Conservative Democrats switch to GOP across the Deep South

Related to article on Shuler's whining recently. Add this to the list of heavy burdens for 2012 and going forward--unless and if the Republicans and their white Tea Party friends really screw up.

Defections reflect the Democrats' drubbing in the midterm election and Republicans' consolidation of power in the South

Since the midterm election, 24 state senators and representatives have made the switch in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and Texas.

In some cases, the ramifications have been profound: In Louisiana, defecting Democrats gave Republicans a majority in the state House for the first time since Reconstruction; in Alabama, they delivered the GOP a House supermajority. Republicans have 65 votes to the Democrats' 39, enough to pass constitutional amendments over Democratic opposition.

The trend continued through late January — when nine officials in Lamar County in northeastern Texas left the Democratic Party — and into last week, when Louisiana Atty. Gen. James D. "Buddy" Caldwell switched parties, leaving the GOP in control of every major state office in Baton Rouge.

Democrats may remain competitive in some parts of the South in 2012. The Democratic Party's announcement last week that it will hold its national convention in Charlotte, N.C., may help President Obama's chances in what has become a Southern swing state — and one that he narrowly won in 2008.,0,6236304.story

The real question is not that this happening but what will we do about it in a timely manner?


They've been Republicans all along ...

sticking with the Democratic Party only as long as the pickings were good. This switching reveals the depravity of their prostitution for all to see.

I'm afraid there's nothing to be done. Americans are, by and large, spectacularly ignorant and short-sighted. We are driving off a cliff, and there's little we can do to stop the train.

You can be sure, though, that we'll be called on to "sacrifice" when it comes time to pick up all the pieces. My own personal view is that we'll see full-fledged class and racial warfare in the aftermath. Fortunately, I'll be dead by then. Unfortunately, my children and their children will be caught in the crossfire.

What they don't understand (yet) is,

the people that voted them in could have chosen a Republican if they wanted to (unless there was no R running, which is even funnier). If they want to be Republicans now, let 'em. They'll pay for it down the road.

Education and outreach.

This isn't rocket science. It's just hard work.

We have to pay attention to what people really care about: their kids, homes, jobs, health, neighborhoods. We have to show that we're doing that, and how, and that the Republicans are not.

The story remains remarkably consistent over time. One group/coalition/party pushes for better conditions and opportunities for the have-nots. The haves fight back by demonizing some set of "others" as the supposed enemies of some of the have-nots.

The side which does the better job of education, outreach, and organizing moves forward, and the other is pushed back.

Keep in mind that there are always a good number of middle-grounders, people who have it not bad, and don't want risk what they have by supporting what they see as radical change, but are happy to go along with what they perceive as reasonable efforts to share the opportunities around.

Part of the work is exposing the lies of the demonizers. Part is outreach to the disenfranchised and disallusioned and getting them involved--or, sometimes, recognizing when they're already involved and forming coalitions. Part of the work is bringing along the middle-grounders by showing them that positive change is in their best interest, and how.

Compromises all around are required to make it work. Compromise is not a dirty word. "Giving up" is.

Dan Besse

This is even more important

We have to pay attention to what people really care about: their kids, homes, jobs, health, neighborhoods.

during a recession than when the economy's chugging along. Basic human nature. During hard times people draw up and go into survival mode, and the problems of others become less important.