Lots of Flopflipping

Especially in the South. What do you make of this? I’ve always thought it weird to see a Rep get elected on one ticket and flip to the other by choice. But, it must be according to the rules.

From AP:

ATLANTA (AP) — Staggering Election Day losses are not the Democratic Party’s final indignity this year.

At least 13 state lawmakers in five states have defected to Republican ranks since the Nov. 2 election, adding to already huge GOP gains in state legislatures. And that number could grow as next year’s legislative sessions draw near.

The defections underscore dissatisfaction with the Democratic Party — particularly in the South — and will give Republicans a stronger hand in everything from pushing a conservative fiscal and social agenda to redrawing political maps.

About Scot McKnight

Scot McKnight is a recognized authority on the New Testament, early Christianity, and the historical Jesus. McKnight, author of more than forty books, is the Professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary in Lombard, IL.

  • KatR

    Not surprising. I live in the South, and a lot white southerners still haven’t accepted the loss of “the War of Northern Aggression”. A black President is frying their circuits.

  • BradK

    State lawmakers are switching parties because the president is black? Really? Did they just now notice after two years in office that the president is black?

    Excuse me for being cynical, but at least in Alabama where I live it likely has a whole lot more to do with the fact that the state government here has been controlled by the democratic party for 136 years and is now under GOP control after this election. Some of these lawmakers who are switching parties simply don’t want to be in a minority in a legislature they have controlled during their whole political career so far. Most of them are probably fairly conservative on a lot of issues anyway and the switch is not exactly a huge ideological leap.

    Any politician who makes a party switch will eventually be judged by his constituents at the next election, so it’s not really such a big deal. And it’s not like this hasn’t happened before even on the national level. Arlen Specter is one example. Richard Shelby is another. For me, it’s pretty much a non-issue, even if it would seem more ethical for these folks to make a switch like this at election time rather than in the wake of an election.

  • Daniel

    Brad @2, you just don’t get it. The ideas are sound – the only other conclusion is that they flipped because of race. Now, granted, they were fine for 2 years but they just couldn’t take it any longer after the recent elections.

  • Robin

    I vote for the “people don’t like being out of power” option. In Kentucky, even though we are a red state (by Federal senators and representatives) and voted for John McCain by overwhelming margins, our state house is controlled by the democrats. Do you want to guess how many schools/roads/bridges were funded in republican districts in the last house budget? I’ll give you a hint, it starts with “z” and ends with “ero”.

    In this election republicans picked up 675 new seats in state assemblies and 19 state houses switched from democratically controlled to republican controlled. I can only imagine how much those democratic incumbents dreaded being part of an ineffective minority that couldn’t even bring home state level pork…so they switched.

  • Jeremy

    Southern Democrats are an odd bunch. They’ve always been just this side of Republican anyway. I’m not particularly surprised they switched, but it’ll be interesting to see what’ll happen if the independent crowd gets tired of the Republicans too come 2012.

    Though we’ll never know since the world is ending sometime in October of that year anyway. :P

  • Daniel

    Jeremy@ 5, Ha! Good one.

  • http://www.loubarba.blogspot.com Lou Barba

    Hi Scott,

    I would hope that just as an evangelist wants unbelievers to embrace Christianity, that Republicans would have a similar welcome for Democrats.

    Lou Barba

  • L.

    Excuse me, but speaking as a Southerner, it’s not that Obama’s black; it’s his policies. Got that?

  • http://carsontclark.wordpress.com/ Carson Clark

    Can we refrain from rushing to judgment? Life in this fallen world is extraordinarily complicated. As a student of history, one of the things I’ve learned is not to presume a certain interpretation of reality, then go looking into the details. That tends to skew things. The information from this AP story is overwhelmingly incomplete. 13 lawmakers in 5 states. Could this be shady political maneuvering? Absolutely. But I’d like information on who these lawmakers are, what there circumstances are, and what their explanation is for the switch. One plausible explanation is that they’re true moderates who sought office under one party, then switched because they thought they’d be more effective serving under the majority party.


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