Setting the Record Straight

October 4, 2008

Who Let the Dogs Out?

Blue Dogs Bit the Bailout

Update: Of the 66 libertarians in the House, only six switched their votes between the first bailout proposal and the second, and only two of those were Republicans, John Shadegg of Arizona and Zach Wamp of Iowa. That confirms the contention it was libertarians who got us into the mess, libertarians who kept us from getting out.

      Want to blame someone for the House rejection of the first Wall Street bailout attempt? Look for a libertarian. The libertarian view—against all regulations—allowed the mess to develop.

     An analysis of the votes cast for the first Wall Street bailout attempt in the House shows that of 66 members who counted as members of the libertarian groups in each party voted against the bipartisan bailout agreement, 49-17. Only three of the 17 Republican libertarians voted with their leadership (for the package), while the 49 Democrats were split almost in half, 24 voting against their leadership. Yes, Ron Paul was one of them.

     Some of those 66 might not identify themselves as libertarians, but they belong to the congressional groups most closely identified as libertarians—Blue Dog Coalition for the Democrats, Liberty Caucus for the Republicans.   One would expect more GOP libertarians, but then the party itself is close enough to libertarians on policy, there is hardly any difference.

     There is a disturbing undertone here for the Democrats. The Republican Party has always had its right-wing, so large any presidential candidate has to cater to its members even if he does not agree with them—a la John McCain. No surprise there.     But the Blue Dog Coalition counts 49 members this year, a fifth of the entire 235 Democratic side of the House. At least as far back as the 70s, some members were openly calling themselves “blue dogs” (from saying in the pre-Civil Rights Bill solidly Democratic South, “I’d vote for a yellow dog if was a Democrat”).

     In those days, though, you could count the number on your fingers and you would look for them to be primarily from Texas and voting against nearly all programs in the budget, good and bad. In the mid-90s, they formed a House Democratic caucus calling themselves a coalition and their numbers been growing ever since.

     Even if they do not confess to being libertarians, they sure fit the mold.



Leave a Comment »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: