This Congress Member is a “Blue Dog That Won’t Hunt.”

Huffington Post reporter, Jennifer Bendery, has a problem.  She can’t tell “Fish from Fowl,” or in the case of downstate Illinois Congresswomen, Cheri Bustos (D-17th)… Ms. Bendery can’t tell a Blue Dog from a Progressive Democrat.


Why is that important?


It’s important because DC corporate Democrats, and their millionaire consultants, decided NOT to fire themselves, and thereby change party leadership. They didn’t even acknowledge that Democrats should become a “People’s Party” once again.


Instead, they are blaming others for the 2016 loss. “The Russians Did it.” “The FBI Did it.”  “Those Rust Belt racist, bigoted, deplorables did it.” And so what’s DC’s solution….”We need to get better organized in rural areas cause they’re too stupid to see our brilliance.” 

And that’s where Cong. Bustos’s “boot camp that’s training local progressives to run for office” comes into play… “Let’s convert them to our corporate BS.”


First, Cheri Bustos is NOT a progressive. She's a member of the Blue Dog Democratic Caucus, which is the exact opposite of a progressive Democrat.  Her US. Chamber of Commerce rating in 2014 was 77%, the highest of any Illinois Democrat...and almost as high (83%) as Rodney Davis (R-Il 13th) from a neighboring district.


Second, contrary to this article, she was very aggressive when seeking the Democratic Party 2012 nomination. I know…because I called two of my congressional contacts on her behalf…it was the worst political mistake of my life.


Third, her district is NOT Blue Dog territory.  From 1982 to 2006, the 17th.CD was represented by former Democratic Cong. Lane Evans.  He was a founder of the Progressive Caucus.  One congressional session, Evans won the most anti-Reagan voting record in the House.  His Chief of Staff, Phil Hare, served from 2006 to 2011, after Evans resigned due to poor health.  Hare lost in the 2010 Republican landslide, which was partly created by the Blue Dogs' opposition to progressive health care and economic reforms.


Bustos is a Blue Dog corporate Democrat and a Dog’s Breakfast for working Americans. Her Chamber of Commerce economic messaging is the exact opposite from the message Democrats need to address in downstate Illinois.


When Democrats had a 201membership in 2013-2014 - Bustos ranked as 183 most progressive Democrat. She was on the flip side of Cong. Evans and Hare.


Finally, if DC Democrats don’t change, under Illinois’ flip of the coin deadlock re-map process, the GOP could be writing the congressional map in 2020.  Then Bustos will not be running in one of the MOST Democratic Downstate congressional districts since World War II.  If Bustos gets a new GOP congressional map, she's Blue Dog meat.


Ari Silverstein Added Mar 20, 2017 - 4:36pm
I don’t think there are Blue Dog or Progressive Democrats as that would imply Democrats don’t vote in unison.  As seen in every piece of major legislation that has passed, the Democrats vote as one.  In other words, the Blue Dogs are just as Progressive as the Progressives are Blue Dogs.  Even the Supreme Court Democrats vote as one.  The current crop of Democratic Congressmen stand as one in opposition of everything Trump and the rest of the Republicans have attempted to do. 
Furthermore, the fact you called two of your congressional contacts, does not make you knowledgeable in how aggressive Bustos or anyone is.  But if even if it were true that she wanted more power and was willing to be aggressive to get it, I don’t see that as a bad thing.  What’s bad about her is that she’s a Democrat, which means her main concern is sticking it to the rich and corporations.  If there is one lesson I would like to teach all Democrats is that it’s never wise to bite the hand that feeds you. 
Dino Manalis Added Mar 21, 2017 - 8:16am
Blue dogs are more conservative; pro-business; and understand the need for tax cuts to stimulate the private sector.
Bill Edley Added Mar 21, 2017 - 9:24am
Thanks for commenting Ari...Here's a couple clarifications for you to consider.  I am a former Illinois legislator. Generally, 80% to 90% of legislation receives party line votes or bipartisan votes.  There is only a few key votes legislators make that defines their political status.  For instance, Blue Dog Democrats opposed including a public option in Obamacare.  Recently, 12 Democratic U.S. Senators opposed importing prescription drugs from Canada.  The Democratic Party for the last 25 years has been almost as corporate driven as Republicans on issues such as trade and financial deregulation.  Pick up "The Almanac of American Politics" and review various congressional members profiles and rankings.  There are corporate Democrats, such as Cong. Bustos, and progressive Democrats, such as Cong. Schakowsky.  They will have different voting patterns on key issues.
Louis E Weeks Added Mar 21, 2017 - 10:20am
So you are advocating what exactly?  100% hive minded politicians who must always agree on all things?  What is the point of all those States voting for individuals to represent them if they are just going to show up in Washington and toe-the-line on every point and topic?
We are electing individuals, not robots.
But if you really believe in this then you need to push for a "tea party" type of movement where you are willing to not vote for Democrats if they are not Progressive.  I do not see those on the left being able to do this because they are more vulnerable to the "shame tactics" used to keep them in line but that is the only way to get them to change.
Why do you think the Democrats and their media interests all went into attack mode against the tea party?  They were scared to death Progressives and true Liberals would do the same thing.