For those interested in the topic, I’ve got a piece up at TNR this morning offering a comparative analysis of the prominent Democratic Apostates featured at (now) three straight Republican national conventions: Zell Miller in 2004, Joe Lieberman in 2008, and now Artur Davis in 2012. They are very different men in many respects, but all scratch an important itch for the GOP: helping Republicans make an otherwise very difficult case that theirs is a “centrist” party offering a reasonable alternative to disgruntled Democrats. Republicans may privately have little but contempt for crossover or recently converted Democrats, but do find them useful. The more the Romney/Ryan campaign descends into overtly racial appeals against the incumbent, the more they will give attention to the support of Artur Davis.
Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.
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