The Catholic News Agency's Michelle Bauman reports that there has been a "wave" of recent defections and departures from the Democratic Party that could be as many as several hundred. The establishment press is clearly being remiss in failing to note them at all -- something which would not be occurring if it involved Republicans going to the party of the left.
The reasons for the moves primarily relate to President Obama's endorsement of same-sex "marriage" and the assault on religious freedoms inherent in his administration's requirement that employers who offer health insurance plans, in Bauman's words, "cover contraception, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs, even if doing so violates their consciences." Excerpts from her report follow the jump, including a notable quote from Artur Davis, the former four-term Democratic congressman who announced to very little press coverage in late May that if he runs again for public office, it will be as a Republican:
Democrats leave party over marriage, religious freedom concerns
A wave of local and state Democrats throughout the U.S. are leaving the party due to controversy over its leaders’ support for “gay marriage,” as well as concerns about religious freedom and the defense of the unborn.
“There comes a time when you have to stand on what you believe in,” said Greg Waggoner, sheriff of Leake County, Miss. “And I can no longer have any connection with the Democratic Party if that’s the route they’re going to take.”
Waggoner was one of seven local Mississippi Democrats who formally switched his party affiliation to Republican on May 30.
He said that the Democratic Party took an “extreme left turn” when its national leaders “endorsed same-sex marriage” in recent weeks, presenting a direct conflict with his faith and allegiance to Christ.
Firmly committed to the belief that marriage is a union “between a man and a woman,” he realized that his views were better reflected in the Republican Party.
According to the Mississippi Republican Party, more than 50 Democrats in the state have switched their affiliation since "Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama have taken over the national Democrat party."
Other states – particularly those in the South – have had a similar experience, as Democrats are exiting the party at a significant rate. The shift is being attributed to increasingly liberal stances by leaders of the Democratic Party.
... This support for “same-sex marriage” was a concern for Rick Murphrey, mayor of Kings Mountain, N.C., and prominent Pennsylvania committeewoman Jo Ann Nardelli, both of whom were lifelong Democrats before they recently switched their party affiliation to Republican.
... Among the reasons ... (Artur Davis) cited for cutting ties with the Democratic Party was the contraception mandate, which contradicted his belief that “faith institutions should not be compelled to violate their teachings because faith is a freedom, too."
If Mississippi's experience of 50 switches is happening at even half that rate in several other states, that would mean that hundreds of declared Democratic Party politicians are now former Democrats.
As to Davis, I did a search on the quoted phrase in the excerpt above (still in quotes) at Google News. Only five results came back. Only two were from establishment press sources. One of them was a "Notable and Quotable" item at the Wall Street Journal, which carried the full text of what Davis posted at his web site; the other was in a Right Turn blog post at the Washington Post by Jennifer Rubin. The lack of other results shows that the few establishment press sources which might have carried the news of Davis's move didn't quote one of his primary reasons for making it.
I suspect that many of those who have recently become former Democrats would echo what former Democrat Ronald Reagan said when asked why he left the party: "I didn’t leave the Democratic Party. It left me."
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.