Democrats Jumping Ship and Landing in the Republican Life Boat; Artur Davis
Two Kinds of Jumpers
In my humble opinion, there are two types of politicians who change from one party to another. One is a politician who has an honest, true objection to the direction of their political party's agenda. The other is a politician who discovers he or she cannot win in their district under their current political affiliation. As a conservative Republican who supports the Tea Party movement, I will make no apologies for my political opinion. What I want the reader to understand is that this article is not picking on either party. Both Republicans and Democrats have members changing their political affiliations in order to win an election or because they do not agree with their current party. This article will address each type of "jumper" with recent examples of each. With the wave of Republican popularity, both examples are Democrats becoming Republicans. This was not intentional but a "happy accident." .
Artur Davis; Jumper Who Drinks the Kool-Aid
Artur Davis is an example of a politician seeing his party change before his eyes and not agreeing with the direction. Artur Davis was a "blue-dog" Democrat for several years. Mr. Davis was elected as a Democrat to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2002 and stayed in office until 2010. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artur_Davis) In 2010, Artur Davis ran for and lost an election for the governor of Alabama as a Democrat. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artur_Davis)
The first step in discovering whether the move to a different party is politcally motivated or a true testament of discontentment with the person's party is to look at their voting record. One must remember that members of the House and Senate will vote along party lines in order to maintian significant relationships with in their own party. When we look at Mr. Davis' record we do see him voting along party lines in several incidences. For example, Artur Davis repeatedly voted to extend unemployment benefits. This is an issue that liberal Republicans agreed with but conservative Republicans disagreed with. The more important question is, "How did Mr. Davis vote on issues that a majority of Democrats supported?" Artur Davis repeatedly voted against Health Care Reform. (http://votesmart.org/candidate/key-votes/27560/) He also voted for Bill HR 4380 (Temporary Tariff Suspensions and Reductions) and for H Amdt 509 (Prohibiting Federally Funded Abortion Services). (http://votesmart.org/candidate/key-votes/27560/)
The next thing to analyze is what does the was politician call himself. For years, Mr. Davis, called himself a conservative Democrat. His current statements agree with this self assessment. The change to the Republican party is more of a statement of how far left the Democratic party has gone. (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/post/yes-the-democrats-have-become-more-liberal/2012/05/02/gIQAfh8CxT_blog.html)
Also, Artur Davis was disillusioned with the Democratic direction and their tactics. In a CBN interview, Mr. Davis described what contributed to the decision to change parties. Mr. Davis stated that he did not like the constant arguing of the Democratic party. He also stated that he believes that President Obama is taking the country in the wrong direction and would like to stop the change. (CBN 700 Club, August 17, 2012). NPR also reports that Mr. Davis felt that the Republican party has more philosophical compatibility with his beliefs. (http://www.npr.org/2012/08/17/159014520/once-the-obama-of-alabama-now-a-gop-headliner)
As you can see, Artur Davis "jumped" from the Democratic party to the Republican party for personal reasons. More than likely, we will see Mr. Davis aligning with the more liberal side of the Republican party. This coincides with his voting record and his previous statements and examples.
Wayne Mallia; Jumper Who Holds the Kool-Aid For Looks
Wayne Mallia is an example of a politician who jumps ship and lands in the Republican life boat. Wayne Mallia is currently the incumbent Judge of the 405th District Court in Galveston County, Texas. He has held this office for the last 12 years, 11 years as Democrat. This is not enough to say that Judge Mallia is switching for political motivation. We need to research this individual some before we can classify Judge Mallia as a Rhino.
When evaluating judicial seats for criminal courts, it is very difficult to look at the politician's record. This forces us to lend more credence to statements made from others and the politician's recent actions. The most recent action by Judge Mallia that closes the case for me is that in November of 2011 Judge Mallia donated money to the Galveston County Democratic Party. (http://toddkinsey.com/blog/2012/04/19/rino-alert-liberal-democrat-judge-wayne-mallia-trying-to-steal-republican-nomination/) To place this in perspective, Judge Mallia declared himself a Republican in April of 2011. (http://galvestondailynews.com/story/223894) Wayne Mallia expects us to believe he is a Republican while he is donating to the Democratic party? This is being a Rhino.
Another fact the plagues Judge Mallia is that people in his prior political affiliation once considered him a "good democrat." "County Democrat Party Chairman Lloyd Criss calls Mallia 'a man without principles' who 'wants to have it both ways.' Criss has said that 'over the years (Mallia) has told me on numerous occasions how good a Democrat he was.'(http://galvestondailynews.com/story/223894)."
These facts leave us with only one viable assumption. The Kool-Aid Judge Wayne Mallia is holding is only for looks; a Rhino through and through.
Have you ever switched parties?
Disclaimer: I realize that the term for a person being a "Republican in name only" or a "Democrat in name only" is Rhino and Dino, respectively. The reason I call them "jumpers" is because there are truly shifts in each party over time that requires the fringe in each party to change their political affiliation. To label these people with a negative connotation and disregard the facts is unfair. I truly believe that perhaps we should state people are "jumpers" until we can find out the reasons behind their move.