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Artur Davis’s Conversion
The former Democratic congressman is a threat to his old party.

Former Democratic congressman Artur Davis of Alabama

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John Fund

The reaction to Davis’s column intrigued him. Some people were angry. “I saw it and was frustrated by it,” Representative Emanuel Cleaver, chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, told Roll Call last fall. “I don’t know what that’s all about. There are some people who believe he’s getting ready to switch parties. I have no idea. Needless to say, he doesn’t confide in the CBC.” Davis said he was disappointed that some critics claimed he was speaking out over bitterness that he had lost the Democratic primary for governor. “I gave it my best shot, but they should be concerned that in defeating a moderate like me they handed Republicans every single statewide elected office,” he told me. “But rather than look in the mirror, they prefer to cast stones.”

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They are still casting them. Last Thursday, the Democratic National Committee posted a YouTube video showing Artur Davis seconding Obama back at the 2008 convention. The video ends as follows: “The Artur Davis speech at the GOP convention isn’t about Barack Obama. It’s about Artur Davis.”

Davis isn’t concerned. “My old Democratic friends are reminding me of an old rule: In politics, if you fear someone is getting through and people are listening, attack them as fast as you can,” he says.

Davis’s future as a Republican is unclear. He has given thought to running for Congress in northern Virginia, his new home. He also has said he might be interested in a post in a Romney administration. As a former prosecutor and Harvard Law School graduate, he would be qualified for many positions. One possible job might be head of the Civil Rights Division at the Department of Justice. Putting Davis in charge of the federal office that monitors voter-ID laws passed by states and enforces civil-rights laws would be a clear signal that the hyper-politicized Eric Holder era was over at Justice.

— John Fund is national-affairs columnist for NRO and a co-author of the newly released Who’s Counting? How Fraudsters and Bureaucrats Put Your Vote at Risk (Encounter Books).



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