Bye-bye, Democratic Party … or as the right wing Daily Caller originally put it:
Former Alabama Democratic Rep. Artur Davis has come out of the closet — as a Republican.
They have since revised the article to read “has turned in his Democratic Party card” … guess someone reminded them Davis is on their side now, no snark not allowed.
You can read Davis' rambling justification of his party switch here. Some interesting items:
• Davis is only just now moving his voter registration to Virginia, even though he has lived there for 18 months.
• He can't resist one last, parting slap at the ADP, saying it “has weakened and lost faith with more and more Alabamians every year.” Hopefully getting rid of some of our
two-faced party switchers wishy-washy Democrats who sound just like Republicans will help with that problem.
• Davis invokes John and Bobby Kennedy and ” the noble things they stood for” as he cuts ties with their party — interestingly, Martin is not mentioned anywhere in his post. It would have been OK to mention Abraham too, Artur, he was (nominally) a Republican.
• This man without a party also has the gall to pretend he knows what's in former President Bill Clinton's mind — “this is not Bill Clinton’s Democratic Party (and he knows that even if he can’t say it).” Instead of trying to read his mind now, Davis should have taken a lesson from Bill Clinton on how bounce back from a political loss.
• He has retained enough intellectual honesty to note that the Democratic Party engineered “the last run of robust growth and expanded social mobility that we have enjoyed,” but follows it up with concerns about penalizing “job creators with more taxes.” Gag.
• Davis admits he knows very little about Northern Virginia and is not sure what office he might seek there, or even when. But in the meantime, he's checking as many boxes as he can to curry favor with his new party's power players — taxes, voter fraud, charter schools, entitlements, deficits.
Artur Davis is a hot topic for political writers today … everyone from the Washington Post to the North Jefferson News is getting in on the fresh meat — but the best thing I've read so far is from David Schraub:
Artur Davis is a smart man, and that's what makes his decision so infuriating. He's smart enough to know that “voter fraud” is a fraud, but he's also smart enough to know that jumping on that train is a fast way to leap to prominence amongst the GOP, who are always looking for Black faces to say what White audiences want to hear.
The tragedy is that someone as smart and talented as Davis is deciding to use his talents like this — trying to exploit the game to put himself in power, rather than to do good for the nation. People say good riddance, and in a sense they're right to — someone who sells out like this does not deserve our respect. But I can't help but feel a twinge of regret. Artur Davis' story could have had so many endings. It's a shame he chose this one.
Yep. There was tremendous promise in Artur Davis, but from the very beginning there was also a tendency toward expediency. He unseated Earl Hilliard with AIPAC money (interesting article on AIPAC politicos here) because it was money he could get, no matter what else AIPAC stood for. In his bid for governor of Alabama he courted progressive Democrats by embracing the long shot cause of constitutional reform … while prematurely currying favor with conservatives through vocal opposition of the Affordable Care Act.
There's a fine line between the politics of the possible and plain old selling out. I think Artur Davis has learned the wrong lesson — just go where the money is — from his political losses.