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Conservative Democrats switch to GOP across the Deep South
LA Times ^ | 2/6/2011 | Richard Fausset

Posted on 02/06/2011 9:04:32 PM PST by FromLori

Reporting from Atlanta — For Democrats, Ashley Bell was the kind of comer that a party builds a future on: A young African American lawyer, he served as president of the College Democrats of America, advised presidential candidate John Edwards and spoke at the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston.

But after his party's midterm beat-down in November, Bell, a commissioner in northern Georgia's Hall County, jumped ship. He joined the Republicans.

Bell, 30, said he had serious issues with the healthcare law and believed that conservative "blue dog" Democrats in Congress who shared his values had been bullied into voting for it.

Bell's defection is one of dozens by state and local Democratic officials in the Deep South in recent months that underscore Republicans' continued consolidation of power in the region — a process that started with presidential politics but increasingly affects government down to the level of dogcatcher.

"I think the midterms showed you really can't be a conservative and be a member of the Democratic Party," Bell said.

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

(Excerpt) Read more at latimes.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: democrats; gop; politics; south

1 posted on 02/06/2011 9:04:43 PM PST by FromLori
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To: FromLori

Somehow I think that personal gain is involved...hmmm. Not really good for the GOP party in the long run.


2 posted on 02/06/2011 9:09:56 PM PST by Deagle (t)
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To: Deagle

personal gain? Ya think??
These born-agains need to withdraw from politics for six years and do pennance before reentering the fray as conservatives. Lipstick liberals.


3 posted on 02/06/2011 9:16:18 PM PST by bossmechanic (If all else fails, hit it with a hammer)
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To: bossmechanic

“you really can’t be a conservative and be a member of the Democratic Party”

Well, he’s 100% correct about THAT!


4 posted on 02/06/2011 9:24:48 PM PST by Frank_2001
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To: Deagle

No, fair weather friends at best.

My opinion is that there is no such animal as a “conservative Democrat”, not any more, anyway.

I have problems with anyone who would willfully align themselves with a party that holds any of the positions that the Democrat party supports. I have even more problems with someone who then walks away from that position to claim another, without any explanation of why.


5 posted on 02/06/2011 9:25:17 PM PST by Psalm 144 (Voodoo Republicans - Don't read their lips. Watch their hands.)
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To: Psalm 144

Oops! Should have said:

“I have problems with anyone who would willfully align themselves with a party that holds [m]any of the positions that the Democrat party supports.”

Typo makes a big difference. Not all of the positions espoused by the Democrats are wrong. Just too few good ones and too many that are vile and perverse.


6 posted on 02/06/2011 9:28:38 PM PST by Psalm 144 (Voodoo Republicans - Don't read their lips. Watch their hands.)
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To: Deagle

I think it a good sign. So many blacks are social conservatives; if enough can be persuaded that Bell is right, then a real revolution might take place. Even now without the 95% suopport of the black community, Obama would be deep in doo d00.


7 posted on 02/06/2011 9:30:34 PM PST by RobbyS (Pray with the suffering souls.)
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To: FromLori

“Over time, traditional Democratic support has eroded at the local level, a decline aided by the Internet and 24-hour cable news, which have allowed Republicans to “more easily connect local politics with what’s happening nationally,””

LOL. This was my favorite part. Translated, it says:

“Over time, traditional Democratic support has eroded at the local level, a decline aided by the Internet and 24-hour cable news, which have prevented the MSM from continuing to trick the conservative voters regarding just who the Democrats are.”


8 posted on 02/06/2011 9:30:45 PM PST by BobL (PLEASE READ: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2657811/posts)
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To: FromLori
"I think the midterms showed you really can't be a conservative and be a member of the Democratic Party," Bell said.

That's been the case for decades now, not just since the '10 midterms.

9 posted on 02/06/2011 9:31:56 PM PST by Mr. Mojo
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To: BobL

Probably another reason obama would love an internet kill switch lol.


10 posted on 02/06/2011 9:32:36 PM PST by FromLori (FromLori">)
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To: FromLori

I have spoken to Mr Bell more than a few times and always teased him about really being a republican.I guess he came to the same conclusion.He has and is serving in a conservative part of north georgia where we are all racist you know and would never ever elect a black man..oh wait.Scratch that.We dont give a damn about color we do however care about you being conservative.He is from the same area that our new governor and lt governor hail from.


