Blue Dogs actually seem like the most scared people in all of Washington, D.C. as a result of this article. They are afraid of Republican attacks. They are afraid of conservative pundits. They are afraid of their constituents. They are afraid of motions to recommit that are meaningless in terms of actual policy. And they are protected by Emanuel and Hoyer, who seem petrified of all the same things. They seem to all operate in a perpetual state of fear, despite their surface machismo. And yes, it does seem like fear, rather than simply conservative beliefs in this case, because otherwise why would they be in favor of a meaningless procedural motion that has nothing to do with policy? The widespread fear in the tough guy wing of the Democratic Party is one of the great ironies of modern American politics.
There's much truth to this, but I wouldn't entirely discount the idea that many elected Democrats actually have fairly conservative views on a few issues and prefer to be seen as "afraid" by liberals than as simply on the other side.