Florida Politics Again

I confess that I often can’t get worked up much about Florida politics, since when you’ve lived in Louisiana, all else pales.  There is no better way to become jaded than to live in Louisiana.  Things that people in other states  get upset about, I just want to say…you think that’s bad?  Corruption?  You don’t even know the half of it.  It’s an accepted way of life, a normal way of doing business.  People are surprised that you’re surprised. 

If you transplant someone from Louisiana to say, Iowa, they are like, What?  There are people in politics who are actually honest and sincere?  Wait…I actually think I did that (moved from Louisiana to Iowa, that is).

But now I live in Florida, although I can’t claim to be a Floridian.  Apparently that’s reserved for people who were born here and lived here all their lives, even though they are all plotting to move to Montana.  (Hint:  when you get to Montana, prepare to be an outsider.  You will never be a Montanan, or whatever they call themselves.)

But the weekend would not be complete without a political post from Fakename.  So, it’s Saturday, and Fakename’s favorite Florida political writer, Paul Flemming, wrote his usual article on Friday.   The headline was “Challenges Make Great Political Theater”.  Minutes after the health care reform bill passed, Florida’s Attorney General filed suit against the Federal government (on “Tenther” grounds).  To be fair…he and the Attorneys General of several other states. 

It so happens that Florida’s Attorney General is running for governor.  I’m sure that has nothing to do with it.  I’m sure there also no problem with the fact that he hired the law firm he used to work for as the outside attorneys in the suit.  With no bid.  And that he filed in Pensacola rather than two blocks from his office in Tallahassee.  His spokesperson says Pensacola is in a position to act more quickly, which may be true.  It also may be true that it’s more convenient to his old law partners. 

This will go nowhere. It’s the very definition of grandstanding.  I’ll go further:  it’s a cynical sucking-up to the lowest common denominator of the populace.  People who have no actual idea of what the health care reform bill means for them, how much it will help them.  Who actually buy the “government takeover” rhetoric.  I guess in every war, there have to be foot soldiers.  And Republicans are rallying the foot soldiers. 

And they scare me.  I haven’t been this scared since Vietnam.  At the moment, I think there are more of “us” than there are of “them”.  I think the biggest mistake Republicans made is in convincing themselves that Americans don’t want health care reform.  Yes, they (we) do.

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7 responses to “Florida Politics Again

  1. > it’s a cynical sucking-up to the lowest common denominator of the populace.

    Is this not what it means to be a “politician”? As opposed to a statesman?

    When the country was founded, there was no instant mass communications. Therefore, it was reasonable that perhaps a republican form of government was possible. The elected official could act in a rational manner, relatively free from instaneous pressure.

    These days, that is impossible. Within an hour, the masses can be rallied against anything they do think they like. Which is why I’m convinced republican government is on its last legs. It has outlived its time….

  2. I have a more conservative viewpoint than you…oh wait, now that I think about it, that isn’t hard to do 🙂 I’m still of the opinion that there is no better form of government than our own in spite of the fact that there are massive problems with it.
    It interested me that in the early days of the Iraq war there were Iraqis who longed for the days of Saddam Hussein, when at least they had electricity and you always knew where you stood. Of course, where you stood might be in the path of one of his murderous, psychopathic sons. “Security” of the kind provided by dictators (or benevolent oligarchs!) comes at a very high price.
    What bothers me now is the level of cynicism–I believe the Republicans are fully aware that the problems with health care reform, for example, are nuanced, but they are perfectly willing to rile up people who can’t even spell nuance, to play on their fears and enhance them, to the point of incitement to riot. Michelle Bachman wants the citizens of Minnesota to be “armed and dangerous”. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/03/23/michele-bachmann-i-want-p_n_178156.html

  3. If you really have an interest in Florida Politics there is a new book out this week that may help. The Author is an outstanding example of why Republican Government still works………Fred Karl an actual statesman and Servant Leader.
    (Silver Medal, Bronze Medal, Purple Heart and all round great human being.

    http://www2.tbo.com/content/2010/mar/28/co-karl-a-man-of-history/news-opinion-commentary/

    l/

    • > At the top of the Floridan Hotel – the old hotel on
      > Monroe – several rooms were available. Hospitality
      > suite.

      Long before I came to Tally, Susie was asked if she wanted to go and “entertain” some legislators there!
      She declined….

  4. Thanks for that reference, pt…I would in fact like to read it. Dang…so many books, so little time.
    You know as much as it sometimes annoys me that you have such Florida “chauvinism”, you have a point. I’ve lived in Florida 11 years, which really isn’t long enough to have a perspective on how we got here. The only place I lived long enough to have that perspective (Memphis–25 years), I didn’t care about local or state politics at the time. Sadly.
    But I’ve oddly found myself in a place where national issues are front and center. I moved to Memphis in June of 1967, and MLK was assassinated there in April of 1968. I moved to Tallahassee in November of 2000 and could hardly thread my way to work through the satellite trucks in front of the FL Supreme Court. I’d say these were pivotal moments in how I think.

  5. “You know as much as it sometimes annoys me that you have such Florida “chauvinism”, you have a point”

    I chose to stay in Florida and worked” inside” to make a positive contribution. I could have made more money in Chicago, Detroit, or Philadelphia but I just couldn’t bail on my native state.

    Perhaps I am too proud of my on small contributions on occasion, especially when folks shoot from the hip with little or no historical accuracy.

    You could bet the farm on Fred Karl and Leroy Collins, not so much on Ben Hill Griffin and Dempsey Baron, the thing is they were all loyal to their State and had no plans to leave it after having benefited from its opportunities.

    Some folks came and made a substantial contribution to Florida’s history. Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings was one, if you haven’t been to her homestead in Cross Creek you are missing a truly wonderful experience.

    http://www.floridastateparks.org/MarjorieKinnanRawlings/

    I spoke at length at Moms memorial on the contribution of early settlers and pioneers of Florida and how she epitomized their persona in her personal life style….i.e “cracker”

    Her land deed actually carried the signature of William McKinley.

  6. That is very touching concerning your mother…I’d like to hear more about it, and about her.
    It’s clear that you have a deep connection and loyalty to Florida. And I can guess how exasperating it is to see it “taken over” by people without that connection. But…I have no loyalty to a state. That smacks of “state’s rights” to me, which is a terrible code phrase. I am not saying that’s what you mean, in fact I’m sure that is not what you mean.
    But sometimes it works to have fresh eyes look at your State, and your historical perspective is sometimes part of the problem. Ergo: Louisiana, where it was always done that way, is done that way now, and will always be done that way in the future, forever and ever Amen.
    My loyalty is to the federal government…so far it seems to me that the federal government is all that stands between us and chaos. I’m with Abraham Lincoln.

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