While I’ve gone to great lengths to keep this website a forum for ideas, and not a personal forum, I should say something about the various stories regarding my political future in Virginia, the state that has been my primary home since late December 2010. The short of it is this: I don’t know and am nowhere near deciding. If I were to run, it would be as a Republican. And I am in the process of changing my voter registration from Alabama to Virginia, a development which likely does represent a closing of one chapter and perhaps the opening of another.
As to the horse-race question that animated parts of the blogosphere, it is true that people whose judgment I value have asked me to weigh the prospect of running in one of the Northern Virginia congressional districts in 2014 or 2016, or alternatively, for a seat in the Virginia legislature in 2015. If that sounds imprecise, it’s a function of how uncertain political opportunities can be—and if that sounds expedient, never lose sight of the fact that politics is not wishfulness, it’s the execution of a long, draining process to win votes and help and relationships while your adversaries are working just as hard to tear down the ground you build.
Rep. Davis is, of course, the former Democratic candidate for AL-GOV who lost his primary when it turned out that Alabama Democrats actually weren’t ready to vote for an African-American for a statewide race. He’s since then been reassessing his options, but seems to be under a misapprehension:
Davis also suggested running as a Republican might be a viable option, but said that the Alabama Republican Party has declined to embrace politicians who have switched parties. He noted that party-switching former congressman Parker Griffith was defeated in a GOP primary last year after leaving the Democratic Party.
To formally convert to the GOP, that is. Partially because Artur Davis probably wants the time anyway; and partially because (and here I speak from personal experience) it takes time to reconfigure one’s basic partisan identification. While your principles shouldn’t change when you switch political parties – and neither should your worldview – there is usually a whole list of damfool notions that you no longer have to grit your teeth, smile, and nod about; and it takes time to go through that list and cheerfully discard them all*.
But that’s OK: It’s going to be a couple of years before the next statewide elections in Alabama anyway. Plenty of time for a proper realignment.
*Unkind people will mutter that you instead have to memorize a whole new list of damfool notions to grit their teeth, smile, and nod about. But I’m sure that I have no idea what those people are talking about…
Which begs the question: what else did former Alabama Congressman Artur Davis* (D) get wrong?
I’ve changed my mind on voter ID laws — I think Alabama did the right thing in passing one — and I wish I had gotten it right when I was in political office.
Voting the names of the dead, and the nonexistent, and the too-mentally-impaired to function, cancels out the votes of citizens who are exercising their rights — that’s suppression by any light. If you doubt it exists, I don’t; I’ve heard the peddlers of these ballots brag about it, I’ve been asked to provide the funds for it, and I am confident it has changed at least a few close local election results.
Bolding mine. I’d like the former Congressman to expound a little on that part, if he pleases; only this time, with names, addresses, and last known location. Actually, I’d like him to expound a little on that part even if he doesn’t please. Because what Mr. Davis is describing are felonies. Continue reading Artur Davis (D, apostate) admits he got Voter ID wrong.
Stop laughing: these people don’t get out much.
(Via the Corner) I am not really going to get into the meat of this WaPo article about Alabama candidate for Governor Artur Davis. If the man is going to run on the admittedly sensible notion that being for health care rationing is political suicide in Alabama, then presumably Rep. Davis was already aware that he’d be more or less called a race traitor for doing so*. My sympathies are, as they say, muted.
But I wanted to highlight this one throwaway line, because it reveals a certain problem for the Washington Post.
Davis has played down the impact of race in his run but acknowledged that being a Democrat is a challenge in Alabama.
Um. No, it’s not. It’s actually fairly easy to be a Democrat in Alabama: Democrats have powerful if not super-majorities in both houses of their state legislature, the current Lt. Governor of Alabama is a Democrat, and up to the point where Parker Griffith flipped they had a 4-3 GOP-Dem ratio in the House. The reason why that ratio could be 6-1 after the next election is because being a liberal is a challenge in Alabama – which, by the way, accurately describes Artur Davis, Washington Post or no.
This may seem a minor problem, but it’s actually one of the reasons why the newspaper business is in such horrific shape these days: a basic lack of knowledge outside of a very narrow comfort zone. An editor who happened to know these details about Alabama, or who had thought to look them up (like I did, for some of this), could have easily flipped this story back to the reporter for a quick rewrite. But the editor was as ignorant of Alabamn politics as the reporter was. So why are they writing stories on the topic?
Bless their hearts.
*Artur Davis happens to be African-American.
Crossposted to RedState.