"I'm not a member of any organized party, I'm a Democrat"

Discord among Dems 'par for the course,' experts say


[After] nearly a year after the election, Democrats have little to show for this legislative session, despite holding a majority in both chambers of Congress.

The Democratic leadership, most recently, has butted heads over health care, and, throughout Obama's term, the fiscally conservative Blue Dog Democrats have had a hard time swallowing the massive increases in government spending.

"A lot of citizens and a lot of journalists think that government should be a smooth-running machine. There's never been a smooth-running machine called government," said Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia's Center for Politics.

The party infighting, Sabato said, is "absolutely expected."

"Where you stand depends on where you sit in American government. So to me, it's par for the course. It always seems more dramatic and important at the time from the perspective of history," he added.

The first nine months of the Obama administration have put to rest any Republican fears of a rubber-stamp Congress. That point was made painfully clear earlier this month in a "Saturday Night Live" sketch chastising Obama for the unfulfilled items on his to-do list.

Democratic strategist Phil Noble says the tug-of-war among Democrats is just the nature of the party, pointing to a quote by Will Rogers, who said, "I'm not a member of any organized party, I'm a Democrat."

Comment: Good Will Rogers quote. More on the Blue Dog Coalition. Members.

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