11 posted on 02/06/2011 9:37:09 PM PST by HANG THE EXPENSE (Life is tough.It's tougher when you're stupid.)
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To: FromLori

I always welcome true converts, even though they nearly always have self interest in their party switching. Since this guy chaired the Young Democrats and worked for John Edwards, he will need a good deal more checking out than the average party switcher.


12 posted on 02/06/2011 9:37:54 PM PST by Lucius Cornelius Sulla ('“Our own government has become our enemy' - Sheriff Paul Babeu)
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To: FromLori

“Probably another reason obama would love an internet kill switch lol.”

Good point, From. And definitely with the Fairness Doctrine and who knows what else (maybe European-type hate speech laws, to cut off debate on tough issues).


13 posted on 02/06/2011 9:38:30 PM PST by BobL (PLEASE READ: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2657811/posts)
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To: FromLori

Wolves donning their sheep skins.

Not to be trusted, IMHO.


14 posted on 02/06/2011 9:38:50 PM PST by airborne (Why is it we won't allow the Bible in school, but we will in prison? Think about it.)
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To: BobL

Southerners used to vote Democratic in statewide and local elections for a century. The Republican Party was associated with the defeat of the South in the Civil War and then with Reconstruction. But the Civil Rights Era changed Southern loyalties to the Democrats first in presidential elections and then at the state and local levels. The last Southern state not to go completely GOP remains Arkansas.


15 posted on 02/06/2011 9:41:36 PM PST by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: bossmechanic

Is he maybe trying to pull the GOP leftward? That would be rather difficult in that geographic vicinity.


16 posted on 02/06/2011 9:42:25 PM PST by HiTech RedNeck (I am in America but not of America (per bible: am in the world but not of it))
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To: airborne

Then you would call Ronald Reagan someone you can’t trust.

He used to be a Democrat.


17 posted on 02/06/2011 9:42:41 PM PST by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: bossmechanic

No need to bring your personal bias into the argument. Conservative covers many more that just the religious ya know.


18 posted on 02/06/2011 9:44:35 PM PST by Deagle (t)
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To: Psalm 144

Ronald Reagan was originally a democrat. He said famously, “I did not leave the democrat party, they left me” - (forgive the paraphrasing).

I lot of people are democrats in college because it helps a young fella to get laid. But by the time they are 30 they have a “1040A conversion” after they start paying taxes.

However, many just become independents because the Republican Party isn’t called the “stupid party” for no reason. For example. Richard Burr is my senator and I have met him a few time and supported him in his first campaigns. He lost my support a few years ago but I vote for him because the alternative is worse. I campaign for others against him in the primary, but I would rather have my eyes plucked from my head and stomped flat before I’ll vote democrap in the main election. But that does not make me a card carrying member of the stupid party.

The republicans should not take conservatives for granted, we need another option. I prefer TEA.


19 posted on 02/06/2011 9:47:26 PM PST by TxDas (This above all, to thine ownself be true.)
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To: Frank_2001

Actually that IS true today! The previous version of a Democrat was a bit different (more a liberal - not Progressive as they call themselves today).

Have to agree, there is no such thing as a conservative Democrat today...


20 posted on 02/06/2011 9:47:28 PM PST by Deagle (t)
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To: Psalm 144

Southern Democrats like Zell Miller, voted like Republicans and they wore their values on their sleeves. But they’re nearly extinct as the national party swung too far to the Left for their taste.


21 posted on 02/06/2011 9:47:48 PM PST by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: TxDas

I could not agree with you more.


22 posted on 02/06/2011 9:50:25 PM PST by Psalm 144 (Voodoo Republicans - Don't read their lips. Watch their hands.)
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To: FromLori
advised presidential candidate John Edwards

On what - how to pay child support?

23 posted on 02/06/2011 9:50:30 PM PST by Libloather (The epitome of civility.)
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To: Deagle

The Blue Dogs are not conservative, not moderate and they didn’t stop San Fran Nan. Heath Schuler and Blue Dogs Dems in NC will probably be serving their last term in office. The new GOP legislature will make most of the state’s seats safely GOP.


