by Max Brantley
There's a Maureen Dowd metaphor in this news story somewhere. Mike Ross and the Blue Dog Caucus have been busting their buttons on getting an Oval Office meeting yesterday with George Bush and Dickey Cheney. We all know people like Bush -- dysfunctional bullies who take their unhappiness out on others, sometimes even by kicking the dog when things don't go their way.
The Blue Dog ranks will grow from 37 to 44 when the Democratic-led Congress convenes in January. Ross in particular has said conservative and moderate Democrats are responsible for the party's November election victory and that should give his group more leverage.
However, White House Press Secretary Tony Snow told reporters not to read into the Blue Dogs' visit that Bush thought the group had risen in importance.
Snow said the president was inviting many groups of lawmakers to the White House as he tried to build support for his agenda.
We won't belabor again the arithmetic that shows how Ross has misstated the impact of Blue Dog-style Democrats in the election takeover. They were A factor, not THE factor. Many liberal, pro-choice Dems beat incumbents, too. THE factor was the inept, now-floundering president whose favor Ross went to curry. And got a kick in the ribs from sneering Tony Snow for his trouble.