Florida: 2000 Election Redux?
I often joke that my state of Florida looks like the nation’s penis so it attracts all the dicks, and by this I mean the RWNJ’s, of course. I know that this is a gross exaggeration since there are plenty of right-wing-nut-job dicks in the rest of the country. I also know that this is kind of vulgar, especially coming from someone who was raised to be prim and proper. But, since I use humor to deal with the anger and frustration I feel about today’s GOP, you can get the picture.
Let me give you a few examples of the state’s luminaries. Florida is home to the Koran-burning pastor Terry Jones; to ex-Secretary of State Katherine Harris of 2000-election-recount fame who also believes that ”if you’re not electing Christians then in essence you are going to legislate sin;” to the Brooks Brothers Brigade, a bunch of Republican operatives who stormed Florida recount locations in 2000; and to Republican voter-roll purger Governor Rick Scott, who has one of the lowest approval ratings in the nation at 39%.
This Rick Scott, who even Romney keeps at arm’s length, is doing his best to suppress the vote in Florida. He refuses to extend early voting hours despite the fact that voters have faced long lines (up to a 9-hour wait). These long waits are a result of a reduction in the number of early voting days from 14 to 8, a decision taken in 2011 by Florida’s GOP legislature.
In typical right-winger, reality-denying fashion, “Scott has refused to extend early voting hours, essentially arguing that there is no problem, despite calls from Democrats, independent groups and even a Republican elections supervisor,” and in typical GOP oppositespeak he declares, ”I’m focused on making sure that we have fair, honest elections.” Right, the type of fair, honest elections where everything is done to discourage Democratic voters and/or suppress their votes.
So once again we Democrats are looking at Florida while be bite off our fingernails. You’d think that it would be a priority for the Governor of a state that has the third largest number of electoral votes—tied with New York at 29, behind California (55) and Texas (38)— to have a smooth-running election process. Especially since that same state was at the heart of the 2000 Presidential election fiasco. But the truth is, that it suits the current Governor of Florida to have a messy system. You see, the bigger the mess, the easier to mess with it.
I hope that Democratic voters do not get discouraged by Governor Scott’s slimy tactics. I hope that this makes them even more determined to vote and that on November 6th, we show the GOP that, this time, it can’t mess with the Sunshine State. Unfortunately, a more likely scenario is that we find ourselves in a 2000 election redux.
So, as much as I love Miami and its beaches, I’m hoping that Ohio will save the day and our future.