May 30th, 2012

Artur Davis, changer

Last October I wrote a post about former Congressman Artur Davis, Democrat of Alabama, which ended with this sentence:

If Davis keeps paying attention, he may discover a lot more out there that’s chilling—and a large proportion of his cold shudder will be engendered by the actions of his own party.

I guess he did keep paying attention, because yesterday Davis announced that might run for Congress from a district in Virginia some day as a member of the Republican Party.

Davis explains what happened to him:

…[C]utting ties with an Alabama Democratic Party that has weakened and lost faith with more and more Alabamians every year is one thing; leaving a national party that has been the home for my political values for two decades is quite another. My personal library is still full of books on John and Robert Kennedy, and I have rarely talked about politics without trying to capture the noble things they stood for. I have also not forgotten that in my early thirties, the Democratic Party managed to engineer the last run of robust growth and expanded social mobility that we have enjoyed; and when the party was doing that work, it felt inclusive, vibrant, and open-minded.

But parties change. As I told a reporter last week, this is not Bill Clinton’s Democratic Party (and he knows that even if he can’t say it). If you have read this blog, and taken the time to look for a theme in the thousands of words (or free opposition research) contained in it, you see the imperfect musings of a voter who describes growth as a deeper problem than exaggerated inequality; who wants to radically reform the way we educate our children; who despises identity politics and the practice of speaking for groups and not one national interest; who knows that our current course on entitlements will eventually break our solvency and cause us to break promises to our most vulnerable—that is, if we don’t start the hard work of fixing it.

On the specifics, I have regularly criticized an agenda that would punish businesses and job creators with more taxes just as they are trying to thrive again. I have taken issue with an administration that has lapsed into a bloc by bloc appeal to group grievances when the country is already too fractured: frankly, the symbolism of Barack Obama winning has not given us the substance of a united country. You have also seen me write that faith institutions should not be compelled to violate their teachings because faith is a freedom, too. You’ve read that in my view, the law can’t continue to favor one race over another in offering hard-earned slots in colleges: America has changed, and we are now diverse enough that we don’t need to accommodate a racial spoils system. And you know from these pages that I still think the way we have gone about mending the flaws in our healthcare system is the wrong way—it goes further than we need and costs more than we can bear.

Taken together, these are hardly the enthusiasms of a Democrat circa 2012, and they wouldn’t be defensible in a Democratic primary. But they are the thoughts and values of ten years of learning, and seeing things I once thought were true fall into disarray. So, if I were to leave the sidelines, it would be as a member of the Republican Party that is fighting the drift in this country in a way that comes closest to my way of thinking: wearing a Democratic label no longer matches what I know about my country and its possibilities.

Davis actually left the Democratic Party back in December, but he became an Independent at that time. Like Barack Obama, Davis is a graduate of Harvard Law School as well as an African-American. However, he was the only member of the Congressional Black Caucus to vote against the HCR bill in 2010.

You may—in fact, you probably will—consider that Davis is still deluded about the Democratic Party 20 years ago, under Clinton. You may even think he’s wrong about at least some of the things John and Robert Kennedy stood for. But the change journey can be a long and humbling process.

7 Responses to “Artur Davis, changer”

  1. CV Says:

    Last week, Jo Ann Nardelli, a high profile PA Democrat, announced that she was leaving her party because of her Catholic faith:

    “…Nardelli has been the focus of quite the firestorm in Pennsylvania because the thing is that Jo Ann Nardelli isn’t just another Democratic committeewoman. She’s the president and founder of the Blair County Federation of Democratic Women, she was Vice President of the PA State Women’s Caucus, and was 1st Vice President of the PA State Federation of Democratic Women (she had been in line for the presidency of that organization in 2014). She met with Hillary Clinton, gave a rosary to Joe Biden, and appeared on the cover of US News and World Report going to Church with then Senate candidate Bob Casey Jr.
    Nardelli has always been a pro-life Democrat and felt that there was always room for that position in the party. But she said that for the past few years she’s felt that the party was drifting further and further away from her. She said she never shied away from speaking about her Catholic faith or her pro-life views as a Democrat.
    She said that for years she hoped that she could change the party from within, make it more in line with traditional values. “I thought I could make a difference to change our party. It didn’t work,” she said. “I noticed it that it’s been going more and more to the left. This is not my father’s party. I did not leave the party, the party left me.”

    Read more: http://www.ncregister.com/blog/matthew-archbold/democrat-commiteewoman-resigns-from-party-cites-her-catholic-faith#ixzz1wNceb14L

  2. DonS Says:

    The good stuff of Bill Clinton’s Party was engineered by Newt and the GOP Congress or else was the result of earlier efforts by Reagan.

    Clinton’s “balanced budget” plan: spend 100% tax revenue, 100% SS revenue, and another $200B on top of that.

