Tuesday, December 22, 2009

You Can't Really Call Parker Griffith (Blue Dog-AL) An Ex-Democrat Since He Never Was One, Not In The U.S. Congress


Last August DWT posed the question How Does One Justify Singling Out Just One Blue Dog-- In This Case Parker Griffith Of Alabama-- As The Worst Democrat In The House? It wasn't a tough case to make, and back at the link I have a chart, a snarky photo and a video of another one nearly as bad. Then just over a month ago I tried to point out that Griffith, a multimillionaire whose personal self-interest is always with the GOP, was hysterical about the estate tax. Watch him on the House floor in November making duplicitous Republican Party talking points on the estate tax. It would be virtually impossible to watch this and not guess he was either already a Republican or about to join that party:

Today, when the mainstream media suddenly discovered Parker Griffith for the first time, as he announced he would be joining the GOP, Media Matters was prepared to show that his voting record had never strayed from that of any slimy Republican. In fact there are 7 House Republicans with either an identical ProgressivePunch score on crucial votes or a better one! He opposed equal pay for women, opposed the stimulus bill, opposed clean energy legislation, opposed healthcare reform, voted against the budget and against regulating the banksters. Basically, from the day he slipped into the House he was a charter member of the Boehner Boys. His latest ProgressivePunch score on crucial issues is not just closer to every single Republican in the House than it is to progressives like Donna Edwards and Barbara Lee, it's closer to every single Republican than it is to fellow Blue Dogs and conservatives like Leonard Boswell, Dennis Moore, Jim Cooper and Allen Boyd (the only Democrat to sign on to Bush's plan to abolish Social Security).

The Republican Party used to hate him and feel he was the perfect target for their fear and smear tactics (click that NRCC ad). Now they have to decide how heavily to lean on their hand-picked candidate who was due to run against him in November, Madison County Commissioner Mo Brooks. If today's statement from Brooks' campaign is any indication, it should be a delightful GOP primary.
“We’ve known for a long time that Parker Griffith’s principles are either for sale to the highest bidder or can change depending on how the poll results are looking,” [Brooks campaign manager Bruce] Tucker said. 

“He seems to speak out of both sides of his mouth. When he’s in Washington, he gives his support to [House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi. When he’s in the district, he makes her sound terrible.”

Are the Democrats better off without Griffith in the House, forever and inexorably dragging the caucus further right and further away from the interests of working families? Well... you know where the Pope goes poo-poo, right? This is the guy, as we mentioned last summer, who promised his constituents that if they re-elected him, he would vote against Nancy Pelosi, who he referred to as a mental case, as Speaker next year. Now the DCCC won't have to waste another $1,000,000 trying to save a seat for someone who votes with the GOP all the time. Come to think of it, they'll need that money to try to save the seat of the only other House Democrat as bad as Griffith, Mississippi reactionary Travis Childers. Blue America has a page, Bad Dogs, dedicated to defeating Blue Dogs. If you have any interest in helping out, please let us know.

UPDATE: Skipping A Couple Confederate States Over To Texas

A few months ago I spent 30-40 sickening minutes on the phone with the DCCC's recruit for Mike McCaul's somewhat vulnerable seat in Texas, Jack McDonald. His sole qualification was that he was rich and willing to spend his own money on a race. He bragged to me about being a Blue Dog, but when I engaged him on the subject he was unsure what Blue Dogs are all about. I had a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach that the DCCC had found themselves another disastrous loser. I called Larry Joe Doherty and begged him to run again. (He was noncommittal.)

Today McDonald announced he wouldn't be running after all. He's raised nearly a million dollars so far. One less Blue Dog we'll have to contend with.

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