Artur Davis, Always The Skin-Crawling Opportunist, Makes It Official: He's Gone From ConservaDem To Republican
Artur Davis had one of the safest Democratic districts in the South. When he was the congressman from the 7th CD, gerrymandering had packed as many African-Americans into it as they could. It was a 61.7% African-American district with a Democratic PVI of +17. Gore won with 66%, Kerry with 64% and Obama with 72%. And yet Davis, a Harvard graduate on the way somewhere, was always voting as though he had to worry about something. He ran against a populist Democratic incumbent who had-- like Cynthia McKinney-- angered Zionists outside the district and they funded Davis' campaigns. He won on his second try, in 2002, and turned out to be a consistently conservative Members of Congress.
But Davis wasn't voting like a Republican because he was afraid of his constituents. He was voting like a Republican because he wasn't afraid of them and was willing to betray their interests for his own-- his own ambition. He was always told he was meant to be something more than "just" a congressman-- a governor, a senator... maybe more. So his every vote was geared towards pleasing Alabama voters outside the 7th CD, much the way another creepy-crawly Democrat in a similar situation, Harold Ford, Jr., was playing the game in Memphis. But both failed. Davis lost the Democratic primary-- and lost badly, including in his own district-- when he ran for governor. He had moved from a moderate 70.82 ProgressivePunch lifetime voting score to a dismal and reactionary 31.58 from the time Obama became President and, more importantly, since he started his campaign for governor.
His vote against the health care reform bill was probably the last straw for his congressional constituents, who gave Ron Sparks majorities in 10 of the 12 counties that make up AL-07, Davis' own congressional district! Statewide, Sparks took 199,190 votes (62.4%) to Davis' 119,908 votes (37.6%). Davis' strategy-- one long encouraged by Rahm Emanuel and the DCCC-- to move to the political right backfired... very badly. It's a losing strategy; when conservatives vote, they tend to prefer to vote for real conservatives, not Democrats playing the role.
But Davis has long passed "playing" the role to being the role. Last October we asked when Davis would make it official and join the GOP. This week he finally made the move official, both that he's abandoned Alabama for Virginia and the conservative end of the Democratic Party for the Republicans. Forget "I have no interest in running for political office again". He never really meant that anyway, other than in the sense Nixon did.
I should say something about the various stories regarding my political future in Virginia, the state that has been my primary home since late December 2010. The short of it is this: I don’t know and am nowhere near deciding. If I were to run, it would be as a Republican. And I am in the process of changing my voter registration from Alabama to Virginia, a development which likely does represent a closing of one chapter and perhaps the opening of another.
As to the horse-race question that animated parts of the blogosphere, it is true that people whose judgment I value have asked me to weigh the prospect of running in one of the Northern Virginia congressional districts in 2014 or 2016, or alternatively, for a seat in the Virginia legislature in 2015. If that sounds imprecise, it’s a function of how uncertain political opportunities can be-- and if that sounds expedient, never lose sight of the fact that politics is not wishfulness, it’s the execution of a long, draining process to win votes and help and relationships while your adversaries are working just as hard to tear down the ground you build.
...[P]arties change. As I told a reporter last week, this is not Bill Clinton’s Democratic Party (and he knows that even if he can’t say it). If you have read this blog, and taken the time to look for a theme in the thousands of words (or free opposition research) contained in it, you see the imperfect musings of a voter who describes growth as a deeper problem than exaggerated inequality; who wants to radically reform the way we educate our children; who despises identity politics and the practice of speaking for groups and not one national interest; who knows that our current course on entitlements will eventually break our solvency and cause us to break promises to our most vulnerable-- that is, if we don’t start the hard work of fixing it.
On the specifics, I have regularly criticized an agenda that would punish businesses and job creators with more taxes just as they are trying to thrive again. I have taken issue with an administration that has lapsed into a bloc by bloc appeal to group grievances when the country is already too fractured: frankly, the symbolism of Barack Obama winning has not given us the substance of a united country. You have also seen me write that faith institutions should not be compelled to violate their teachings because faith is a freedom, too. You’ve read that in my view, the law can’t continue to favor one race over another in offering hard-earned slots in colleges: America has changed, and we are now diverse enough that we don’t need to accommodate a racial spoils system. And you know from these pages that I still think the way we have gone about mending the flaws in our healthcare system is the wrong way-- it goes further than we need and costs more than we can bear.
Taken together, these are hardly the enthusiasms of a Democrat circa 2012, and they wouldn’t be defensible in a Democratic primary. But they are the thoughts and values of ten years of learning, and seeing things I once thought were true fall into disarray. So, if I were to leave the sidelines, it would be as a member of the Republican Party that is fighting the drift in this country in a way that comes closest to my way of thinking: wearing a Democratic label no longer matches what I know about my country and its possibilities.
USAToday, with a straight face, referred to Davis as an Obama ally and the Washington Post emphasizes his intentions of running as a Virginia Republican-- probably against Jim Moran or Gerald Connolly. But, has no one considered the possibility that he just wants a job on Fox?
As for the DCCC... just look at their Red-to-Blue page. They've recruited dozens of clueless conservatives just like Davis who are bound to vote with Republicans if any of them get the chance and, eventually, to become Republicans, just like he did. The DCCC is spending virtually all the money they've allocated for challengers on conservatives, many to the right of Davis, like Blue Dogs and New Dems:
Shelley Adler (New Dem-NJ)
Ron Barber (New Dem-AZ, who's already announced he won't commit to voting for Pelosi for Speaker)
Leonard Bembray (Blue Dog-FL)
Andrei Cherny (New Dem-AZ)
David Crooks (Blue Dog-IN)
John Delaney (New Dem-MD)
Suzan DelBene (New Dem-WA)
Val Demings (New Dem-FL)
Bill Foster (New Dem-FL)
Pam Gulleson (Blue Dog-ND)
Clark Hall (Blue Dog/KKK-AR)
Denny Heck (New Dem-WA)
Paul Hirschbiel (New Dem-VA)
Nick Lampson (Blue Dog-TX)
Dan Maffei (New Dem-NY)
Gary McDowell (Blue Dog-MI)
Brendon Mullen (Blue Dog-IN)
Patrick Murphy (New Dem-FL)
Scott Peters (New Dem-CA)
Hayden Rogers (Blue Dog-NC)
Brad Schneider (New Dem-IL)
Julian Schreibman (New Dem-NY)
Juan Vargas (New Dem-CA)
Rob Wallace (Blue Dog-OK)
Charlie Wilson (Blue Dog/New Dem-OH)
It's a long list of losers, a long list of candidates "ex"-Blue Dog Steve Israel wants you to waste your money on. Here's a list of well-vetted progressives you might want to consider as an alternative. None of them will ever switch to the GOP the way DCCC candidates tend to do.