Blue Dog sees hope in Democratic defeats

BLUE DOG SEES HOPE IN DEMOCRATIC DEFEATS…. I’ve long worried that some conservative, Blue Dog Democrats may want to see their party lose, as a way to strengthen their agenda and position on the Hill. One such Blue Dog reinforced those fears last night.

Centrist Blue Dog Democrats might see their position strengthened if Democrats suffer broader losses Tuesday, one Blue Dog member suggested.

Rep. Jason Altmire (D-Pa.) argued that an election night rebuke for Democratic candidates across the nation could lead some in the party to rethink their plans on healthcare reform and other issues.

“It looks as though the anger that has been boiling up the last couple of months is going to lead to a pretty high turnout from Republicans and from people who are concerned about increased spending,” Altmire said Monday evening during an appearance on Fox Business Network.

“And I do think that if the results show Republicans have a pretty good night, that probably is going to lead some Democrats to think that, going into next year, we need to take a second look at the way that we’ve done a lot of bills we’ve addressed up to this point,” the Pennsylvania congressman added.

Altmire wasn’t specific about “the way that we’ve done a lot of bills,” which is a shame because I’d love to know what kind of changes he’d like to see to Democratic lawmaking.

The stimulus bill was made smaller as part of a compromise. The scaled-back health care bill is the result of a series of compromises. The climate bill has been subjected to a variety of compromises. Just about everything Democratic policymakers have done this year has been restrained.

Altmire wants his fellow Democrats to “take a second look” if Republican candidates do well in a few off-year races tonight. But what should they “take a second look” at, exactly? How to govern in a more Republican-friendly way? Is that why Altmire thinks the electorate gave Democrats huge majorities?