Political Animal


August 17, 2012 9:02 AM Comparative Apostasy

By Ed Kilgore

For those interested in the topic, I’ve got a piece up at TNR this morning offering a comparative analysis of the prominent Democratic Apostates featured at (now) three straight Republican national conventions: Zell Miller in 2004, Joe Lieberman in 2008, and now Artur Davis in 2012. They are very different men in many respects, but all scratch an important itch for the GOP: helping Republicans make an otherwise very difficult case that theirs is a “centrist” party offering a reasonable alternative to disgruntled Democrats. Republicans may privately have little but contempt for crossover or recently converted Democrats, but do find them useful. The more the Romney/Ryan campaign descends into overtly racial appeals against the incumbent, the more they will give attention to the support of Artur Davis.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


  • Hedda Peraz on August 17, 2012 9:19 AM:

    When herbivores consume all the forage on their side of the fence, they tend to cross over.
    Grass and Money: both green!

  • martin on August 17, 2012 9:24 AM:

    Grass and Money: both green!

    So is slime;>

  • bo on August 17, 2012 9:33 AM:

    The other aspect of the GOP's convention cross-over programming is that there just aren't enough articulate, engaging republicans to fill all the podium time.
    If you don't believe me, just look at their ticket! They can't even find two acceptable, honest, intelligent republicans to run for president and veep.

  • Lifelong Dem on August 17, 2012 9:38 AM:

    Boy, those are three superstars of the Democratic Party. Lieberman is really the only one who had national name recognition before appearing at the Republican National Convention. But, all three men serve the GOP's purpose, which is to stick it to the Democrats.

  • nouseforaname on August 17, 2012 9:41 AM:

    It is puzzling. I wonder what they all had in common? They aren't all black. They aren't all Jewish. They don't all have the last letter of the alphabet as the first letter of their name. What do they have in common? Maybe it's something they also share with Ed.

  • c u n d gulag on August 17, 2012 9:55 AM:

    And now that the voters of CT have basically retired, Joe, look for him to be the "Bipartisan Sage of the Beltway," on all of the Sunday circle-jerks.

    And on FOX, of course - telling FOX viewers what the Democrats are doing wrong, and how, if only, he could have gotten some more "Joe-mentum" in the 2004 Democratic primaries, he could have fixed that party once and for all.

  • exlibra on August 17, 2012 10:17 AM:

    I wonder what they all had in common? -- nouseforaname, @9:41 AM

    All sore losers of the "I'll take my toys, go pout in my sandbox, and you'll be sorry" type. Surprised you missed that common -- to them all, but *not* Ed -- trait.

  • jim filyaw on August 17, 2012 10:45 AM:

    i haven't given a lot of thought of ex-republicans who turned democrat, but several of those who headed the other way come to mind, and it ain't purty, starting with strom thurmond and coming on up through the likes of shelby, lieberman, miller, and davis. none of these individuals is worth a tinker's damn. the one positive i get from it is that both politcal parties improved themselves.

  • Peter C on August 17, 2012 11:14 AM:

    "Selling your soul" is a fairly common theme in Western literature. One can hardly be surprised that there will be modern examples in everyday life. As for Lieberman and Davis - the Republicans can have them; I don't want to be associated with them.

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  • TCinLA on August 17, 2012 12:41 PM:

    Lenin had an accurate term for people like Miller, Lieberman and Davis: "Useful idiots."

    Each of them is an incompetent asshole who mistook his fevered delusions of adequacy as being some higher truth. Traitors are always pathetic, and those who use the traitors dislike them even more than those who are the victims of the treason.

  • Sgt. Gym Bunny on August 17, 2012 12:57 PM:

    re: bo on August 17, 2012 9:33 AM

    Well the GOP likes outsourcing work. Evidently they like it so much they'll even outsource their own jobs along with the guise of sanity to the other team...

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