There was a time when Democrats switching parties and becoming Republicans, particularly in red states in the South, was seen as a good thing and a sign the public was evolving into a limited-government, pro-freedom worldview. As the South has gone Republican, it has generally become far more prosperous and free, and some of the party-switchers have become quite good Republicans.
John Kennedy and Rick Perry come to mind.
And now that Democrat state representative Jeremy Lacombe is the 71st Republican in the 105-member House in Louisiana, you’d be tempted to rejoice, if you’re with the GOP, over the supermajority-plus-one the party now has in that body. The House is now in the precise same place as the Senate, which has a supermajority-plus-one of 27 Republican members out of 39.
But those numbers are meaningless. Jeremy Lacombe as a Republican is meaningless, just as Malinda White as a Republican is meaningless.
Lacombe is switching parties for one reason and one reason only. He got thrashed by conservative star Caleb Kleinpeter in the fall when he ran for the open state senate seat that Rick Ward, who was a Democrat and became a Republican but still agitated nonstop for tax increases, vacated to become a lobbyist. And Lacombe decided that he was putting himself in jeopardy by remaining one of the dying breed of Bourbon Democrats left in the Legislature.
He’s still throwing joint fundraisers with Chad Brown, his fellow West Baton Rouge/Iberville/Pointe Coupee Parish Democrat House member. And he hasn’t had some ideological epiphany.
If he did, there would be something on his Twitter explaining the switch. Instead, nothing.
Here’s the most likely explanation…
Jeremy LaCombe took a page out of a well-used book this week.
Didn't even bother to explain it.
Until now. pic.twitter.com/p7QDe9nJhS
— Scott McKay (@TheHayride) April 14, 2023
This is all about selfish self-preservation. LaCombe thinks he gets re-elected as a Republican more easily than as a Democrat. He got pounded as a Democrat last year, so now he’s putting an “R” next to his name.
Doesn’t care about the GOP brand, hasn’t discovered conservatism, hasn’t changed at all.
The voters in Louisiana are about as hard to the right as you can get. The political class in the state couldn’t give a damn about that. All they care about is power and perks. And LaCombe’s party switch sans any pretense at justifying it is proof of that.
No, we don’t care that he’s a Republican now. Yes, he needs to lose re-election. Hopefully to somebody who CAN explain why there’s an R next to his or her name.