    Newt’s balanced budget” plan: spend 100% tax revenue, part of SS revenue, and call the unspent SS revenue “the surplus”.

  3. Mac Says:

    I am a lifelong citizen of Alabama. I also haven’t voted for a Democrat for high office since Jimmy Carter. But I would have voted for Artur Davis in the last governor’s race if he had been the Democratic nominee. Instead, of course, he was brutalized politically by his own party.

    Artur Davis, come home, we need you. But if you can do more good elsewhere…

  4. thomass Says:

    I dont know. The democratic party under Clinton didn’t bother me that much. I lost interest in politics back then.

    The change was moveon. It brought in the San Fran kook leftist vibe as the new norm for the party…. that we see today.

  5. Artfldgr Says:

    Neo,
    i now understand that what you want to know on this journey of change is why some change some do not… and perhaps why you changed.

    What if i told you, you didnt change?

    That your CHANGE was a result of your perception of something ELSE changing?

    How generous are the gods in letting man learn the physical secrets of the universe, but how niggardly in giving him understanding of his own nature and of the laws which govern the fate of individuals, peoples and states.

    The good lack wisdom
    And the wise lack goodness;
    Thus are all things compounded unto ill

    The “good” I take to mean the many men of good will, today usually calling themselves liberals, or classified as the “Left,” who have unwittingly been largely responsible for the spread of Communist tyranny over a large part of the world, thanks to their lack of political wisdom or the knowledge which comes from experience.

    there are good and bad forms of rule by the one, the few and the many; that monarchy degenerates into autocracy, aristocratic government into oligarchy, and constitutional government into democracy, which means rule by demagogues and leads to dictatorship which may begin well but ends in tyranny. – Utley

    with great experience of great people she also turns her very astute insight into people to herself to ask the same question you want to know, and then comes the realization…

    I accept the truth of the dictum that misfits among rich and poor alike find an irresistible attraction in Communist doctrine because it relieves them of responsibility for their own shortcomings by ascribing all the ills of mankind to deficiencies in the economic and social system.

    I did not become a Communist for a brief period of my youth on account of the guilt complexes of the rich or of their children; nor as a result of an unhappy childhood, or as a fugitive from despair at ever finding a place for myself in the free competitive world. Nor out of longing to merge myself in a Communist “fraternity” as a substitute for a Universal Christian Church. Nor because joining the Communist Party or supporting it seemed the way either to acquire powerful political backing, or to enjoy wealth and escape responsibility for using it rightly by posing as a revolutionary. Nor as a means to stifle my longing for lasting love since I had already-found it when I joined the Communist Party.

    I followed Moscow’s star for a few years for the same reasons which impelled me to recoil in horror from Stalin’s Russia, once I had learned to know it.

    As soon as I discovered that Communism, far from being an extension or fulfillment of the liberal ideal, as I had imagined, meant the imposition of a more total tyranny than the world had previously known I rejected it. In a word I was. and have remained, a liberal in the original meaning of this much-abused word.

    in your quest, you do what she said early on in her works – as totalitarian liberals always do. they look to themselves, what is wrong with ME, not what is wrong with all that.

    but you also forget, as does everyone else, that what you WERE following is a system of LIES and MISREPRESENTATIONS that play on your deepest desires for the best in life for everyone!!!!

    baring discussing abnormal sociopathic and sadistic people who see this as a great way to further their lives and pad their pockets.

    The normal good people dont see it that way

    to look to your self is to imagine ITS THE SAME and YOU CHANGED… this is something that is very hard to do.

    but what if all that’s changed is the clarity with which you SEE the something?

    ITS the same as it was and always was
    YOU are the same as you were and always were

    the curtain between you and it that created an interface that allowed acceptance of it, no longer can serve its purpose.

    My outlook being essentially rational, the Communist mystique which justified the horrors of Stalin’s Russia was as alien to my temperament as the worship of Moloch or Baal. I could not reject the evidence of my senses, or be convinced by the mumbo jumbo, which the Communists call Dialectics, that all was for the best in the worst of all possible worlds. Nor could I believe that a more humane and just social order would eventually be created by destroying man’s humanity and compassion and violating his sense of justice. In a word, that heaven on earth could be established by diabolic means.

    in that is your answer… whether your secular or biblical, if your following real moral or ethical behavior… then no. you cant push the person onto the track to save the other six people..(which is why they recently discovered the norm in those tests favored sociopathy!)

