We’ve all been so consumed with the oil spill this week, we missed the significance of some big political news.
In Alabama, on Tuesday, Congressman Artur Davis, one of the rising stars of the Democratic Party, lost the gubernatorial primary to Agricultural Commissioner Ron Sparks. Big time. By an embarrassing 38 to 62 percent.
Davis was expected to win that primary, easily. Just two weeks ago, he was 8 points ahead in the polls. So what happened?
Two things. One, as an African-American, Davis stubbornly refused to seek the endorsement of Alabama’s strong African-American political organizations. Feeling snubbed by Davis, they endorsed Ron Sparks, a white man, instead.
Second, Davis, a strong liberal, decided he had to run to the middle. And he did. Voted against the health care bill, the only African-American in Congress to do so. And that dumb vote alone probably cost him the election.
That’s the significance of the Alabama primary. It’s the first time any politician lost this year because of his vote on health care reform. And it’s because he vote AGAINST health care, not because he voted FOR it.
And that’s my parting shot for today.