From TIME:

On a recent Saturday night in Daytona Beach — with a thousand or so bikers exercising their unalienable right to be extremely noisy in the streets — Marco Rubio, the new ultraconservative poster boy running for the U.S. Senate in Florida, offered the Volusia County Republican Party a carefully calibrated, and rather compelling, celebration of freedom. He spoke about his Cuban heritage. His parents had escaped Castro. “It is possible to lose your freedom. You can have your family business taken over by ‘the people.’ You can lose your country. My parents did,” he said, while carefully adding that he wasn’t saying that would happen here.

The assembled Republicans seemed to ignore the caveat: they were the sort of people who are convinced that we are well down the road toward losing our country. Their local leaders had gone to Washington for the Sept. 12 tea-party march. The winner of the Republican of the Year award announced his daily fidelity to Glenn Beck’s talk show. They described themselves, more than once, as “fighters for freedom.”


The Republican Senate primary in Florida, between Rubio and Governor Charlie Crist, will receive a great deal of national attention in the coming months.

Original poster

At a time when, according to a recent poll, only 20% of Americans identify themselves as Republicans, this race may be the purest test of where the party is headed, a choice between pragmatism and ideology.


By any reasonable standard, Crist would be considered a conservative. He is pro-life, pro-gun, antitax, big on law and order, a foreign policy hawk. But these are not reasonable times. In February, Crist not only came out in favor of Barack Obama’s stimulus package; he welcomed the stimulator himself to Florida. There is a picture, which Floridians will see more than once before the primary, of the governor and the President arm in arm. Crist’s aides can list the various things the stimulus funds have done for Florida — saved the jobs of 26,000 teachers, for starters.


Then again, according to other polls, about a third of Republicans nationally don’t think Obama was born in the U.S. A disproportionate number of them are the people who go to rallies and vote in primaries. The activists will probably be the heart of Rubio’s campaign — although the candidate told me he doesn’t consider the President’s birth certificate an issue. “There are much bigger problems to worry about,” Rubio said. “There is the massive growth of government.”

The “massive” growth of government is a terrific issue in the abstract. It becomes more problematic when you get down to details: Would Rubio actually have turned down the stimulus funds that he criticizes Crist for accepting? In Florida, with its elderly population (receiving government pensions and government health care) and its exotic climate, Rubio’s form of libertarianism is a fantasy. Indeed, after the wild hurricane season of 2005, Governor Jeb Bush was forced to offer homeowners a public-insurance option — private-insurance rates were skyrocketing — which quickly became the state’s largest insurer.


Crist says he has faced conservative challengers in Republican primaries before and won each time. This time, I suspect, his fate is tied to Obama’s success: if the economy is looking better when the primary rolls around next August, Republicans may not be as riled up as they are now. “I’m not seeking the angry vote,” the governor told me with a smile.


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21 responses to “Floriduhhhh

  1. how do you think of all these! my father, who loathes charlie crist – finds it hard to believe he thinks there is someone worse than crist

    • dcAp,
      mostly i just get lucky. i watch tv and read online until something strikes my fancy, and then i cross my fingers hoping a movie or something will occur to me.

      i agree with your dad. i can’t stand charlie crist. never could. there’s something so smarmy and fake about him. i guess living a lie for so long will make you that way. the fact that he got married in hopes of getting the veep nod was nauseating. even if it’s just some kind of business deal between he and his wife, it still shows that all he cares about is getting into office. that said, if rubio wins, it will be a nightmare. i wish the dems down here would get off their asses. i don’t believe that kendrick meek could win, even in blue broward county. in fact, i don’t think most people in broward even know who he is.

  2. Oh, there can always be someone worse. I mean, look at it this way. Just when I thought Faux News couldn’t get any worse, along came Glenn Beck. Now I think it can’t get any worse, but hey, hang on to your hat, because you never know.

    • very true, awqm. it’s hard to imagine someone lower than glenn blechhh, but we said that about sean insanity.

      • Hey, Lou Dobbs could go from CNN to Fox Business. He’d be even worse over there!

        • i just wish lou dobbs would go away. i think maybe he was threatened with cancellation, so he decided to go all fringe-y. he used to have a fairly decent show not that long ago.

          either that, or there’s some kind of weird transmitter in his new teeth that makes him say crazy crap.

  3. You know a state is fucked up politically when they take their cues from Texas.
    Jeb Bush is Florida’s answer to George Bush.
    And gay Charlie Christ is gay Rick Perry’s femmier counterpart.
    And this Cuban dude? Maybe Alberto Gonzalez’s doppelganger?

  4. tomdegan

    They have cut the throats of the poor and the middle class.

    They have looted our national treasure.

    They have abandoned their constituency in favor of a multi-national corporate behemoth and an out-of-control military industrial complex.

    They have created a global, geo-political catastrophe in the Middle East that will take at least a century to remedy.

    They have shoveled a generation of American children into an untenable slaughterhouse in Iraq.

    They have engendered an economic nightmare so immense that generations yet unborn will still be bearing its burden.

    They have sold our nation’s soul to the highest corporate bidder.

    They have made a mockery of the First Amendment.

    They have squandered a trillio-plus dollar surplus with a tax cut for a class of people who didn’t need it.

    They have gutted vital social programs that aid the poor and the elderly which have been in place for over seventy years.

    They have gutted laws meant to protect working men and women.

    They have plundered the environment.

    They have depleted our educational system.

    They have hijacked this nation’s political dialogue.

    They have ruined our international reputation.

    They have handed our domestic agenda over to religious fanatics.

    They have stolen two national elections.

    They have trampled on our constitution.

    They have sent our Bill of Rights through the sausage grinder….

    They must never, ever be allowed to govern our country again.

    The grand old party is over.


    Tom Degan
    Goshen, NY

  5. Obama won Floriduh somehow, so maybe things aren’t as bleak as they appear, nonnie. And Grayson is a nationally recognized bright spot right now… just sayin’. It still is always darkest before the dawn, even in the sunshine state. 😉

    • mh, i live in floriduhhhh, and it really is as bleak as it appears. bill mccollum as governor? 😡 i never thought i’d see the day. the only reason obama won the state is that even rethugs hated capt underpants. i’m trying to remember when things changed. i think it was when st. ronnie took over the reins.

  6. what about debbie wasserman schultz for senate or gov? i love that woman

    my father is still upset Wexler left – that was his rep – the nice jewish boy from NY.

    there has to be more to that story

    • i don’t know that there’s more to the wexler story. i wasn’t really surprised that he was leaving, other than the timing. as for debbie, i don’t think she would win statewide, and i’m not so sure i would want her to. she’s my rep, and there are things about her that disturb me. nothing earth-shattering, and i will continue to vote for her, but i have reservations about her in another office.

      i honestly think that, at this point, alan grayson is the only dem with enough name recognition to give anyone a real fight in a statewide election.

  7. The wankest of wankers!