My representative is in Cracked

Cracked identified The 5 Most Garbage Democrats In Congress, and I knew upon reading just the title that my rep, Collin Peterson, would be on the list. He is. He’s #2.

It sure seems like the climate crisis has split American politics straight down party lines, with Democrats with the 99% of scientists who’ve declared it a global crisis and Republicans, as always, with the 1%. But whoever believes that hasn’t met Representative Collin Peterson of Minnesota, who would set the world on fire himself if it would get his farmers a warmer harvest season.

Peterson is one of the last members of the “Blue Dog Coalition,” which sounds like a D.C. garage band made up entirely of dudes in Birkenstocks, but is actually a faction of Dems who are fiscally conservative and socially apathetic — the kind of Democrats whom Republicans vote for when they want their bi daughter to show up for Thanksgiving. And never having a progressive thought in his head is exactly how Collins manages to stay in office as a Democrat while representing one of the thickest parts of Minnesota’s Trump-friendly farm belt. In fact, Collins leans more Republican than some Republicans, being one of only three Democrats who voted against impeachment and one of two who put their names under a letter asking the Supreme Court to pretty please reconsider revoking abortion rights.

But Peterson’s blackest mark is a sooty one, as he’s the only establishment Democrat still firmly in the climate denial camp, the kind of guy who doesn’t believe in global warming because “we’ve just had the biggest floods and coldest winters we’ve ever had.” As the House Agriculture Chairman, Collins is constantly pushing green deals onto the back burner (the coal one he leaves running all day), pretending farmers are being victimized by green activists and running a scorched-earth policy on climate legislation. No really, his solution for solving the wildfire crisis is to destroy every inch of wilderness to protect his precious farms.

And if you’re wondering how many bridges Peterson is willing to flood for his constituents, this is a man who helped pass a bill to cut aid for starving Yemeni children so he could get his hands on farming funds quicker. Real salt of the earth, this guy.

At every election I’m told to do the expedient thing and vote for this jerk to empower the other, real Democrats. I’m not going to fall for that line anymore. If Peterson is a Democrat, then the Democratic party stands for nothing.


  1. larrylyons says

    What you forget is that in this election the Perfect is the Enemy of the Good. Ideological Purity is a luxury we cannot afford.

  2. says

    “being one of only three Democrats who voted against impeachment”

    Sounds like he’s begging to be primaried. Wait a sec… GOOGLE… WTF? Is anyone going to challenge this guy? Minnesota Democrats are just OK with this? Get your shit together and send this guy packing. There has to be someone. As it stands, this useless tool is going to win re-election with barely any campaign. This is pathetic.

  3. aspleen says

    Like it or not, it’s either Peterson or a Republican in that district, and control of the House is more important now than ever.

  4. stroppy says

    If all he does is run counter to Democratic interests and values, calling him a “Democrat” only makes him a useless member at best. In this case, the guy’s a gd harmful snafu, and needs to cleaned up. You don’t want to be like those Republican a-holes who voted for Roy Moore.

    Makes it hard to vote straight ticket, when by now voting Democrat should be a no-brainer.

  5. kome says

    If you’re not voting for a candidate, and are only voting against another candidate, things will only get worse. Because that is just how the decades-long history of that pathetic electoral strategy has been. That’s how we ended up with Trump.

    I’m sick and tired of this nonsense. “Blue no matter who” is a luxury statement for right-wing or centrist Democrats to try to bully leftists and progressives into voting for crappy faux-Republicans, and is never said to those same right-wing or centrist Democrats to see if they’d be willing to support, for example, someone like Sanders.

    “I’m not as bad as the other guy” should not be allowed to be a successful strategy. If you’re not voting for your values, merely against someone else’s, then you’re part of the problem no matter how odious the values you’re voting against. Full stop.

  6. says

    @5 kome
    100% agree. I’m sick of the partisan gaming system. I’m a life long independent, and I hate the fact that the Democratic Party is the only tool I have. The majority of the Democratic party is center right, and there is no voice for the actual left. It’s like when you have to use a shitty undersized flathead screwdriver in place of a proper phillips to turn a screw. Yeah, it works, but it’s sucks.

  7. Dunc says

    Ideological Purity is a luxury we cannot afford.

    I love how “not actively supporting the enemy” is “ideological purity” now.

    Like it or not, it’s either Peterson or a Republican in that district

    How would you notice the difference? Seriously, if he wasn’t labelled “D” and you just looked at his voting record, you’d think he is a Republican. In fact, according to the GovTrack ideology scoring, there are 55 Republicans (out of 200) who are more liberal than him. Let me repeat that: this guy is more conservative than over 25% of Republicans. Replace him with a random Republican representative, and you’ve got a 1-in-4 chance of ending up with someone more supportive of liberal values.

