Monday, August 27, 2012

RNC and DNC have their political turncoats

Ah, the turncoats. Don't you love 'em? Oh, maybe it's just us media types who love 'em. They tend to spice up things with their disaffection. And they're becoming almost an expected part of a presidential season. Remember former Democrats Joe Lieberman, who spoke at the Republican National Convention in 2008 (click here for his speech) and Zell Miller, who spoke to the RNC in 2004 (click here for his speech)?

This season's incarnations are Artur Davis and Charlie Crist. Former Democrat Davis, once an up-and-coming African American U.S. Congressman from Alabama, is now siding with the Republicans. He's been scheduled to speak at the Republican National Convention on Tuesday (with Hurricane Isaac wreaking in Tampa and causing some streamlining of convention activities that could change).

Charlie Crist, a former Florida governor who was a rising star in the GOP and seemed to have locked up a U.S. Senate nod until he got run over by the far right in the party who considered him too moderate. On Sunday, Crist wrote an oped that appeared in the Tampa Bay Times giving his public support to President Barack Obama. The Obama campaign now says he will speak during the Democratic National Convention next week.

In both cases, there's more than a little hurt pride involved in these switcheroos. Both felt pushed aside in their parties by views that neither their party leaders nor their constituents were drawn to.

In Davis' case, some observers said in making a run for Alabama governor in 2010 he sought to broaden his appeal to some Alabama whites by opposing policies the Democratic base stood with including Obama's health care law. Davis was soundly trounced in the Democratic primary, and some say he was very bitter about it.

Crist had his own Achilles Heel as a moderate in the Republican Party. He reportedly was so hounded and out of step with party activists that he became an independent during his run for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by his friend Mel Martinez. But he lost to now Sen. Marco Rubio, who was supported by the tea party.

Predictably, both are feeling the sting of criticism from their former party associates. Of Davis, former Rep. Major Owens (D-N.Y.), who was a member of the Congressional Black Caucus during his time in Congress, had this to say in the Huffington Post recently: "Very few principles are involved in this opportunistic Judas conversion," Owens wrote. "To clinch his thirty pieces of silver Artur Davis has now openly placed himself on the auction block."


Of Crist, Florida Republican Party Chairman Lenny Curry called the Obama endorsement “a repugnant display from a self-centered, career politician.” In a press release, Curry also pointed out past instances in which Crist disagreed with Obama’s policies. He also said: ”For Crist to pull this Obama stunt while Florida faces a hurricane only proves Charlie Crist cares about just one thing: Charlie Crist.”

Ouch! Ouch!

In truth, most people will take these endorsements and speeches from candidates so clearly disaffected with their parties with a grain of salt. But it makes for good entertainment. And the convention speeches are guaranteed to get press coverage.

- Associate Editor Fannie Flono


Skippy said...

Only if you work for this newspaper would you call Crist a "rising star". At least Davis has the guts to call out the corrupt Democrat machine which is the real reason the inclusive Democrats kicked out the only black guy on your list..

Yes, former Rep. Davis admitted that the Democrats are essentially using the talking point that Voter ID disenfranchises voters because it would impede their ability to cheat (WordPress won’t allow the embed code, but here is the link to watch the video):

Top Democrats are aggressively pushing the claim that Republicans’ worries about voter fraud are an insincere excuse to suppress voting by African-Americans and Hispanics.

But former Democratic Rep. Artur Davis told The Daily Caller that anti-fraud measures are needed to protect African-Americans from corrupt political bosses — many of them African-Americans themselves — who run Democratic Party machines in the South.


“What I have seen in my state, in my region, is the the most aggressive practitioners of voter-fraud are local machines who are tied lock, stock and barrel to the special interests in their communities — the landfills, the casino operators — and they’re cooking the [ballot] boxes on election day, they’re manufacturing absentee ballots, they’re voting [in the names of] people named Donald Duck, because they want to control politics and thwart progress,” he told TheDC.

“People who are progressives have no business defending those individuals

Europeanexpat said...

Crist was so moderate that he endorsed Obama over moderate maverick McCain.

Larry Comrades said...

Crist is a great statesperson and will be be a great Democrat one day.

His payoffs for some unusual rumors regarding his personal history were sufficient, and that is what takes to know just what to pay when you are a great Democrat.

One Discerner said...

Skippy, it's funny how you selectively embrace one turncoat over another, because one (Davis) parrots GOP talking points about their voter suppression tactics in order to gain favor. Well, don't mind me as I choose to believe Rep. Owens when he said of Davis "Very few principles are involved in this opportunistic Judas conversion." And "To clinch his thirty pieces of silver Artur Davis has now openly placed himself on the auction block."

Meanwhile in other news, the GOP plans to assign Davis to a very visible seat at the GOP convention to give the illusion that their convention has diverse participation.

Jim said...

Well, you know the old saw about a politician whose lips are moving.

Larry Comrades said...

@One Discerner

What is it about people thinking for themselves upsets you and the democrats so much?

Anonymous said...

I would not include Lieberman in the turncoat list. If giving a speech to the opposing party's convention is all it takes to be a turncoat, I suppose he qualifies. Officially, he went Independent, but he still votes with Democrats on the vast majority of issues.

I don't have a problem with Davis or Crist. They started with one philosophy and aligned themselves with the party that matched it best. Then, they felt the party they chose was not fulfilling the vision they had and decided the other party fit better. There is no reason to call Crist an egomaniac or to call Davis an Uncle Tom - and that is one thing that really burns me up, when a black person decides his best fit is with Republicans, he's always called an Uncle Tom or a sellout or denying his blackness. Did you notice how Major Owens just had to throw in a slavery reference in addition to his Judas metaphor? That was completely uncalled for.