It’s not exactly a secret that American politics are becoming more and more polarized -it’s the reason we see continual gridlock in the budget process, fighting over healthcare reform and gay marriage and certainly the down-to-the-wire default scare of last year’s debt extension. Now we see even more evidence of this disturbing trend in this article from the Washington Post. The Blue Dog Coalition is a moderate/conservative (perhaps even a bit centrist) group of Democrats in House. Or should we say was? Two more center-leaning Democrats lost in last week’s Pennsylvania primaries to more liberal opponents, bring the caucus down to the point where in the next Congress it will be perhaps one third of what it was just 2 years ago.
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As noted in the article, these center-leaning party members (on both sides) are the driving force behind bipartisan legislation, the engine of compromise in an otherwise divided house. As more liberal-leaning and conservative-leaning Representatives and Senators are elected, the likelihood of legislation passing that truly represents the will of all Americans shrinks – the party in control at the time will pass what it wants, and legislation requiring super-majorities will fail. We won’t see a budget or a true debt fix. We won’t see the fix America needs.
I call on all Americans to support center-leaning candidates who favor compromise over confrontation. Who will work together across party lines to do what’s best for America, not what’s best for their candidacy or party. Who will truly represent their constituents. Who will favor unity over division…after all, as was said long ago, a house divided against itself cannot stand.
Read more about the history and voting trends of the Blue Dog Coalition here (wikipedia.com).