The first of what will likely be multiple defections to the Republican party occurred today, as former Democrat Rep. Parker Griffith, a freshman from Alabama, announces he will switch parties.
While cynics may point to it as a job-saving move (his own), in fact Griffith's district has elected a Democrat for the last...well, forever. And there's one more little uncomfortable fact for the Dems in there:
Griffith, who captured the seat in a close 2008 open seat contest, will become the first Republican to hold the historically Democratic, Huntsville-based district. A radiation oncologist who founded a cancer treatment center, Griffith plans to blast the Democratic health care bill as a prime reason for his decision to switch parties—and is expected to cite his medical background as his authority on the subject.
Having a doctor desert your party while on the cusp of health-care "reform" will reverberate with the voters far more than any speechifying from Nancy or Harry, or even Baracky, who Americans seem to have tuned out completely.
And while many will compare his Griffith's switch with that of Senator Arlen Specter, one can honestly say that Griffith's seems to come from a more ideological basis (as a doctor in a Democratic district) than Specter (a politician who thought he needed to change parties, and turn America into a one-party system, in order to survive what he saw as a "blue rush" in Pennsylvania. Looks like he was wrong - about how deep blue Penn would go, and about his own survival).
And although the media will downplay this Republican pickup as much as they overplayed Specter's defection and Hoffman's loss ("no room for moderates, blah,blah,blah...") and as much as they underplayed the Republican showing in Blue Jersey and Purple Virginia ("all politics are local, blah,blah,blah.."), it is actually very, very meaningful.
Because it's the first of many. Because it's a step back to sanity. Because it's one less seat the Republicans will need to win in order to retake the House.
All things that the media does not what you to know, or believe. But believe this: It is just the beginning...