Blue-Dog Democrat Switches to GOP

by Sal on December 22, 2009

in Election 2010,Politics

Much is often made by the state-run media along with the Democrats of how the GOP is made up of right-wing nuts who force moderates and others out of the party.  When a Republican such as Jim Jeffords and Arlen Specter switch to the Democrat party, much is made of about how the GOP doesn’t tolerate so-called “moderates”.  Well, the shoe is on the other foot this time.  Rep. Parker Griffith (D-AL) has announced that he is switching parties from the Democrat party to the GOP.  He blamed the leadership and the bad legislation coming from the Democrats for the switch:

Unfortunately there are those in the Democratic Leadership that continue to push an agenda focused on massive new spending, tax increases, bailouts and a health care bill that is bad for our healthcare system.  I have always considered myself to be an independent voice and I have tried to be that voice in Congress – but after watching this agenda firsthand I now believe that the differences in the two parties could not be more clear and that for me to be true to my core beliefs and values I must align myself with the Republican party and speak out clearly on these issues.

Griffith, a medical doctor by trade, has been outspoken on ObamaCare.  His voice could be crucial to helping defeat the post-conference version of ObamaCare.  Such a political move could send ripples in a nervous Democrat caucus.  I disagree with those who want to primary Griffith next year and put a more solid conservative in the seat.  Griffith’s district has traditionally voted Democrat, he voted against the Stimulus, ObamaCare, and Cap-and-Tax.  He may not be 100% in lockstep with every conservative principle, but he is an asset to the GOP for his switch.  The big question:  as more and more blue-dogs appear vulnerable in 2010, will Griffith’s move be the start of a trend in the House?

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Ryan December 22, 2009 at 6:38 pm

I’d be curious to see how this plays in the MSM. It’d be great if more switches came based on principle rather than a political calculations.


Dee December 22, 2009 at 9:15 pm

Last year, the NRCC spent over $500,000 attacking Griffith, accusing him of everything from medical malpractice and legislative incompetence, to being soft on Islamic terrorism.
Additionally, questions were raised by the Republican Party about whether Griffith engaged in fraud at his cancer center.
Considering the increasing numbers of aerospace and defense industry workers in his district, and the anger directed at him when the administration killed the missile defense shield in Eastern Europe (the base for Boeing’s ground-based missile defense research is in his district), and the fact that he is going to be challenged from both the left AND the right…I would imagine his 15 minutes are just about up. Dee


Mike December 22, 2009 at 11:38 pm

Close, but not exactly. Griffith’s minutes WERE up, until he switched teams today. He saw the writing on the wall and did something about it. Is it principled? No. But while we’re on the topic of principle, I think its funny that Dee just just gave the NRCC more credit in a single blog comment than the three of us have given them in four years.


Dee December 23, 2009 at 1:18 am

Nice try…I am neither giving the NRCC credit or condemnation, merely an observation on the facts. I have no idea if the blitz the NRCC (and state Rep party) ran against him was true or false…not the point. The Dems will most likely re-run the ’08 spots while the local Repub’s (Griffiths new “team”-mates), who at least as of today contend that they are in the race to stay, will be hammering him from his other flank. Much like Spector, it appears the Freshman from the Alabama 5th is going to have his hands full come 2010. Dee


Dee December 23, 2009 at 8:35 am



Mike December 23, 2009 at 9:33 am

You can steal my style all you want Dee, but it doesn’t change the fact that when you cite an organization in support of the fact they allege, you are in fact giving them credit. That doesn’t change even when you back off the facts alleged in a subsequent comment.

However, you are right about Griffith in one respect. He may have his hands full next year. But he has one thing going for him that Specter doesn’t. Griffith had at least some degree of ideological consistency, even in the other party. Specter’s voting pattern was all over the place.


Dee December 24, 2009 at 10:59 am

I’m sorry. I thought words like “accusing”, and phrases like “questions were raised” would convey my meaning…apparently it was too nuanced, so I will try again. When his “new team” spent so much time and money attacking every aspect of his character, it has historically been next to impossible to walk that back. The NRCC is what it is…I have no faith that they deal in facts any more than the DCCC. As for the congressman’s “ideological consistency”…let’s wait and see. Personally, I suspect his affiliation change came after some internal polling of his favorables in his district…but maybe I’m just cynical. Finally..all due respect, what style? Dee


Mike December 24, 2009 at 12:28 pm

You never have pulled off nuance Dee so that one isn’t going to work. Words like “accusing” and “questions raised” are words people typically use when they want to make a factual statement but don’t have the evidence to back it up. As your subsequent backpedalling reveals, that’s exactly what happened here.

As for your question, you know exactly what I mean.


Dee December 24, 2009 at 12:50 pm

I humbly bow to the authority on lack of nuance.


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