  8. aspleen says

    How would you notice the difference?

    By not having control of the House. It’s not just about Peterson, or a single seat. I don’t get why people are so focused on the little picture here to the exclusion of all else. FWIW, one reason that Peterson gets re-elected is that he’s Chair of the House Agricultural Committee and the voters in his district are perfectly happy to vote for him in their own self-interest, and Peterson has delivered for them. A newbie Republican wouldn’t.

  9. Dunc says

    If you only have control of the House by the vote of one guy who usually votes with the other side, you don’t have control of the House.

  10. stroppy says

    Er, speaking of “little picture.” The guy delivers on AGW denial. That alone should be enough to have him driven out of town on a rail.

  11. aspleen says

    If he votes like a republican in the house then he’s not part of “having control of the house” then, is he?

    If he caucuses with the Democrats he’s helping Democrats control the House, regardless of how he votes on other issues.

  12. mnb0 says

    Fun to read some variations on “we must fight Rethuglicans even if that means supporting a Rethuglican-like Democrat”. We shall control the House by all means, even if Rethuglican-like Democrats will vote like Rethuglicans, especially on a “small” issue like climate change!

  13. areyouashoggoth says

    Stroppy, it still matters that a democrat holds the seat even if it’s a shitty democrat. The D after his name means that he’s counted as a democrat when the house is deciding which party gets to be in the majority and which in the minority.

  14. stroppy says

    @ 16

    Maybe so. Small consolation though.

    If the party is that weak, there needs to be some hard rethinking going on. BAU just doesn’t cut it anymore.

    [Well, I’m sure I don’t have to spell it out for you.]

  15. Akira MacKenzie says


    What you forget is that in this election the Perfect is the Enemy of the Good. Ideological Purity is a luxury we cannot afford.


    The D after his name means that he’s counted as a democrat when the house is deciding which party gets to be in the majority and which in the minority.

    Soooo… Who do we have to throw under the bus to keep Peterson and his redneck, dirt-farming, backwoods trash in the party? Blacks? Latino’s. LGBTQs? Women? Atheists? Or is advancing civilization beyond the non-existent aspirations of country shitkickers more of that “Ideological Purity’ we simply MUST avoid?

  16. cvoinescu says

    It’s worth pointing out that it’s not between him and a random Republican. His opponent was a vile asshole who was more conservative than 90% of Republicans. (I don’t have a solution; I’m just saying that his only redeeming feature is that he, despite being a dumpster fire, genuinely is better than the alternative.)

  17. doubtthat says

    If Peterson is a Democrat, then the Democratic party stands for nothing.

    Understand your disgust, but nothing is in every way better than what the “best” Republican stands for.

  18. DanDare says

    Makes me think of Bloomberg. Republicans infiltrating Democrat ranks. The point of doing that is that voting Democrate is then meaningless even if that guy gets in.
    I don’t know what your remedy is. Bloomberg was evicerated in the debates but you need real, alternate, good faith candidates to do that.

  19. Akira MacKenzie says

    If Peterson is a Democrat, then the Democratic party stands for nothing.

    The same thing can be said for more than a few commenters on this post.

  20. says

    I used to loved the Cracked website until they fired the entire video staff right before Xmas. Some of their best people have gone on the other things: Soren writes for Family Guy, D.O.B works for Last Week Tonight, and Cody and Katy do the Some More News that I have quoted around here.

  21. says

    “He’s #2.”
    Minnesotans foster this reputation for modesty, but you’re not modest – you’re braggarts! Collin Peterson is second on the list, but the list goes in reverse numerical order. His number is #4. #2 is Robert “Bob” Menendez of New Jersey.
    #1 is Cheri Bustos of Illinois!
    And there is actually a very good case for other Illinois congresscritters to be ranked in the “top” 5, e.g. Dan Lipinski.
    When it comes to corruption, Minnesota can’t compare with Illinois!

  22. says

    People keep saying that it is important to keep these Democrats for strategic reasons but then seem to ignore the fact that young people are frequently not voting or looking for third party alternatives because they see the Democrats as standing for nothing. Perhaps the Democrats should consider the strategic value of looking like they are worth voting for?

  23. says

    And please note, everybody, that the party has pretty much now announced that “Blue No Matter Who” was a sham all along by saying they won’t support Sanders if he’s the candidate with the most votes. It was always a lie.

  24. doubtthat says

    It is both true that Democrats suck and should be better and that everyone should vote for Democrats every chance they get when faced with a binary R/D decision.
    Primaries and organization between elections is how you build a third party or find a good Democrat to run.