    IF your smart enough and open enough and looking and questioning.;.. not filtering what you see, hear, spend time with, etc..

    then your going to start to see that what you want to follow doesn’t match what you are following.

    that curtain is what i said was or is personal versions… its easier to see it when others do it in something you don’t follow. like faux Catholics who have personal versions of Catholicism (making them protestants on some level), but still believe they are a part of it.

    the personal version thing is dialectical, and all that stuff has been pumped into our culture, and not having any words for it, knowledge of it EXPERIENCE of it. its invisible.

    there are all kinds of angles that one can work from it… from those doing it looking down on people for being so easy to trick and feeling superior… to those doing it because they make a better living when they do that.. to those who do it for a better world.

    but ultimately… if you dig DEEP into EVERY story… whether its a soviet defector, or a common person whose beliefs mean nothing either way to the larger realm…

    they all figured out what they were following was not what they were following!

    you asked why doesn’t it work or go back the other way (much).

    for the same reason a placebo doesn’t work when you know its a placebo.

    [the exception is the person who doesn't care and sees opportunity... ]

    how does one go back to believing in Santa the way they did as kids? (god is not the same… whether we realize it or not… the arguments there are qualitatively and quantitatively different if you get to read the best on all sides)

    the beauty of each facet being used in this game will reveal to you each lie or curtain working alone or with other things that create the illusion and surface front.

    ONCE you realize that there is this lens in front of your vision that’s been tweaking what you see… (think of it as anti-schizoprhenia with normal in the middle).

    you KNOW the tools, you just were told they were something else and that they don’t cause harm… deconstruction to convert meaning is one… consciousness raising is another… as is “studies” courses…

    to a T you can go in to any one of their meetings and ignoring the manipulative leaders see that pretty much every one was there to HELP others… and thought that this collective way would be it… (given its ad copy and being steeped in the big lie since before they were born… duh)

    so there you have it..
    you didn’t change…

    or as Odetta explained to me, and Eagles had a hit song telling the world. :)

    “Every-bodies so different, I haven’t changed”

    the whole behavior of your friends and such is that your friends were not friends with you, but with the group and its representative state.

    sad but true, and my aspergers gives me THAT insight… that all too often, we are not friends with the person, but friends with the solidarity that the person lends into creating in our happy groups.

    it was not always so, so much, but today, this is why we seem to have these more homogeneous collective monolithically thinking groups (a symptom of collectivization)…

    they believe the group represents something, or must represent something, and to do that, the group must share its ideals.

    so what happens in the conversion, is that you seem to change because movement and its determination are relative…

    once you no longer share the group illusion of this shared something, you are no longer seen by said group to be helping, but quite the opposite.

    this is the hall of mirrors, the mind game.. where you get a group of people who are so isolated from each other, that they have to have a collective idea for the group to replace this interaction. they are shadows of what people used to be as they are not whole enough to stand on their own, and the group remain.

    the idea that they want to preserve their reality is partly true… how many people go to church and do not share the same fervor of belief that others may have?

    but once the TRUE nature of something is exposed, you cant cover it with the lie any more.

    this is ultimately why the religious sector in this battle puts it in Lucifer vs God terms…

    while those who have OTHER fealties pick
    another abstraction to hang their hat on.

    Lucifer – God
    Lies – Truth
    Secular – Spiritual
    Materialist – Spiritualist
    philosophy – empiricism

    if you don’t get wrapped up in the actuality of the things (abstractions are never actual! its a distraction), you might get it (think of it as another language!!!).

    and to close my thesis with proof:

    If Davis keeps paying attention, he may discover a lot more out there that’s chilling—and a large proportion of his cold shudder will be engendered by the actions of his own party.

    Why would paying attention change you?

    What state would you have to be in, so that paying attention and seeing the truth would change you?

    Sans Hegel, why is THAT state seen as normal, and the clear state that comes from paying attention, be abnormal?

    what makes those who are not paying attention believe they know more than those who ARE paying attention? Corollary: Why are they incurious? (wouldn’t the state of paying attention engage curiosity MORE?)

    But parties change. As I told a reporter last week, this is not Bill Clinton’s Democratic Party………

    did the party change? or did he see that what he was a part of was not what he was a part of?

    did he change? or is he saying, he is leaving because the values he has have not changed but the perception he has of the party has?

    If one side is lying to get what its getting, and do what its doing, it has no need to be competent, does it? this is why it attracts sociopaths, poseurs, and so on… all the riff raff of the parasitical set who pose and fake their way…

    its why intents are more important than outcome…

    want to know WHY this whole thing has brought so much horror and hell and such to mankinds existence?

    its VERY simple…

    prior to Marx, the question was… who was the best… with the idea that everyone was competing on the side of good… ie. everyone was trying to place themselves higher up on the positive side of the number line…

    substance vs lies
    truth vs lies
    whole vs parts

    ALL the competitors in this new modern enlightened world were fighting on the side of good to see who was “gooder”
    (i know that’s bad English but its on purpose just this once)

    even now, the public and most believe we are still in such a thing, and so the left is seen as trying to do better for man than the not left.

    but that’s not what the new thing brought. what it did was ask… why is everyone competing on the side of merit, when the negative side of everything positive can achieve more power more freedom, more and more for those who are willing to be strong enough and brave enough to embrace “the dark side”.

    from then on its been that side trying to win over the other side using every amoral dirty surface manipulative abstract way possible.

    this is why some see it as a battle for freedom
    others see it as the big battle of good against evil, because one side declaring its amorality (by declaring its belief is there are no such things as morals or ethics), has taken up the forbidden practices against their own people!

