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Your Views: Bells move is hard to reconcile with any sort of true principles
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Brett Favre left the Packers; Lebron took his talents to South Beach and last Thursday, Commissioner Ashley Bell "rang the Bell" in the Real Deal capital of Georgia.

Speaking to the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce Eggs & Issues breakfast, Bell announced his intention to relinquish all ties to the Democratic Party and become a Republican.

The setting caught me thinking back to Lebron's "The Decision" infomercial last July. I found it quite surprising that the Chamber would become a megaphone for individual political journeys. With tens of thousands out of work and the state above the national unemployment average, Bell's announcement was a one-man jobs stimulus move.

Bell cited his conservative beliefs and a view that the Democratic Party was too liberal. I didn't know his commission votes were being monitored in Berkeley and Cambridge.

If he's telling the truth, what principles is he in conflict with? Does he accept the scientific principles of evolution? Is the role of government to advance the interest of business and the very wealthy while leaving the poor and vulnerable of society in the hands of churches and organized religion? Is it illegal to be homosexual? Would he support a law to ban birthright citizenship? Should we privatize public schools? Does he support the flat tax?

I ask these questions because clearly his ambitions don't start and end being the District 4 commissioner.

Remaining a Democrat, even one who's responsible with the public trust, apparently won't get you far in our climate and after the November elections. Bell was limited because the brand he's been representing has been effectively and efficiently eviscerated by the brand he's now joining. Just ask all the outgoing conservative Democrats who took political stands against many of President Barack Obama's policies yet were still tied to him last November.

Bell's political skills could've challenged and balanced the current political community. That now largely goes out the window. The move created spin that it would help minority recruitment to the party, but can that be said with a straight face? This is a party that supports among other policies, Arizona-style immigration enforcement. A law, if passed here, would affect black and brown communities more so than white ones. Where does the new Republican come down on this?

Does Bell believe that those mug shots of him and John Edwards back in 2004 are suddenly going to go away, or that his overdone resume in the Democratic Party can be touched up with Wite-Out? He's not the only Republican with high hopes and he wasn't the first defector to leave the Democrats for "principles."

Was he asked to show his birth certificate upon joining? If that seems like a low blow let me conclude that the man who introduced the new Republican on Thursday, the "Real Deal-elect" himself, sent and requested this to the man who's currently the commander in chief last year. It was just about principles, right?

Christopher Morgan

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