“There are very few Southern Democratic members left,” Tennessee Rep. Jim Cooper, one of the last remaining members of the beleaguered Blue Dog coalition of conservative Democrats, wrote in an email. “I have no idea how strong my opposition will be, and I’m trying to do all I can to help out at the regional and local level.”

In regards to payment of dues to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, retiring members hold little allegiance to their former masters: One of the largest groups of truant Democrats (Those who have not paid DCCC dues) — retirees — is under no pressure to spend money on expensive campaigns. Of the 15 Democrats who are leaving Congress, 14 have not paid their dues in full. A handful of those are Blue Dog Democrats who have, at times, clashed with Pelosi.

Democrats in Congress are becoming an increasingly "cultural" crowd. They fall into two camps: white apologists; or ethnic minorities. Something one would perhaps expect to occur under the leadership of an ethnic party chief.

The regional differences however cut even deeper. Democrats are strong in what had been traditional union bastions. What will be telling in 2012 is whether the mild rebuke occurring between unions and Democrats will deepen the fund raising shortfall that is occurring in this election cycle. While Democrats have done remarkably well at fund raising overall, they will likely flag behind Republicans with 50% of the Republican cash trove in the all-important final few weeks before November 6, 2012.

Stay tuned.