24 posted on 02/06/2011 9:50:48 PM PST by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: RobbyS

Blacks - as ignorant as they seem to be (voting 95% Democratic Party) should eventually wake up. It is a damn shame that a whole race can be propagandized into believing that the Democratic Party is their savior...geez...

Yes, most of the black and Spanish are conservative by nature. It just seems that they have been brainwashed by the Education System to believe that the Democratic Party is there for them... It will take decades to overcome this propaganda...


25 posted on 02/06/2011 9:53:11 PM PST by Deagle (t)
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To: goldstategop

No. Reagan said, “Trust, but verify.” And he was being a politician when speaking about the Soviet Union.

I am not constrained by such things as he was.

So I say, “Verify, and then trust will come.”

If a Democrat wants to switch parties, that’s fine. But I want to see if his actions reflect his words before I trust.

Arlen Specter was my Senator, so I’m a bit pessimistic when it comes to things of this nature.


26 posted on 02/06/2011 9:53:13 PM PST by airborne (Why is it we won't allow the Bible in school, but we will in prison? Think about it.)
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To: goldstategop

Literally extinct. Most of them have passed away at this point. All of them in my family have.


27 posted on 02/06/2011 9:56:43 PM PST by Psalm 144 (Voodoo Republicans - Don't read their lips. Watch their hands.)
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To: airborne

Any real opportunists will get penciled out in the party primary.

It depends on their voting records now.


28 posted on 02/06/2011 9:56:48 PM PST by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: Psalm 144

I have always thought that. I NEVER thought the word “dimocrat” and “conservative” fit next to each other. In my book, if you are a dimocrat, you are a liberal, socialist, Obama type thug. I seriously doubt a dimocrat can spell the word conservative without adding in several four letter words with it.


29 posted on 02/06/2011 10:00:14 PM PST by RetiredArmy (As the end times approach, I hope each here will discover the LORD. Seek Him out!)
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To: goldstategop
We'll see.

I've seen too many RINO’s who go which ever way the wind is blowing at the time.

Color me dubious.

30 posted on 02/06/2011 10:06:09 PM PST by airborne (Why is it we won't allow the Bible in school, but we will in prison? Think about it.)
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To: Deagle
Couldn't agree more. The pubbies DO NOT need any more RINOS as they have enough now.

Until proven otherwise, these battlefield conversions sound less like epiphanies than simply rank career enhancing opportunism.

Larry McDonald used to remind us that until you had a record to examine, about all you could really know about an elected official is that he knows how to get elected. And, given the gullibility and ignorance of the electorate, that was often achieved by devious, disingenuous means.

31 posted on 02/06/2011 10:17:21 PM PST by Dick Bachert
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To: goldstategop

Anyone who is willing to abandon the statist obamanation is my friend.

But you must declare where you stand. I don’t care whether you are red white, blue, brown, yellow or green. Are you for us or against us? Choose!


32 posted on 02/06/2011 10:42:21 PM PST by BenKenobi (one of the worst mistakes anybody can make is to bet against Americans.")
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To: Deagle

It has taken Catholics long enough to wake up. I have in fact more hopes that the blacks will get over it than the ethnic groups formerly known as Irish Catholics. Liberal Churchmen in the Northeast have in fact led their flock out of the Church. Liberal Catholics were taught bad doctrine by gay priests, now they are angry at the non-gay conservative priests who point out they have been betrayed, and blame them for the pederasty. The ones who tried to blow the whistle on these sheep in wolves clothing only to be told by the chancery office to shut up—or else.


33 posted on 02/06/2011 11:02:54 PM PST by RobbyS (Pray with the suffering souls.)
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To: Dick Bachert

Many Republican leaders in the South began as Democrats.


34 posted on 02/06/2011 11:04:38 PM PST by RobbyS (Pray with the suffering souls.)
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To: FromLori

Conservative demoncrud == Future RINO


35 posted on 02/07/2011 12:12:57 AM PST by SuperLuminal (Where is another agitator for republicanism like Sam Adams when we need him?)
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To: bossmechanic

Reagan was a fairly effective convert, as was Phil Gramm, Dick Shelby, and a long list of others. Think David Horowitz. There are a lot of folks brought up in the Democrat party who come to see the light. Converts often make the strongest partisans.

