Tag Archives: Florida

Auditioning for Fox News, I Presume

26 Oct

This interview conducted by local Orlando news anchor Barbara West is hilarious in its wingnuttery.

The Orlando Sentinel calls it “embarrassing” for the station, and “ham-handed”. Ben Smith calls it “entertaining” and “hostile”.

I think it’s stunningly unprofessional – it’s as if someone let a wingnut blogger anchor the news and ask questions of the opposing candidate. But given what local news has become throughout the country lately, I’m hardly surprised. Local news should stick to weather, sports, traffic, human interest, sweeps-month-investigating, and local headlines. Any time they delve into national or international affairs, it’s either a canned time-filler, or astonishingly semi-informed amateur hour.

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Democracy

3 Jun

I thought this Kos Diarist’s account of a town hall meeting that Congressman (and Obama superdelegate) Robert Wexler held with his constituents in Clinton-friendly Palm Beach County.

When he’d finished, he took questions. The first lady immediately and concisely asked “how could you represent your constituents when you don’t endorse the candidate they prefer?” Many people cheered at this comment. Congressman Wexler answered that he tries to represent his constituents, but that he also exercises his own judgment, and that when he goes to Washington he shouldn’t leave his brain in Florida. Many people cheered at this.

The next lady said “I was ashamed to see your disgraceful performance on Saturday.” Lots of groans. “How could you represent your constituency, while voting to take away 50% of its votes?” He answered that no one had fought harder against Howard Dean when the DNC originally tried to take away Florida’s delegates, but they’d voted, and the primary campaign began in earnest, and the candidates signed a pledge, and it was unfair to bait and switch, by changing the rules halfway through. More applause.

There were other policy-related questions, until nearly the last questioner revisited Obama. “Could you please tell us more specifically why you chose Obama over Hillary?” Lots of “Yeahs!”

Congressman Wexler hit this one out of the park: “I support Barack Obama because he showed better judgment on the Iraq War, because he has remained more forcefully against it. I support him because of his stand on ethics reform, and commitment to engaging our enemies. I support him because he speaks truth to power. He spoke in front of a largely Cuban-American organization in Miami. Everyone has told this organization the same thing for 40 years. ‘We’re going to continue the embargo against Cuba, no monetary remittances there, no anything.’ Whether or not it works, that’s all any politician dares to say. Obama suggested to them we engage with Raul Castro, and take steps towards ending the embargo. Obama told a crowd in Detroit that we should increase fuel efficiency standards, and he told members of Martin Luther King’s church in Atlanta that we all share some of the blame for some of the race problems in America today.”

And it occurred to me, this is exactly what Congressman Wexler was doing, and did on Saturday. He was speaking forcefully and with conviction in the face of hostility.

Must be nice to be represented by a Congressman who isn’t afraid to speak with angry constituents.

Florida and Michigan = Zimbabwe

22 May

But only in Cloudcuckooland, which has a new resident.

To compare what happened in Zimbabwe – (the ruling party was unhappy with the result, so it rigged the results to require a run-off and permit it to wage all-out political war against the opposition) – to what happened in Florida and Michigan this year is so baseless, so beyond the pale, so Godwinian in its obnoxiousness.

We already saw yesterday that Senator Clinton likened the Florida and Michigan primaries to what happened to Democrats in Florida in 2000. To Democrats, those are fighting words – especially given the fact that Clinton uttered them in Boca Raton, where many elderly Jewish voters miraculously chose to ignore Pat Buchanan’s anti-Semitism to vote for him in 2000.

The ultimate irony here doesn’t have to do with the fact that Clinton said she’d follow the rules set forth by the DNC and then decided not to when it suited her. The irony is that Florida and Michigan intentionally and knowingly violated DNC rules and pushed their primaries up to January so that they would have a similar impact on the primary race as Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina. The DNC warned those states in 2007 that any effort to do that would result in those states’ delegates not being seated.

If people in Florida and Michigan are angry and their “disenfranchisement”, they have only to look to their state party organizations, which had been forewarned of the consequences far in advance. If Hillary Clinton is so shocked by the disenfranchisement of Florida and Michigan Democrats, then the time to speak up was back in 2007 when she was the presumptive nominee – not now, when she’ll quite obviously do and say anything to harm the person who has since become the presumptive nominee. She could have objected to the DNC, or tried to change those states’ parties minds.

And the further irony is that if Florida and Michigan had pushed their primaries back to May or June, they would have been far more important to the process overall than they ever could have imagined.

The saddest thing, however, is that the mismanagement of the Clinton 2008 campaign has revealed her to be a poor strategist and a worse manager. It has revealed her to be petty, hypocritical, false, and vindictive to millions of people who had respected and supporter her in other endeavors.

I look forward to her continued service in the United States Senate, which is nothing to sneeze at. I think that her current petulant and harmful behavior has prevented her from being any sort of VP contender.