I don’t think that we can infer very much from the votes on Pelosi’s reelection as Speaker. If caucus members expect her to be reelected, a few will cast a principled vote against her, but most will recognize that this particular battle is not worth fighting - and losing - at this time, and they will simply go along with the crowd. I think that Squad members who voted for her reelection as Speaker thought this way. They certainly know that they were elected to change the policies that Pelosi champions, but they recognized the high cost of pissing off the Speaker on day one of the Congressional session.
iirc, many of the Blue Dogs who voted against her said that voting against Pelosi’s reelection as Speaker was their prime campaign promise, so they could not break it as their first act in office. The unspoken message in this excuse is that the Blue Dogs would have voted for her, as the leadership demands, if their campaign promise had not been so prominent.
I’m not sure that the blank check border bill shows that Pelosi felt forced to override her progressive proclivities to accommodate the Blue Dogs. Even Schumer was surprised that the bill passed the House with no changes that would have required the Senate to compromise even a little bit. When the Democratic Speaker of the House negotiates a deal with a wacko Republican President and that deal is entirely satisfactory to Evil Mitch and that deal passes the House with unanimous support from Republicans, then the Speaker demonstrates that she is Trump’s ally and enabler far more than she is beholden to the Blue Dogs. Some Blue Dogs supported the bill because they are Republicans in disguise, just as Pelosi is a corporate Democrat and therefore a near-Republican and pretty much a Blue Dog herself, but I strongly suspect that some Blue Dogs are in office largely because of support from the DCCC and the DP establishment. Pelosi is just as “centrist” as HRC, and she runs the House and the DCCC just like Hillary ran the DNC; the results conveniently allow her to support Republican policies while blaming the Blue Dogs for forcing her to do so.
This reminds me of Harry Reid’s compaint that he “didn’t have the votes” to do progressive things in 2009-10. The classic definition of “chutzpah” comes to mind, and the Democrats are providing new examples of that definition.
“Pelosi vs. the Blue Dogs” has a chicken-and-egg quality to it. I think that in many cases Pelosi came first, not the Blue Dogs, and I’m putting the research project that will solve this conundrum on my to-do list. Completion date is uncertain!