Blue Dog Dems ditched social issues, and made it about the economy, stupid.
Well, that’s because it is all about the economy. :-)
Focusing on matters of social justice is a luxury of the rich. The reason we have so many focused on such matters to the exclusion of the economy is because we take the economy for granted; a world where one has to scrap for one’s next meal while your stomach is growling is unknown to the vast majority of us.
If your stomach is growling and your children are unfed……there is only one thing you are concerned with. One.
I have had the ….. experience in my life, more than once, to take a cab through the Mumbai slums. I recommend the experience. Or Rio, or Sao Paulo, or Mexico City. If you’re a person who is attuned to matters of social justice……doing so won’t change your focus on those matters.
However, it will ….. rearrange your focus a bit. Quite a bit, actually. And one of the things it will most certainly do is help you develop the sense that the economically-oriented injustices which affect human needs (rather than human wants) are significantly more important than those that are not economically oriented.
So, how does that relate to the Blue Dog timeline? Well, I suspect that the Blue Dogs were in tune with their constituents desires/needs/demands. When their constituents either lost (or never had) any interest in social issues, or showed themselves to have interests more aligned with the GOP on those matters……well, their job is to represent their constituents.
Meaning that the larger question is “What was going on economically in those districts?”