I do feel that some of the blue dogs are way out of touch with their constituents and way too in touch with health insurance lobbyists. But in defense of the blue dogs, I think many just want to know that they are not going to get stabbed in the back.
No member of the Democratic caucus should be forced to make a tough vote if there is no chance that the bill will become law. No one knows what Obama is thinking or what he is planning. If he is going to completely scrap the House bill in conference and back Baucus' bill, why should the blue dogs vote for the House bill?
It is one thing to stand with your president; it is another thing to stand out on a cliff without him. Obama's refusal to draw lines, make demands, or commit to proposals is leaving everyone guessing.
Obama's willingness to give Senator Baucus complete leeway does (and should) make blue dogs nervous. Is Obama humoring Baucus, just desperate to pass anything, or planning to make a hybrid in conference?
It is easy to blame the blue dogs for not standing with the party, but they can't really be blamed if Obama is unwilling to provide them with leadership or cover.