Rep. Parker Griffith (R-Ala.)
One of the most conservative Democrats in the House — a freshman who said he couldn’t support Nancy Pelosi again — is going to switch over to the GOP. Josh Kraushaar has the news, with some context:
In August—one month after Republicans picked up his former state legislative seat in a special election—he 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.
As Kraushaar reports, Griffith’s switch isn’t an enormous surprise and he had bucked the party on almost every major vote. In the long term, defending Griffith’s seat, which went for the McCain-Palin ticket by 23 points, would have been a 2010 Democratic headache. Nonetheless, this is awful short-term news for Democrats who have to explain away what looks like panic within the ranks about the party’s agenda.