Daffy Duck reminds me of Blue Dog Democrats, except he is a lot funnier and does no harm to your average voter, unlike the Blue Dogs. When he is teamed up with a fellow woodland creature like Bugs Bunny, Daffy shows no forest dweller solidarity (just like Blue Dogs with regards to Democratic party loyalty). In fact, it is every creature for himself in Daffy’s world. When faced with his ass on the line during duck hunting season, Daffy tries to redefine the hunting season from duck to rabbit to confuse the befuddled hunter Elmer Fudd into shooting Bugs. Naturally, Daffy’s attempts at saving his ass fail miserably.
Seems at least one Blue Dog Democrat is taking lessons from Daffy Duck when it comes to redefining the recent Blue Dog Hunting Season - the 2010 midterm elections.
To wit, Congressman Ben Chandler is busy blaming Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi for his political near death experience. As some of you on FDL may know, Chandler clung to power by a mere 648 votes in 2010. However, in 2006, when Chandler ran for Congress, he won with 85% of the vote.
Was there a surge in Republican voters in the KY-6th from 2006 to 2010? Nope. The percentage of registered Democrats in the KY-6th was still around 57%, so the district is dominated by Democrats. And the turnout numbers of voters was actually higher for the 2o10 midterms than in 2006 (48% in 2010 versus 40% in 2006). What happened is that Democrats who had supported Chandler in the past just didn’t show up to vote for him this time around (total votes for Chandler in 2006 was over 158,000 versus 119,000 votes in 2010).
Now, Chandler and the so called pundits claim it was the economy and Chandler’s votes for such nasty things like cap and trade that cost him Democratic support. I’ll concede the economy was an anchor around every Democrats neck. Anyway, the same pundits also state that Chandler’s votes against health care reform did not hurt him, but it did not help him either. The pundits, Republicans, and Chandler like to mention that John McCain carried the KY-6th in 2008 with 55% of the vote. So despite the predominance of Democrats in the KY-6th, the district is supposedly a conservative one that only a Blue Dog can win, and if Obama and Pelosi would just drop dead, Chandler would have a much easier time winning elections.
Chandler’s message to the Elmer Fudd voters: “IT’S PROGRESSIVE HUNTING SEASON, SO SHOOT THEM!”
Only problem with that little scenario is that the Blue Dogs are the ones that ended up getting shot in the face in the midterms. Despite the god awful economy, the Progressive Caucus came out of the midterm elections relatively intact, while the Blue Dogs lost over half their members. And with regards to Chandler’s difficulties, the pundits, Republicans, and Chandler don’t like to mention the other little golden nuggets of Chandler’s shitty voting record.
There is no mention in the above article of Chandler’s vote AGAINST Wall Street financial reform. Somehow, I doubt that vote was a winner with Democratic voters in the KY-6th. Also, Chandler’s vote for the Stupak Amendment didn’t endear him to progressives in his district. And lest we forget, Chandler continues to base his vote against health care reform on fiscal conservativism, but he supports extending all the Bush tax cuts.
Additionally, Chandler has the dubious honor, along with Mike Ross of Arkansas, of antagonizing progressive voters. After his vote against health care reform, Chandler basically told reporters, “I don’t need liberal voters.” I don’t know Ben. If a few hundred more Democrats had stayed home on election day, you would be looking for a lobbying job on K Street about now.
Finally, there is the little matter of Chandler claiming that he warned Obama about his lack of attention to the economy. Really Ben? When was that? I can’t seem to locate any newspaper articles with you giving out sage economic advice before the midterms. In fact, where are your recommendations for job creation? You have time to give interviews trashing liberals, but I don’t see anything about the economy. I can’t help but wonder if your lack of specifics on the economy contributed to your less than impressive electoral victory.
Conclusion: It was Blue Dog Hunting Season in November!