John Hutson: Republican No More
DENVER–Here’s retired Real Adm. John Hutson, a recovering Republican. He’s here “to declare myself a proud member of the Democratic Party and to endorse Barack Obama as the next president of the United States of America.” Why? “Because the Republican Party I once knew has become something… I no longer recognize. War as a first resort, and an overstretched military, justification of torture and the trampling of civil liberties.” Ties Iraq to Katrina: “I see arrogance abroad and incompetence at home.” What’s he want? The Constitution, for one, to be restored “and to win the war against those who attacked us on 9/11.”
Hutson, of course, is a distinguished civil-liberties advocate and fierce opponent of torture. The conversion narrative is an old GOP standard, from ex-Democrat Jeane Kirkpatrick in 1984 to psycho Zell Miller in 2004. But the guy who really ought to give a conversion speech like this is the pugilistic, antiwar Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.), who used to be Ronald Reagan’s Navy Secretary and now eats GOP chickenhawks like they came in Chef Boyardee cans.