Centrist Dems not happy
They know they are no longer the party of working Americans.
Reacting to early signs that President Obama and the Democratic rump in Congress is lurching to the Left, centrists are complaining bitterly that the left-wing Elizabeth Warren wing of the party is taking control.
Liberal Democrats say centrist grumbling is sour grapes over their decimation in the midterm election.
Obama cannot discount the shrinking centrist group because they can cross the aisle and hand the new GOP's new Senate majority victories on everything from the Keystone XL oil pipeline and banking reforms, to dismantling Obamacare.
On Friday, 28 Democrats defied Obama and joined Republicans to pass a bill to approve the long-stalled Keystone project despite the president's threat early this week to veto the bill if it reaches his desk.
Afterward, centrists complained that the threat sent the wrong signal the first week of the New Year and they argued that the party would not regain the majority if it cannot be more business-friendly.
“It just basically means what sector of the Democratic Party is he going to be pushing for?” Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, a conservative House Democrat, told the Washington Examiner. “Is it more of the liberal, green side? Or is he willing to at least consider the moderates, the centrists like myself, who believe in energy. Energy is big in my district and it's big in Texas."
One day earlier, three leaders of the fiscally conservative Blue Dog Coalition wrote to Obama urging him to think again and negotiate over the bill instead of vetoing it.
“The Blue Dog Coalition stands ready to work with you and congressional leaders to provide stringent oversight of construction and operation of the Keystone XL Pipeline, but we cannot miss this opportunity to create good paying jobs and put America on the path to be less reliant on oil from our foes,” they wrote.
Democratic Reps. Jim Cooper of Tennessee, Jim Costa of California and Kurt Schrader of Oregon signed the letter.
“It would be foolish to disrespect the moderates who embrace a more growth oriented agenda because that’s what this party needs if Democrats are going to expand their appeal to moderate voters … voters who are going to be essential in putting together a winning coalition in 2016.
“They are going to have to be more credible and present themselves as a party of growth and shared prosperity not simply class warfare and redistribution,” he said.