Theodore's World: Rep. Parker Griffith Announces He's Switching Parties To GOP

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December 23, 2009

Rep. Parker Griffith Announces He's Switching Parties To GOP

Rep. Parker Griffith, a freshman Democrat from Alabama, will announce today that he's switching parties to become a Republican.


The switch represents a coup for the House Republican leadership, which had been courting Griffith since he publicly criticized the Democratic leadership in the wake of raucous town halls during the summer.

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.

While the timing of his announcement was unexpected, Griffith’s party switch will not come as a surprise to those familiar with his voting record, which is one of the most conservative among Democrats.

He has bucked the Democratic leadership on nearly all of its major domestic initiatives, including the stimulus package, health care legislation, the cap-and trade energy bill and financial regulatory reform.

He was one of only 11 House Democrats to vote against the stimulus.

“Look at his voting record – he’s had substantial differences philosophically with the Democratic agenda here in Congress,” said an Alabama ally who is familiar with Griffith’s decision. “It’s something that’s been discussed for the last several months… talking to people in his family. And it genuinely is a reflection of where he feels. It’s his own personal conviction.”

The Obama administration’s decision to scrap plans to build a missile defense shield in Eastern Europe further frustrated Griffith, according to GOP sources, because his district contains the base for Boeing’s ground-based missile defense research.

Ironically, a National Republican Congressional Committee spokesman called Griffith a “woefully ineffective advocate for Tennessee Valley jobs” after the decision was announced in September.

Signs of Griffith’s dissatisfaction with his party began to surface publicly during the summer recess, when he received an earful of criticism from constituents.

In August — one month after Republicans picked up his former state legislative seat in a special election — Griffith told a local newspaper that he wouldn't vote for Nancy Pelosi to remain as House Speaker because she's too divisive. He joked that if she didn’t like it, he’d provide her with a gift certificate to a mental health center.
He added that if the Democratic leadership wouldn't commit to working in a more bipartisan manner, "perhaps we should look at altering that."

Wild Thing's comment..........

“He was one of only 11 House Democrats to vote against the stimulus.”

Well he sure did better than Rrepublican Senators Susan Collins, Olympia Snow and (then) Republican Senator Arlene Specter, who voted with the Democrats flor the PORKULUS bill.

He seems to vote with Republicans most of the time according to the article anyway.

.....Thank you Richard for sending this to me.

Posted by Wild Thing at December 23, 2009 03:48 AM


I will tell you though I am a bit hesitant celebrating this news for only one reason - do we trust him? Is he a trogan horse? Is it too little too late? It comes down to one word: trust. I have lost all faith in this govt. body. And to have a sheep walk away from the herd like this (seemingly to be saying words that I agree with) really sends major cynical alarms out to me. And for that I am sorry, because I have NEVER been so cynical until this terrible leadership in DC took over. As SNL used to say in the early days: I am "blocking" them all out through the rest of the week so I can enjoy and reflect on this wonderful mystery of Christ's birth.

Posted by: jan at December 23, 2009 07:07 AM

First off enjoy this:

I share Jan's apprehension. He is the trojan horse, his votes can break the solidarity of what remains of the GOP and make passage of the crap Obama is pushing appear as bi-partisan. The media will eat that shit up. Where the hell is the moral fiber of the party? Oh I forgot, they don't have one. We were abandoned and disenfranchised in 2006 and again in 2008, there is no way I'll welcome a turncoat to our side. We have "my friends McCain" and his bullcrap express!!!
Some of us are familiar with the term Chu Hoi, I wouldn't trust them then nor do I trust them now. Instead of welcoming the turncoat he should be rejected by the rank and file in Congress, undesireable to either party, unfit for trust by either side. Here we go building for 2010 by starting with a rat deserting his own ship for ours. Am I pleased with him leaving, yes, but he should simply resign. It's just one more ratbastard I'll have to vote against next year.

Posted by: Jack at December 23, 2009 11:23 AM

I believe Griffith ran as a Democrat because it was a Democrat heavy district. That is what RINOs do to win. I sort of think his conservative credentials are legit because he is a doctor. Of course, Howard Dean is a doctor, but most physicians tend to be conservative. Anyway, I will take conservative votes where I can get them right now.

Posted by: TomR at December 23, 2009 11:52 AM

Why do they need a Trojan Horse ? They already have majorities in both houses. There biggest concerns have been bribing their own party members.

That Vietnamese who replaced William Jefferson, Dumbass Lousiana, voted for Health Care and he was a republican. Just like Collins, Snow, and Arntless Spectre use to be.

I don't know if this guy is serious in his beliefs and his vote speaks for itself but maybe he is a 'gift horse', but it is one more R.

Posted by: Mark at December 23, 2009 11:53 AM

Thank you everyone!!

Jan your right, the article is pushing
that he voted with Republicans but that
is just setting us up for a crash of

Posted by: Wild Thing at December 23, 2009 11:57 PM

Republican voters are sounding as negative as the Democrats these days. We have been very successful with "turncoats" of late. Both at the National level as well as at state levels. With that said, I, for one, don't plan on letting that be his pass to re-election. I would insist that all Republican incumbants, if they want to retain their office, take the same pledge as the cadets at the US Military Academies, which states simply: "I will not lie, cheat, or steal, or tolerate those who do." Having done that, we would watch them to see that the do conduct themselves just that way.
Y'all, Ronald Reagan was not always a Republican. Would you call him a traitor, turncoat or trojan horse?
Vote them all out, from both parties, and demand that the newbies "take the pledge". It is short, simple, and has no gray area. Joe Wilson was living that pledge when he caused the Democrats to castigate him.
I will give Mr. Griffith a pass on his party change, and also keep an eye on his actions.

"Never Forget Ft. Hood Texas,11/5/09!"

Posted by: Frankly Opinionated at December 24, 2009 09:44 AM