Monday, January 26, 2015

Joseph O. Patton: Montgomery should pass on Artur Davis

  Just when I foolishly believed I had washed the foul political aftertaste of Artur Davis out of my mouth, he's uncorking another bottle of his trademark bitterness, shameless opportunism and ego-tripping.

  Last week he announced he's running for mayor of Montgomery, challenging incumbent Todd Strange who announced his reelection bid the same day. But which version of Artur Davis this happens to be would be anyone's guess, though....

  Davis' political career began working as an Assistant U.S. Attorney followed by several terms representing Alabama's 7th Congressional District. But the reasonably well-liked and seemingly capable Congressman's back began to turn in an unsavory, self-serving fashion when he came out against what would become the Affordable Care Act.

  For a Democrat to turn his back on those most in need as a result of skyrocketing insurance costs and sketchy, immoral and life-threatening insurance company practices - especially those in his district which contains a high concentration of citizens who would most benefit from the law - is nauseating at best. But when we recognize the obvious motive behind his stance, it becomes outrageous and a prime example of Davis solely serving his own ego and political aspirations. It proved he will turn his back on anyone if he thinks it will feed his political purposes.

  Shortly after turning his back on his constituents in the matter, Davis began wading into the primary waters for the Democratic Party nomination for governor in 2010, showing how his position against the Affordable Care Act was nothing more than a preemptive play to win over conservative white voters in advance of his gubernatorial bid. And after being thumped by Ron Sparks who would ultimately lose in the general election, Davis launched a bitter, full-throated campaign to show his ass. He even claimed he was retiring from politics, which proved to be a laughable lie.

  In a move that can only be described as politically tacky and unforgivably petty, Davis refused to endorse the party's nominee and continued flashing his backside by taking cheap, juvenile shots at his own party.

  Once Davis finally ran out of whiny, petulant energy, he underscored his commitment to the people of Alabama by abandoning the state entirely and relocating to Virginia where he made it known that if he sought elected office again, he would run as a Republican. The unintentionally humorous part of Davis' drama queen-style departure is that no one seemed to give a damn.

  Davis then embraced his new-found "conservatism," even writing for the right-wing National Review Online. Though he's noted as the first member of Congress outside of Illinois to endorse Barack Obama in 2007, Davis spent his time in Virginia attacking the president, Vice President Biden and even speaking at the 2012 Republican Convention.

  And as we prepare ourselves for Davis' inevitable "Don't Cry for Me, Argentina" routine in an attempt to endear himself to those he has abandoned, stood against and stabbed in the back, we cannot allow him to muddy the waters of where he stands.

  As a member of Congress, Davis repeatedly voted against basic human rights. In 2007, he voted against a bill to prohibit job discrimination against LGBT Americans; voted against marriage equality in 2006; voted in favor of a Constitutional Amendment to outlaw same-sex marriage in 2004. Davis' voting record on women's reproductive rights has been questionable as well.

  And the truly sad part of Davis' political life is that I believe him to be arguably capable of holding elected office and able to adequately serve his constituents. But I cannot overlook or forgive the indisputable pattern he has of incessantly changing his allegiances, altering his rhetoric and arguably even his values in order to attain elected office. And I don't have the patience to play Artur Roulette, 'cause you never know where his wheel is going to stop spinning!

  How many times can he turn his back on the people of Alabama and issues that matter before we come to the realization that he's a political player, dropping anchor anywhere - and on anyone - to get what he and his ego desire? He'll change positions more often than a porn star. But the situation is comparable to dealing with a cheating partner: if the son-of-a-bitch keeps playing you, and you continue to allow it, then at that point it's your own damn fault.

  Montgomery, Alabama doesn't need Davis, nor should the Capital City want him. As this city continues to march out of the shadows, becoming increasingly more vibrant, pro-growth and culturally diverse, the last thing Montgomery needs is a bitter, wanna-be Tea-Bagger with perpetually changing stripes at the helm.

  I can only speak for myself, but I'd rather not get played again by the multiple political personalities of Artur Davis. I can do without his incessantly changing political stripes, his hostility toward basic human rights and his shameless, disloyal, two-faced opportunism. I'm not eager to see Artur Davis in a position where he can once again show us his ass... but he's certainly welcome to kiss mine. 

  About the author: Joseph O. Patton is the editor-in-chief and founder of the Capital City Free Press. He is a former news editor for the Coosa County News, lead reporter for the Montgomery Independent and editor-in-chief of the AUMnibus, the student newspaper of Auburn-Montgomery. Patton is also the creator of and writer for the satirical news radio segment "Goat Hill Gossip," which previously aired on WAUD in Auburn, Alabama and has appeared on several Central Alabama radio programs as a political analyst.

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