Switching parties isn’t a winning bet. It’s (almost always) political desperation.

Former Mississippi Democratic congressman Gene Taylor wants his old job back. But he’s going to have an “R” instead of a “D” in front his name this time around.

Taylor’s not the first to try the switcheroo. Nor will he be the last. But as recent history has shown, it’s no political panacea, and almost always, is a sign of desperation.

The conservative Democrat announced late last week that he will run for his old seat — this time as a Republican. He said there is a need in Washington for people who will do the right thing “without putting political parties first.”

Taylor’s decision reflects the political landscape in the Deep South, where the Democratic Party once thrived but has been sharply marginalized as conservative Republicans have ascended to power in recent years. (Case in point: Rep. John Barrow (D-Ga.) is the last white Democrat from the Deep South in Congress.)

Taylor follows in the footsteps of other pols who have tried to reinvent themselves under a different banner in recent years. It hasn’t been a surefire formula.

Washington Post – The Fix
3/4/14