Thursday, December 24, 2009

Parker Griffith Can't Lose

Democratic congressman Parker Griffith of Alabama has switched parties, becoming a Republican. He said he was uncomfortable with the direction his party was taking. Well, ok: since the Democrats nabbed a much bigger plum last year in Senator Arlen Specter, I guess they can do without this guy. Like Specter, Griffith is an opportunist who can see the way the wind is blowing, and figures he stands a much better chance at reelection next year in the GOP. It's not like Specter's situation, wherein the senator saw he would probably lose the primary to a more conservative republican. In this case Griffith saw that a democrat doesn't stand a chance in his part of Alabama in the aftermath of the tea-baggers protests. Republicans are giddy, going after a Pennsylvania congressman in the same way, and insisting that momentum has swung their way. Maybe. But how does wooing former democrats, who obviously are moderates, square off against efforts on the right to make the party more conservative. Will moderate pragmatists win out or will the tea-baggers continue their purge of moderate republicans in an effort to repeat the success of the Regan revolution, when the party won by getting more conservative? There is big opportunity here for the Republicans. Can any moderate republican, anyone who doesn't pass the far-right litmus test, be be able to survive the Wrath of Sarah?


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