Wednesday, December 9, 2009

When is a Blue Dog really a Blue Dog?

When is a Blue Dog really a Blue Dog? That question begs to be asked following the recent actions by Congressman Marion Berry. First - a little background on the origins of the term Blue Dog.

The Blue Dog Coalition was formed in 1994 in the wake of the mid-term elections in which Republicans took back the majority in the House of Representatives. The Blue Dog Coalition gave the more conservative members from the Democratic Party a unified voice in the wake of these elections.

The Blue Dog Coalition states that a "...top priority will be to focus Congress on balancing the budget and ridding taxpayers of the burden the debt places on them." But votes just this year by Marion Berry calls in to question this very important tenant of the Blue Dog Coalition and should cause individuals in the First District to ask, "When is a Blue Dog really a Blue Dog?" Here is the evidence:
  • October 3rd, 2008: Marion Berry voted for TARP I  ($350 Billion Dollars)
  • January 21st, 2009: Marion Berry Voted for TARP II ($350 Billion Dollars)
  • January 28th, 2009: Marion Berry voted for the Obama Stimulus Package ($787 Billion Dollars)
  • February 24th, 2009: Marion Berry issued a press release where he stated that "eight years of fiscal recklessness by the Bush Administration" created "unsustainable deficits" for our country.
  • November 7th, 2009: Marion Berry voted for Healthcare Reform ($894 Billion Dollars)
  • Total Costs of these four votes: $2,381,000,000,000 Dollars. That is 2.3 trillion dollars! That is $8,460 for every single person in the First District, or over $5 billion dollars in debt for the entire First District, not including interest!
The above votes are extremely revealing in comparison to the comment by Marion Berry just this week. After President Obama proposed an increase in troops being sent to Afghanistan, Marion Berry was quoted as saying, "I don't remember him saying anything about how we're going to pay for this." Berry said after the president's address at West Point, "I just think it's got to be paid for." In October, lawmakers diverted $2.6 billion dollars from funds in a defense spending bill to pet projects. You can read about those projects and how those funds were diverted here.

Marion Berry, along with his Blue Dog colleagues in both the House and Senate need to ask themselves, "When is a Blue Dog really a Blue Dog"? The votes previously outlined paint a picture of anything but fiscal responsibility. Instead the votes increasingly and excessively burden taxpayers. Indeed, the votes tell quite the opposite story - one of being a Lap Dog for Nancy Pelosi, not a Blue Dog representing the people of the First District. Marion Berry's conscious-come-lately of fiscal responsibility does not hold water with the people of the First District.

We need someone who will go to Washington who is a fiscal conservative before arrival. We need someone who is willing to cast votes against spending bills when we do not have the money to support them. We need to send someone to Washington who will cut taxes and lower our deficits in a way that is fiscally conservative and responsible without having a coalition determining when those times are.
Tags: Blue Dog, Lap Dog, Marion Berry, Obama Lap Dog

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