Blue, Green, Whatever

PP at South Dakota War College noted a comment on one of his posts yesterday in reference to Representative Herseth Sandlin’s blue doggedness:

Any dog would turn blue standing on a Greenland glacier.

This brought up a very interesting parallel for me. If one looks at the history of Greenland, one finds that it is commonly understood that Erik the Red (another Norwegian) named this large block of ice Greenland to attract settlers. It worked (and since there was no Greenland Airlines to provide return tickets, the folks generally stayed until they died).

Similarly, Representative Herseth Sandlin has joined the Blue Dog Coalition, which is described in part as follows:

The 51 conservative and moderate Democrats in the group hail from every region of the country,  although the group acknowledges some southern ancestry which accounts for the group’s  nickname. Taken from the South’s longtime description of a party loyalist as one who would vote  for a yellow dog if it were on the ballot as a Democrat, the “Blue Dog” moniker was taken by  members of The Coalition because their moderate-to-conservative-views had been “choked blue”  by their party in the years leading up to the 1994 election.


The Coalition has been particularly active on fiscal issues, relentlessly pursuing a balanced budget  and then protecting that achievement from politically popular “raids” on the budget. Past Coalition  budgets have won the endorsement of the nonpartisan Concord Coalition and multiple newspaper  and magazine editorials. As one column pointed out, the Blue Dogs have proven that “common  sense, conservative economics and compassion aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive.”

Since the Blue Dogs are particularly known for being fiscally conservative, one would find much reason to question Representative Herseth Sandlin’s credentials in this regard (when one looks at her recent voting record). Placing her within the ranks (and indeed the leadership) of the Blue Dogs appears to be little more than naming her something which ensures that the settlers voters think they are selecting a “moderate or conservative” Democrat, when actually they are voting for someone who has voted with Nancy Pelosi (not a moderate or a conservative the last time I checked) 97% of the time.

Erik the Red would be proud.