Campaigns/Elections

The Year of the Republicans-Turned-Democrats?

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The Wash Times runs a story on Republicans who changed parties and are now looking good to win next week.

Virginia Senate candidate Jim Webb is the best-known but others include Tim Mahoney, who is running for Rep. Mark Foley's seat in Florida and "lists Ronald Reagan as a political hero, opposes the 'death tax' and calls himself a 'conservative Christian"; New York's Jack Davis, who "is giving Rep. Thomas M. Reynolds one of the biggest challenges of his career. Mr. Davis, a multimillionaire businessman, says he wants to end illegal entry without granting amnesty, opposes higher taxes and wants to kill the death tax; and Flordia's Christine Jennings, a former banker gunning for "the seat being vacated by Rep. Katherine Harris" and a proponent of tax custs and lower spending.

Democratic adviser Steve Jarding says winning is trumping ideology:

"[Democrat stalwarts are] more accepting of people with different ideas, and that's a difference," Mr. Jarding said. "We're not going to be having all these litmus tests because they were killing us." 

Mr. Jarding said that had Democratic primary voters sided in the primary with Harris Miller—a longtime politician who is ideologically more in tune with national Democrats—"we would be 40 points behind George Allen right now." 

"Democrats are finally wising up," he said.

Whole tale here.

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  1. “Democrats are finally wising up,” he said.

    By rendering their label as meaningless as the Republicans’. I picked a fine time to quit voting last year.

  2. (Wow! Three cheers for the fresh new team of squirrels.)

  3. Hopefully this is the first step in political realignment and not, as rhywun says, the next step in Democrats rendering their name meaningless.

  4. Whats going to be really interesting is seeing the Dem old guard take the leadership positions in the House.

    They tend to be your hard-core partisan leftists, and will probably try to act like they have a hard-core partisan left mandate. Since neither the margin for their new majority or the voters are aligned with that, it should be entertaining.

  5. “Render-ING their label meaningless?” Someone has a problem with tenses. That action happened and was thoroughly completed some time ago. The preterite is more appropriate.

    These days, either a “Republican” or a “Democrat” is merely someone who is an activist or candidate in, or a traditional/registered voter of, the respective parties. No particular philosophies, principles, or ideologies are implied, regardless of what the opinion drovers say.

    My team, right or wrong.

  6. I see a trend. Moderate and fiscally conservative Republicans are smart enought to go where they’ve got some opportunity. Fed up with the corrupt, religious zealots in their own party, they see an opportunity in a party that has:

    a) lost touch with average American voters
    b) Has little to no competent leadership and
    c) is “more accepting of people with different ideas.”

    Next couple of years are going to be pretty interesting. These guys are coming in after watching the Democrats laying on their back and taking the beatings.

    I’ve been wondering if there’s something to the rumblings of a new, stronger Democratic party. And it isn’t going to be all kittles & beer for Reid and Pelosi. Those wankers aren’t going to last very long, I think.

    Most of the Democrats looking to come in this year- if they win – are new to politics. Many of them will have fought tough in some bruising fights. They’re not going to cotten to the current gang of idiots.

  7. Yet, the national idiots like Howard Dean list “increasing the min wage” as the first item on their idiotarian agenda.

    It will indeed be interesting to see the clash between the “new guard” of Democrats who oppose gun control and at least have knowledge of the term “fiscal responsibility”, clash with the “old guard” who is as Stalinist as ever when it comes to economics, and still too scared to take a stand as truly socially liberal.

    Also, I’m curious: where does federalism stand in all of this? It seems to me that most of these ‘democrats w/ conservative values’ candidates are pushing at least a modicum of “leave me the hell alone”, but I haven’t seen much brouhaha over it yet. Isn’t it common practice for the team that is out of power to proclaim the greatness of letting the states decide? Of course, as soon as they have the power back, they’ll resume their centralist/populist agendas, but it is always interesting to watch it unfold.

  8. Evan, I’m figuring there will be some serious nods toward federalism but it will go away.

    The pump that drives the Power circulatory system is consolidation. Much harder to consolidate power on a national level in a truly federal setup. Also much easier to inflame area voters against hotbutton issues when the villain is the nameless, faceless government.

    The liberals did it…the conservatives are doing it. It’ll happen again.

    Politicians don’t want happy people…happy people don’t vote or give money. Angry people do.

    As for me (speaking as a serious Christian, mind you), my main thing is getting the fundamentalist loonies out of office.

  9. Evan!,

    Increasing the minimum wage is about a 40 point winner when the public is polled. Not to mention, none of the former Republicans has come out against it. Back when Jim Webb was a Republican, Republicans raised the minimum wage, too.

    Yeah, that big wanker Howard Dean – the one whose 50 state strategy is about to deliver Congress to his party but taking seats that have been considered safe for two decades. No way he knows what he’s doing. Howard Dean is craaaaaaaaaazzzzzy, man.

  10. Joe, surely the local focus of the 50 State Strategy has helped. I’ll need to know more before I credit Dean for the advancements. Local focus doesn’t suddenly make weak candidates strong.

    There are a lot of other factors – like a new, more moderate (and sometimes downright conservative) slate of Democratic challengers combined with corrupt, lazy Republican nincompoops who didn’t see it coming.

    In any case, it’s shaping up to be an interesting show.

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