The shift begins.

And so begins the shift of power to Democrats in Virginia. Senator H. Russell Potts Jr. is, it is said, considering leaving the Republican Party of Virginia.

Sen. Potts
Sen. H. Russell Potts

Better still, he’s considering doing so to run for governor, challenging both Republican Attorney General Kerry Kilgore and Democratic Lieutenant Governor Tim Kaine. Since Kilgore came out against funding the state’s obligations yesterday, it’s becoming clear that there’s a big opening for a big-boy Republican to step up to the bat and espouse genuine Republican ideals in this race. Potts would take a huge bite out of Kilgore’s percentage, and likely assure victory for Tim Kaine.

Though Republicans have been trying to pretend that there’s no fracture in the party, there absolutely is — on fiscal matters, they’re divided between those Republicans who want to fund our obligations (“Virginia’s Least Wanted,” Grover Norquist has wholly-incorrectly labeled them), and those who are apparently unable to do math. Eager young pups seeking the success of President Bush are drinking the Kool-Aid, and attacking their fellow Republicans for daring keep the state fiscally solvent.

I made this prediction three months ago privately, but I’ll make it here publicly: in the next couple of years, Republicans are going to begin to flee their party. Some, like Potts, will favor classifying themselves as independents, while others will join the Democratic Party, seeing that it is the party of sound fiscal policy, unlike the Republican Party.

Let me be the first to say “welcome.” We’re a big tent party. We’d love to have you. I recommend that those considering joining do so as early as possible, as we’ll feel particularly indebted to those of you who make the jump now, rather than later. We look forward to working with you.

Published by Waldo Jaquith

Waldo Jaquith (JAKE-with) is an open government technologist who lives near Char­lottes­­ville, VA, USA. more »