The Democrats just got another seat in Hawaii’s Senate. Mike Gabbard of Hawaii cut ties with the Republicans and re-registered as a Democrat. While the move gives the Democrats an extra vote, it’s also ruffling a few feathers.
Once a die-hard Bush supporter, Gabbard’s political career rests on core Republican values, including opposition to gay marriage.
Gabbard, who gained prominence as an opponent of same-sex marriage in the 1990s, described himself as a social conservative who disagrees with the party’s platform in favor of civil unions and abortion rights. But the senator is with the party on labor and environmental issues and said he fits within its big-tent political philosophy.
“There are obviously some things we don’t see eye to eye on,” Gabbard acknowledged, adding that he would continue to be independent and not always follow the party line on votes.
Then, really, what’s the point? Political piggy-backing?
Meanwhile Doug Pyle of the party’s legislative committee does not approve of Gabbard’s political shenanigans, “Prejudice is not fit for any political party.” Party chairman Mike McCartney, however, insists there’s always a place for Gabbard in the party: “The Hawaii Democratic Party has never turned people away. It goes back to the plantation days. We’re inclusive.” Would it kill the Democrats to be a little more selective?