Rep. Parker Griffith, a freshman Democrat from Alabama, announced Tuesday that he's switching parties to become a Republican.
"I have become increasingly concerned that the bills and policies pushed by the current Democratic leadership are not good for north Alabama or our nation," Griffith said during a press conference Tuesday.
"I am announcing today that I'm joining the Republican conference immediately," he said. "Our nation is at a crossroads and I can no longer align myself with a party that continues to pursue legislation that is bad for our country, hurts our economy, and drives us further and further into debt."
The rank and file is blaming leadership.
Griffith’s party switch comes on the eve of a pivotal congressional health care vote and will send a jolt through a Democratic House Caucus that has already been unnerved by the recent retirements of a handful of members who, like Griffith, hail from districts that offer prime pickup opportunities for the GOP in 2010.
The switch represents a coup for the House Republican leadership, which had been courting Griffith since he publicly criticized the Democratic leadership in the wake of raucous town halls during the summer.
Virginia Rep. Eric Cantor, the No. 2 Republican in the House, hailed Griffith's move from a large majority to a small minority as proof that the Democrats have become “completely disconnected from seniors, young workers and and families in America.”
It's not time for the Democrats to panic but this is another drip in the drip, drip, of bad news for that party.