This week he jumped ship for the Republican Party, blaming Democrats for leaving him, not the other way around.
Normally such a move would make local and state news, but certainly not prime-time national coverage. Yet, on Wednesday night, Fox News' Laura Ingraham gleefully cited the defection as further proof that "truly smart" Democrats are abandoning a sinking ship. While Guillen is a state lawmaker whose switch won't impact which party holds power in Washington, there's one sign that this may not be an isolated example: At least nine congressional House Democrats have announced they are not seeking reelection next year. More are expected to follow.
Highlighting the shifting political terrain in South Texas isn't just a partisan exercise. The New York Times' Tom Edsall this week cited evidence that President Biden's immigration record and Democrats' progressive agenda is hurting them with traditional-base voters, especially Hispanics in Texas border counties.
"Democrats shouldn't panic," Edsall wrote. "They should go into shock."