The Associated Press has an article today describing the growing power of a group of House Democrats known as the "Blue Dogs". With the recent victories in Louisiana and Mississippi of more conservative members of the Democratic Party, this organization is swelling its ranks and finding its influence growing.

Tanner and "Blue Dog" Democrats — conservative fiscal hawks "choked blue" by their party's liberal flank — are building their own political operation to propel like-minded candidates to victory this fall. They're also quietly raising their own influence within a party personified by liberals like Sens. Edward Kennedy and presidential candidate Barack Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

In a year when Republicans are facing an exceedingly tough political climate, the small but determined band of centrists sees an opportunity to turn more GOP districts over to Democrats.

"The Blue Dog philosophy is catching on in a lot of the country," Tanner said in an interview in the Capitol. "The American people are looking for pragmatists rather than ideologically driven candidates, and they want people who pledge allegiance to the country first and to a political party second."

Here in the 6th District of Minnesota we have one of those Blue Dog philosophers running against one of the most egregiously partisan politicians currently occupying the House of Representatives.

Can Elwyn Tinklenberg defeat Michele Bachmann with the help of his Blue Dog credentials? It certainly cannot hurt him in a district that is conservative in nature but that has also given support to the likes of Jesse Ventura and Amy Klobuchar. By continuing to remind the people of this district that Bachmann has taken stances against SCHIP, against the 21st Century GI Bill, and against a whole host of other pieces of legislation that garnered broad bipartisan support while at the same time positioning himself as the common sense candidate he has a legitimate shot at taking down Bachmann. However, in order to do those things he is going to have to run the campaign of his life. It is going to take not only a lot of money but also a considerable amount of footwork in order to compensate for the free publicity Bachmann gets every time she abuses her franking privilege.

In another development that should help Tinklenberg, union members have begun mobilizing to help get the word out about the need for a change in representation in the 6th District. While I have my disagreements with some of the positions taken by Mr. Tinklenberg, there is little doubt that he has a unique opportunity during this election season to turn the 6th District of Minnesota into Blue Dog country.


1 Response to "Can These Dogs Sway The 6th Blue?"

  1. Anonymous On May 29, 2008 at 3:48 PM

    I know a “blue dog” is supposed to be a fiscal conservative and not just a social one.

    But can someone give me an example of a piece of legislation that ET supports or opposes that shows he’s a fiscal conservative?