Whether it's deliberate obfuscation or just plain laziness is up for debate, but the media have a penchant for misleading news consumers with the meme that Blue Dog Democrats are politically "conservative." While the Blue Dog caucus is decidedly more moderate than Democrats as a whole -- you could individual members are "conservative for a Democrat" -- they rarely if ever qualify as conservatives when you look at the entirety of their voting records.
"The Senate's 88 to 5 vote" on a one-year reprieve for middle class taxpayers on the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) "blew a $50 billion hole in the Democrats' promise not to pass any spending or tax measure that would add to the deficit," Washington Post's Jonathan Weisman and Jeffrey Birnbaum reported today. The staff writers then rounded up three "conservative 'Blue Dog' Democrats" from the House of Representatives to rail against the Senate for lacking the courage to "take a tough vote," in the words of Rep. Mike Ross (D-Ark.).
But just how conservative are these "conservative" Blue Dogs? Try slightly left of dead-center.