 25, 2011 at 4:55 PM

Is Beebe not running for re-election in 2014?

steebo77 on July 25, 2011 at 5:03 PM

Fleeing Congress makes sense for Rep. Ross.

Can you imagine how hard it must be for a Blue Dog Democrat to be under the thumb talons of Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi?

wren on July 25, 2011 at 4:59 PM

steebo77 on July 25, 2011 at 5:04 PM

Read: “I didn’t follow the DNC in lock-step, so I’m being pressured out. Ms. Wasserman-Schultz is just that tough.”

Freelancer on July 25, 2011 at 5:04 PM

Someone please forward this to Heath Shuler (D.,N.C.).

molonlabe28 on July 25, 2011 at 4:44 PM

Why bother? It’ll just get intercepted.

teke184 on July 25, 2011 at 4:50 PM

heh! I see what you did there!!++++

ted c on July 25, 2011 at 5:05 PM

Look out Judas ‘Blue Dog’ Nelson (D) NE…

OmahaConservative on July 25, 2011 at 5:07 PM

The most important issue facing our country is to prevent Obama from being reelected. In a second term he would finish his destruction of America. Excessive spending is a key issue regarding the reelection issue, so the Republicans must keep it in play. I hope Boehner is armed with the facts regarding the number of short-term debt ceiling increases have been enacted in the past.

GaltBlvnAtty on July 25, 2011 at 5:12 PM

Someone please forward this to Heath Shuler (D.,N.C.).

molonlabe28 on July 25, 2011 at 4:44 PM
Why bother? It’ll just get intercepted.

teke184 on July 25, 2011 at 4:50 PM

LOL

Vince on July 25, 2011 at 5:15 PM

Blue Dog Democrat Mike Ross to leave seat wide open for Republicans

did I hear that wight? Did I hear that someone has their seat wide open?
/Bawney Fwank

ted c on July 25, 2011 at 5:19 PM

Is it just me or did Tina’s 5:02 post on the new GOP plan disappear? I submitted a comment and got nothing. Anyone else?

conservative pilgrim on July 25, 2011 at 5:19 PM

Well that’s a freebie.

Apologetic California on July 25, 2011 at 5:21 PM

With Boren in Oklahoma also retiring, the GOP already has two forsure pickups in 2012. Nice start.

AUH2O on July 25, 2011 at 5:30 PM

Blue Dog is nothing more than someone who understands that Americans will not tolerate fast and far reaching lurches towards the progressive agenda, very much like every RINO and libertarian, they offer no future prosperity to the nation.

astonerii on July 25, 2011 at 4:50 PM

You’re nuts. Libertarians’ goal is to stop the progressives in the GOP who have taken over.

AUH2O on July 25, 2011 at 5:32 PM

All the Blue Dogs have ever been is a wing of the Democrat Party that can pretend to be moderate with a few non-essential votes with Republicans so they can occupy a House seat that would otherwise be Republican.

When the Democrats need the votes for the most crucial left wing legislation ever (you know the ones), the Blue Dogs always become Lap Dogs.

And that comment “Washington is mired in gridlock, gamesmanship and constant partisan bickering.” is just whining about the fact that there two parties.

SlaveDog on July 25, 2011 at 5:32 PM

Blue Dog my fourth point of contact. He is my parents’ congressman and he is a pretty reliable Obama supporter.

The Opinionator on July 25, 2011 at 5:35 PM

Is Beebe not running for re-election in 2014?

steebo77 on July 25, 2011 at 5:03 PM

Must not be, this article says that AG Dustin McDaniel may also run for the Governorship…

Gohawgs on July 25, 2011 at 5:35 PM

Look out Judas ‘Blue Dog’ Nelson (D) NE…

OmahaConservative

Got that right, my fellow Nebraskan!

Gothguy on July 25, 2011 at 5:40 PM

How nice it would be if our senators and representatives still met over friendly meals and met in the middle on controversial issues!

And as O’Bozo establishes a new frontier on the fringe left with socialized medicine … where exactly is the middle? I say bullspit; push right and hard, and whip anything from the center left.

Jaibones on July 25, 2011 at 6:04 PM

We need six Senate pickups and the White House. That’s what we need.

