The Curious Story of How Daniel Boman Switched Parties

Alabama is a state in which the Democratic Party is on its death-bed. Ever since the Civil Rights Movement, the state has been in a slow drift Republican. First it stopped voting Democratic on the presidential level. Then it started electing Republicans for senator, then congressman, then state office, and finally local office.

The Democratic Party fought hard in this losing battle. As late as 2008 it had miraculously won three out of seven seats in the congressional delegation, and still held majorities in the state legislature. To be fair, many of these local Democrats were so conservative that they would be better described as “Republicans.”

The end came in 2010. Republicans won all but one seat in congress. They flipped the state legislature for the first time since Reconstruction, something which should have happened a long time ago. Democrats today hold no elected state office in Alabama.

There was a lot of party-switching after the 2010 elections. Many extremely conservative Democrats finally admitted that they were in fact Republicans.

In this state of affairs, something quite remarkable happened: a Republican politician, State Representative Daniel Boman, switched to the Democratic Party.

This has no effect on Alabama politics. Republicans still hold a supermajority in the chamber.

It also doesn’t appear that Mr. Boman switched for political reasons. His district is very white and very strongly Republican. He will probably lose his re-election campaign.

It thus seems that an extraordinarily rare event has occurred in American politics: a politician acting on behalf of his conscience, without any possible political gain. The Gadsden Times quotes Republican House speaker Mike Hubbard commending Mr. Boman for “formally affirming what he has likely felt in his heart for some time now.”

That is quite something. Mr. Boman seems to be a very good man, if not the wisest politician out there. This poster wishes him the best of luck in whatever his future holds.

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