Seeing one in its natural habitat is an amazing experience. Almost life-changing, really. It’s nearly overwhelming when you realize countless numbers of their kind once roamed freely around the American countryside in the tin-type days of yesteryear.
And now only a literal handful remain.
Dan Lipinski is one of them. A conservative Democrat. In the halls of Congress.
Congressman Daniel William Lipinski has been the U.S. Representative for Illinois’s third congressional district since 2005. Sadly, his days, too, are likely numbered. Powerful forces are lined up against him. Outside spending groups are targeting him. National political figures have him in their cross-hairs. Many have formally endorsed his opponent.
Time was when relatively conservative Democrats thrived. They even had a name for those in their group: The Blue Dog Coalition, or Blue Dogs. Now you are more likely to see an actual blue dog than a “conservative Democrat,” a term that has become an oxymoron of “jumbo shrimp” proportions. This phrase is now akin to saying, “awfully good,” “clearly misunderstood,” or “Republican fortitude.”
Representative Lipinski is under siege from the left, battling for his political life against hordes of relentless progressives who have teamed up to replace him with a candidate far more in line with the current radical liberal orthodoxy, which would itself be an oxymoron in a saner time.
The collapse of the Blue Dog Democrats is akin to the extinction of the passenger pigeon. There were an estimated three billion passenger pigeons in the early 1800s. By 1900, none survived in the wild. On September 1st, 1914, the very last one, Martha, was found dead on the floor of her cage in the Cincinnati Zoo. The fortunes of species- and nations- can change very quickly.
I hope Congressman Lipinski isn’t put into a (political) cage. After all, that didn’t work out well for Martha. But perhaps we could put him, Joe Manchin, and the three or four other “conservative” Democrats alive into a kind of National Political Park before they, too, are extinct.
Democrats such as Harry Truman and JFK would be considered deeply conservative today, in a party that has replaced them with the likes of Bernie Sanders and Maxine Waters.
Someday soon, all that will be left of conservative Democrats will be statues, reminders of a time when freedom of thought and expression were still respected in America.
Unless, of course, "progressives" have the statues removed.