    IF the people saw clearly what the politicians and others cover and play games on them they would do what they have always done…

    Murder them all..

    ultimately THIS is why the American revolution was different… the soldiers that fought for England were not the elite who decided they had to live by a different set of rules and morals.

    the revolution born of merit and debate had no reason to cleanse the prior power. (even if they wanted to).

    The king was not local, so the crowds could not get to the elite and remove them. the best they could do was force the soldiers out.

    the french had access to the leaders who were breaking morality to be leaders… and their revolution was not one of rational debate and winning reason but PASSION…

    given this is so long, i will tie it all up with a nice bow…

    the left is PASSIONATE.. no?
    its all about passion, and feeling? no?
    What does PASSION mean spiritually?
    what are “materialists” missing?
    (materialists are communists, not mall rats)

    The etymological origins of the word lie in the Greek verb paschō, to suffer, from passages such as Matthew (and parallel passages in Mark and Luke) and Acts 1:3. The Latin word passion is used with reference to Christ’s mortal suffering in the Vulgate. The term first appears in 2nd century Christian texts precisely to describe the travails and suffering of Jesus in this present context. The word passion has since taken on a more general application and now also describes the accounts of Christian martyrs.

    The hallmark of Marxism is “equal sharing of misery”… PASSION…

    short term choices that DAMN you for all time

    whether the spirit is real or not is irrelevant as the archetypes and principals apply and those who follow tend to side with the archetype that aligns with the behaviors that they agree with.

    we dont go to churches that dont reflect our beliefs to learn more and become a part of them

    we join churches to be a part of something that reflects our views and morals…

    they do to…

  6. Artfldgr Says:

    I did not perceive the contradiction until late in life. Today I realize that liberals of my epoch can be compared to flowers which bloomed while still attached to the parent stem rooted in the culture and faith of the past, whereas today the cut blossoms of liberalism wither and die or become poisonous in decay.

    How to maintain “the great truths of Christian faith and conduct” without belief in the Christian God troubled Thomas Huxley as he grew older.

    Somehow it was necessary to ensure that the ethical standards of Christianity which Huxley respected were not jettisoned along with the Christian dogma he despised.

    An objective described by Malcolm Muggeridge as “no less difficult than trying to navigate a boat without a sail or compass.”

    Perhaps old Voltaire expressed it best when he said that if God did not exist he had to be invented.

    One of the great Victorian Thomas Huxley’s grandsons, Aldous Huxley, perhaps fittingly became “the patron saint of hipsters” in California.

    In him, as Muggeridge writes, “the wheel turned full circle. What began with Darwin ended with Buddha; the strict disciplines of science turned finally into the fantasies of mescaline.”

    Liberalism carried in our time to the nth degree of permissiveness leads to anarchy, as now demonstrated by the violence and irrationality of the “New Left.”

    The old Left which embraced Marxist theory and championed the Communist totalitarian state is dead or discredited.

    But instead of revulsion against it leading to revival of old values which Communism sought to destroy, we have in its place a nihilistic Left which seeks by violence to bring down the pillars of the temple of civilization without any conception of what, if anything, it wishes to construct on the ruins.

    Irrationality has succeeded the age of reason into which I was born.

    I also came to know more about human nature under stress, and the savagery which reasserts itself in jungle conditions such as were recreated in Soviet Russia, than is dreamed of in the philosophy of either liberals or conservatives in the West.

    Innocent as man before the fall of the ugly realities of the struggle for existence outside their own secure and protected Garden of Eden in the West, most Americans have no conception of what it means to be hungry or cold, or to be driven by the terrible compulsions of a totalitarian state under which men live in constant dread of death or imprisonment for themselves and those they love.

    Salvemini defined an intellectual as a man educated beyond his intelligence.

    I would designate the “progressive” Western liberal “intelligentsia” as men deprived by their sheltered and privileged lives of the wisdom which comes from experience but inflated by the self importance resulting from their superior education and status.

    The ordinary run of mankind, having to cope with the problems of human existence in a hard world, have more common sense and a better understanding of the trials and tribulations of less fortunate peoples.
    - Utley

    That all was written 50 or so years ago, and if not for some of the language, you would think it was written today… -artfldgr

  7. Roy Says:

    Geeze – 14 screens full and he STILL wasn’t finished.

    I know some can wade through all that dreck and even get some worth out of it all, but for the rest of us a “skip to end” button would sure come in handy.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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