At this point, I don’t think casting aspersions on Bell’s motivations and character is helpful.


36 posted on 02/07/2011 12:27:26 AM PST by EDINVA
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To: EDINVA

If Bell is known to have consorted with extreme leftists, it is a fair question to ask of him whether he has “refudiated” them.


37 posted on 02/07/2011 12:48:39 AM PST by HiTech RedNeck (I am in America but not of America (per bible: am in the world but not of it))
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To: goldstategop
Southerners used to vote Democratic in statewide and local elections for a century. The Republican Party was associated with the defeat of the South in the Civil War and then with Reconstruction. But the Civil Rights Era changed Southern loyalties to the Democrats Republicans first in presidential elections and then at the state and local levels. The last Southern state not to go completely GOP remains Arkansas.

Thanks for this explanation. It makes good sense to me and confirms some of my own conclusions. I think I fixed a typo in your post, correct?

There has been a determined effort by liberal academia and the media to equate the shift in the South to Republican represention to some kind of hidden racist message in conservative ideology. I first started hearing this twisted logic at college back in the 70's. In reality it is the absence of racism, in conservatism, that appeals to the more intelligent and moral citizens of our land whether dwelling in the North or the South and whether White or Black (or other).

38 posted on 02/07/2011 3:09:05 AM PST by Upstate NY Guy
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To: Upstate NY Guy

That is indeed correct on all counts.

The switch from democrat to Republican in the South has much to do with the passing of the Yankee-hating generations. To vote Republican was scandalous and treacherous to the South. Now, time has healed those wounds.

I think we can all agree that the Republicans, despite the RINOs, are the Conservatives, while the democrats are the Leftists. I was going to say liberal but there’s nothing liberal about their lock-step political correctness and socialist ideology.

Many in the South who were or are democrats are so because of allegiances to their parents and the older Dixie generation, than out of a desire to bring socialism to their home and country. After the Obama election, the scales fell off and I believe they are now seeing the light.

And yes, the media tries to portray Southern Republicans as all having a secret white robe and hood in their closets. However, as the conversion of Bell and the election of Scott and West show, that dog will no longer hunt.


39 posted on 02/07/2011 4:11:06 AM PST by Alas Babylon!
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To: Alas Babylon!; goldstategop
I think we can all agree that the Republicans, despite the RINOs, are the Conservatives, while the democrats are the Leftists...Many in the South who were or are democrats are so because of allegiances to their parents and the older Dixie generation, than out of a desire to bring socialism to their home and country. After the Obama election, the scales fell off and I believe they are now seeing the light

Exactly. And the actions of Pelosi and Reid also helped cement the Democrat/Socialist realization in everyone's minds throughout the land. Democrat loses in 2010 have nothing to do with Obama's color. Any Democrat or Independent who loves liberty and the Constitution is now ripe for conversion. And the Republican Party can reap the rewards if they stick to conservative principles.

40 posted on 02/07/2011 5:27:50 AM PST by Upstate NY Guy
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To: Deagle

I lived in one of the southern states during a time in which a sizable fraction of the state legislature included Demo-to-GOP party-switchers. Some were opportunists who hurt the party by joining it, some were conservatives in their heart who just happened to be raised Democrat. The lesson to me was you’ve got to consider these guys individually before you write them off.

Remember, Ronald Reagan, Jeanne Kirkpatrick, Bill Bennett, and countless other good folk started off as donkeys - I would’ve hated to lose them.


41 posted on 02/07/2011 5:41:36 AM PST by Stosh
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To: RobbyS

You are correct.

The difference between then and now is that we no longer have the luxury of multiple terms in office to see how sincere was their “conversion.” We’re out of time!


42 posted on 02/07/2011 7:52:59 AM PST by Dick Bachert
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To: Stosh

‘The lesson to me was you’ve got to consider these guys individually before you write them off.’

Exactly. Trust, but verify.


43 posted on 02/07/2011 8:12:36 AM PST by BenKenobi (one of the worst mistakes anybody can make is to bet against Americans.")
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To: Stosh

Very true!... but the opposite is also true, you have to really consider them before thinking that they are Conservative or even Republican.


44 posted on 02/10/2011 9:09:27 PM PST by Deagle (t)
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