Where did the term Blue Dog Democrats come from?

March 8th, 2009 by Aileen

If you’re like me you’ve been hearing about the term Blue Dog Democrats for a while in politics but had no idea why the term was being used.

In case you were wondering like I was, I did some research and here’s what I came up with:

First, you should know that Blue Dog Democrats are the ones who are tend to embrace some conservative ideology. You might call them right of the center of the democratic party. Typically, they tend to be more universally conservative on fiscal issues and have less consensus on social issues.

Ok. So now that you know who the term refers to, let’s digg a little into exactly why the term “Blue Dog” is used to describe them. For starters, the term derived from the earlier reference to “Yellow Dog” democrats. The term “yellow dog democrat” arose in the 1800s to describe people in the South who would vote for a yellow dog before they voted for a Republican.

So the term “Blue Dog Democrats” was derived from this earlier usage, but why the term blue? Well, the idea is that conservative democrats for the longest time have been choked out of the party by the left extreme. When you get choked, you turn blue. So the idea is that the Blue Dog Democrats have been choked blue by the extreme left and have now formed coalition to fight back.

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