Some Elected Democrats are Abandoning their Party
Hard Lessons from Mid-Terms and National Census
The Democrat’s devastating mid-term defeat resulted in the Republicans gaining more than 60 seats in the House. The 2010 census shows that Americans also voted with their feet by abandoning Democrat controlled states in favor of states governed by Republicans or embracing more conservative policies.
What is clearly apparent is what drove voters in the mid-term election cycle. By and large their votes showed anti-incumbent and anti-Democrat attitudes. In addition, they were motivated further by concerns about the jobless recovery, lingering recession, a perceived lack of focus on job creation and preservation, as well as the perception of government overreaching (health care reform) and wasteful spending (bailouts, stimulus). While the Republican Party leadership was lacking in its conviction that it shared the same conservative viewpoint the abandonment of which angered so many conservative Americans, the Tea Party movement embraced these themes and when one looks at the incoming Republican freshman class, although not homogenous, it will generally be large, eager, and opposed to the size and intrusiveness of government.
The over-arching message given to the Democrats by the mid-terms and the census is that America in general is rejecting liberal policies which are being understood and judged as the reasons behind the bulk of the nation’s problems. The other message is that if you’re a Democrat seeking reelection, you had better find a way to distance yourself from the policies embraced by the Democrat Party to which you belong.
Conservatives in Democrat Clothing, Switching Ideology or Subverting their Enemy?
In the South, a number of Democrats elected to state offices have switched parties. At least 18 Democratic state legislators have jumped to the Republican Party and officials from both parties say more defections are likely in coming months.
While Democrats in other states are abandoning their party, most of the defections are occurring in Southern states. Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana and Texas have already seen cross-overs with more being anticipated.
In Georgia, where Republicans control all state offices as well as the legislature, nine Democratic legislators—eight representatives and one senator—have changed sides, strengthening solid GOP majorities. On the local level, even a black county commissioner who was once national president of the College Democrats of America has switched.
In Texas, where officials aren’t allowed to formally change parties until January, Republicans expect to pick up two state representatives and “around a dozen” county officials, judges and commissioners, state party spokesman Chris Elam said.
With the continuing shift away from the failed ideology of the left as shown by the mid-terms and census, the exodus of elected officials who abandon their party’s policies to embrace more conservative policies of their opposition creates a new set of questions regarding their loyalty to their beliefs and about their true intentions. If we can take the outcry from the left over Bush’s Patriot Act and the silence they observe about the intrusive policies of Obama’s TSA and policies which are exacerbating economic recovery it is apparent liberals generally do not like to stick to their own principles. Movements seen by their leadership only serve to enforce that view. On the other hand, perhaps the simple explanation is that defecting Democrats are beginning to recognize the failure of their policies and are abandoning their political belief system, but I really doubt that point of view.
There is yet another point of view; the population making their way out out of the rust belt’s liberal states and into the sun belt’s conservative states may represent the very voting base causing the rust belt in the first place. After all, they’ve crapped in their bed, now they’re looking for a new place to stay.