Great column by Reihan Salam on how to interpret former U.S. Rep. Artur Davis’ switch to the Republican team.
The simple truth is that as the Obama years wore on, Davis found himself agreeing more and more with right-of-center figures like Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush. Their tough-minded, whatever-works pragmatism resonated with his experiences, while the Obama administration’s highly ideological approach did not. Davis anticipates, in his words, “the rise of a reform-oriented center-right that is bent on restoring accountability and market principles to public systems” over the next decade.
I have known Davis longer and at least slightly better than most of my conservative brethren. I have been hoping, and at least half-expecting, him to move rightward for years. I think he is very sincere. I will note that he first was elected by bucking the black Democratic machine, and that he supported controversial judicial nominee (now federal appellate judge) Bill Pryor even as the national left was badly smearing the nominee. He also had the grace and integrity, along among Democrats, to apologize, once the financial crisis broke, for having opposed reforms to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac earlier in his congressional career. These were the actions, all along, of a man looking for some sort of a reformist polity near the center of the political spectrum — and, if you spoke to him, you always got the sense that he was at least open to arguments from the right, especially if they came from people of good will.
Anyway, Salam’s whole column got it right. Well worth a read. Again, see the link at the top of this blog post.