Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Democrats Can't Win Converts

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Democrats Can't Win Converts

Article excerpt

Water doesn't rush uphill. Dropped objects don't fall up.

And Republicans don't change parties to be come Democrats.

Certain forces of nature are so powerful and so universal that

they're beyond question. You can't fight physics, as Georgia

Democrats are learning from their latest science experiment.

Democrats are at risk of losing control of the Georgia Senate

for the first time this century, thanks to the party switch of

Sen. Sonny Perdue of Bonaire and the wobbling of several Perdue

pals who might follow him.

To take the sting out of Perdue's recent defection, Democrats

made a mighty run at converting Sen. Ed Boshears, R-Brunswick.

The Senate's Democratic leader, Charles Walker of Augusta,

offered fund-raising help and hinted strongly that Boshears

could have the choice chairmanship of the Judiciary Committee if

Democrats retained their majority after the 1998 election.

Turning Democrat would have made all kinds of sense for

Boshears. Republicans have done a poor job of protecting him

against opposition, with former state Rep. Willou Smith

considered a strong threat to unseat him in the GOP primary.

Boshears has a maverick voting record that would probably be

equally uncomfortable crammed into either party. While he's a

social conservative with a perfect report card from the

Christian Coalition, he often joins Democrats in supporting

environmental and pro-consumer bills.

If the Republican Party is a country club, Boshears is the

duffer with the untucked shirt who carries his own golf bag. He

drives a beat-up 10-year-old Pontiac and as a lawyer, often

represents little-guy claimants suing rich employers over

workers comp.

Yet, when the pressure was on, the South Georgia senator

plunked down his qualifying fee as a Republican.

"I probably go back further as a Republican than anybody in the

Senate," he said, recalling how, as a teenager, he drove his

father to Augusta to hear newly elected Sen. John Tower of Texas

at a GOP rally. "I think it's just a little bit late for me to

change.

"I think I could have won either way," he said. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.