Why have one Blue Dog Group when you can have two?

Because the Democrats just can't sweem to find a way to enjoy prosperity, Indiana senator Evan Bayh has decided to build a coalition of "moderate" Democrats in the Senate, similar to the Blue Dogs in the House.

Steve Benen is not very excited about this:

"...[T]he Blue Dogs are not only overly cozy with corporate lobbyists, this is a coalition reluctant to embrace a progressive vision on issues like climate change, and committed to a financial plan focused on spending reductions and balanced budgets -- precisely when the federal government needs to be doing the opposite."

Nate Silver sees a possible upshot to this:

"The Democrats will wind up with somewhere between 57 and 59 memebers in their caucus...[t]hat means they will need somewhere between one and three Republican votes to break fillibusters...[i]f Obama loses, say, three Democratic votes, then reaching a 60-vote threshold is already liable to be relatively difficult for him, and so losing seven Democratic votes instead might not matter very much. On the other hand, if Bayh can whip Mary Landrieu's or Ben Nelson's vote for him on a particular issue, that could potentially be pretty helpful."

I tend to side with Benen on this one. As he said, the Blue Dogs aren't exactly enamored with the progressive movement. And as difficult as it is to get things moving through the Senate, this isn't going to them put the Obama agenda into motion any quicker.

I suppose that, if this "coalition" can persuade a few of the "moderate" republicans (Snowe, Collins, Specter, Voinovich, etc.) to cross the aisle on key votes, then this will be a success. But, considering how I've been a Demcorat for a very long time, and have long admired our ability to fuck things up that we have no business fucking up, I'm not exactly optimistic.

Is it just me, or does it feel like that, even with a near filibuster proof majority, the Dems are still going to end up operating like a party that has little or no power in Congress?

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