Jaibones on July 25, 2011 at 6:04 PM

The definition of a Blue Dog democrat is one who looks his constituents in the eyes at election time and lies through his teeth. He then goes to Washington and stabs them in the back for the rest of his term. The true Blue Dogs have been extinct since Reagan. Now the Reagan democrats have joined the Tea Party with the conservatives and the GOP is now the third party and don’t even know it.

volsense on July 25, 2011 at 6:05 PM

We need six Senate pickups and the White House. That’s what we need.

Jaibones

6 Senate seats would be nice – but 15 is doable for a veto override!

honsy on July 25, 2011 at 6:09 PM

We need six Senate pickups and the White House. That’s what we need.

Jaibones on July 25, 2011 at 6:04 PM

The White House unquestionably. But we need to purge Senate Democrats from red and purple states.

BuckeyeSam on July 25, 2011 at 6:22 PM

This is just the beginning. Remember, a LOT of state legislatures turned R for the first time after a census in decades. I expect a LOT of seats to flip in 2012, perhaps as many as 30 more.

karenhasfreedom on July 25, 2011 at 6:46 PM

The ranks of the Blue Dogs have already dwindled significantly, thanks to the 2010 midterm election, in which a number of moderate incumbents met defeat.

Actually it was do to the peoples realization that blue dogs always come to their fascist master whistle.

Slowburn on July 25, 2011 at 6:47 PM

Blue Dogs?
I thought they were all dead..

TexasJew on July 25, 2011 at 4:50 PM

Shuler in NC is more Conservative than a lot of Republicans.

hawkdriver on July 25, 2011 at 7:07 PM

You know all the dems and the msm etc., keep screaming about bipartisanship. I am so SICK OF IT, I CAN HARDLY STAND IT! Where was the bipartisanship on health care? Where were all the meetings with the Republicans? Does anyone remember that horrible door that the dems walked in and out of and no Republicans were allowed? How about that oversized fal (whoops)palousi’s gavel when she tried to shove it in the Tea Party’s face!
No compromise!!!!!!!!!!

Bambi on July 25, 2011 at 7:18 PM

If the last two years have proven anything it’s that there is no such thing as a reliably conservative Dem. There is no such thing as a “blue dog” Dem. I will waste no nostaglia on wankers like those. The main reason that idiot McCain is not in the WH is because his stock answer to any question on the trail was some version of “I’ll go hack to Washington, reach across the aisle, and craft a compromise.” To hell with that.

Hucklebuck on July 25, 2011 at 8:09 PM

The ranks of the Blue Dogs have already dwindled significantly, thanks to the 2010 midterm election, in which a number of moderate incumbents met defeat. According to the WSJ, “mod Dems” in the House shrank from 51 in the 110th Congress to just 25 in the 111th.

People came to the understanding that “moderate” is just a self-label. Hell, the President is declaring himself not just a moderate, but The Moderate right now. Does anyone on both sides actually believe him? Even Daily Kos commenters who pretend to be “disappointed” in him understand that he’s the leftmost serious person in Washington (e.g. his torpedoing of the prospect of Senate Dems making a deal on the debt).

The bottom line is that no legislator can vote for Obamacare and call himself a moderate. Southern and Mid-Western Dems had sold their local constituents on the concept of “our kind of Democrat” for decades. That prestidigitation might not have survived the reality that all Dems must vote for Pelosi as speaker; there’s no way it could have survived the reality of Obamacare.

HitNRun on July 25, 2011 at 8:14 PM

Someone please forward this to Heath Shuler (D.,N.C.).

Shuler is about to find himself re-districted here in NC. We may eliminate up to 4 dem seats for 2012. That is why the blowout in 2010 was just as important at the state level.

The Opinionator on July 25, 2011 at 8:49 PM

Blue Dog is nothing more than someone who understands that Americans will not tolerate fast and far reaching lurches towards the progressive agenda, very much like every RINO and libertarian, they offer no future prosperity to the nation.

astonerii on July 25, 2011 at 4:50 PM

RINO’s sure, but I think you might misunderstand libertarianism. Libertarians are for free markets straight down the line. We might align with the left on some social issues, but even there it’s generally driven by a belief that the government should have as little role as possible in regulating private behavior. You can’t get much further from the progressive agenda than a libertarian.

SoRight on July 25, 2011 at 9:07 PM

Why bother? It’ll just get intercepted.

teke184 on July 25, 2011 at 4:50 PM

As a Saints fan I resemble that remark. :)

itsspideyman on July 26, 2011 at 11:41 AM