Excuses noted, political realities remain unchanged.
One Blue Dog said Pelosi's pledge to include a public option favors her liberal base in the Democratic Caucus.
"They're playing to people who can't get beat by Republicans," said the lawmaker, who plans to vote against the bill if it remains in its current form.
Even Rasmussen polling begs to differ, oh fragile flower of a Blue Dog. Approval of reform at large is growing steadily in Democrat and Independent circles. But support for reform without a public option bottoms out for these same Democrats and Independents if you take the public option out. Reform without a public option does gain more favor in one partisan demographic though... Republicans.
If the Blue Dogs hang so precariously by each and every issue, constantly paying a price each time their own party succeeds, it's fair to assume that they will not survive the Obama years. In fact, it's fair to assume many of them only hold a seat today, or maintain any level of popularity because George W. Bush was President. And should the rest of the party succeed in an actual overhall of the insurance industry, they'll take hits from the GOP in 2o10 whether they supported it or not. (Bob said it first and better, last paragraph)
What this means is that a forward thinking Blue Dog needs to work to influence the politics of their own districts through education and interaction rather than just reacting to it, and selling the policy of their party rather than running from it. (Unless said Blue Dog had a 2012 Senate run in mind, of course). And this is something they should have been doing all along instead of making excuses.
If no Blue Dog can achieve this, no Blue Dog will survive. And if a Blue Dog can achieve this, there is probably no more key issue of the Democratic Party they could do it with than health care reform.