Friday, October 29, 2010

Why are some of my Democratic Party leaders acting meek instead of backing Meek?

First of all, I am totally disgusted with one Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., who, a few weeks back, destructively and inexplicably BETRAYED the Democratic voters of Florida and the Democratic Party by endorsing Independent (read: REPUBLICAN, with REPUBLICAN agenda, who changed party affiliation before the primary elections because the polls showed he wouldn't win) candidate, Charlie Crist, in the Florida race for US Senate, even though we have a perfectly great, duly nominated DEMOCRATIC candidate named Kendrick Meek, who has consistently been a leader and fought for issues Democrats care about.  RFK, Jr.:  What a turncoat!

I was fuming about that one for days, but I got over it.  Who cares about RFK, Jr. anyway?  He's coasting on name recognition, overrated, not from Florida and has no clue what he's talking about re this race.  For example, he called Crist a, quote, "champion of the environment".  WHAT?  The truth is more like Crist has been a champion for offshore oil drilling...before he recently decided to be against it.  Kendrick Meek has consistently stood against offshore oil drilling.  He's the true champion of the environment!  Windsock Charlie blows with the wind in terms of his stance on any given issue, and our environment and people cannot afford that.  Back to RFK, Jr.:  voters down here aren't really going to pay any attention to what he says, I consoled myself with thinking.

But then yesterday happened:  I started seeing news stories about someone who, unlike how I feel and think about RFK, Jr., I greatly admire and think of as a truly great Democratic leader, Bill Clinton.  I am shocked and in a state of disbelief at what allegedly happened, although to say there are conflicting reports about this is an understatement.  Apparently--emphasis on apparently, as in, I'm not sure about this but the majority of news reports I've read indicate this--he at least broached the possibility to Kendrick Meek, whom I remind you again is the DULY NOMINATED Democratic candidate, that he get out of the race , since he is running so far behind and, theoretically, if he drops out, all his support would go to the Independent, Charlie Crist.  This would, theoretically, save the day because it would stop the dreaded ultimate Tea Party candidate, Marco Rubio, who is waaaaaaaaaaaay ahead in the polls.  Yeeeeaah, just a few problems with this logic:

1.  Crist can call himself whatever he likes, he's a REPUBLICAN at heart.  True, he's more "moderate" than Rubio, but that doesn't take much!  You can be a far right-wing Republican and still be more moderate than Radcon Rubio.  Charlie Crist is a lifelong Republican.  He is also the consummate politician and he made a calculated move to run as an Independent because the polls indicated that he could not win the Republican primary against Rubio.  I don't care what the ticket says, if you prick Crist, he bleeds Republican Red.  Kendrick Meek, on the other hand, is a DEMOCRAT, with a solid, consistent, Democratic record on issues like the environment, offshore oil drilling, education, civil rights, the greening of our economy, little things like that:  you know, our entire platform.  He's our candidate, not Crist!  Crist is a Jeb Bush Republican.  Period.

2.  If Democratic leaders are worried about the Republicans taking over the Senate and throwing a tea party, instead of urging our own party's duly nominated, solid candidate to get out of the race, why not use their stature to urge CRIST to get out of the race and save the day?  If Crist gets out, at least some of his support (particularly, teachers who appreciate him vetoing a terrible Republican bill that would have decimated education in this state, which was a great thing but a calculated move on Crist's part precisely to get their votes) would go back to Meek, where it rightfully belongs (Meek has been a champion of issues important to teachers for YEARS, not just since he wanted their votes, for example, he brought forward the class size amendment that is now part of the Florida constitution).  Then we'd have an actual Democrat in the Senate and not a historically Republican windsock that blows whichever way the political winds do.

If Democtratic leaders don't think Crist would be swayed by them urging him to get out of the race, and they fear the split vote handing the election to Rubio, well, I agree, so here's an idea:  don't therefore urge our own great Democratic candidate, whom the Democratic voters of our Democratic Party nominated, to get out of the race!  That's insanity!  He's our only hope!  Instead you should enthusiastically and urgently endorse him (which Clinton has done, I hasten to add--but I'm writing this to all my Democratic leaders) and spend all your energy and time campaigning for him (again, which Bill Clinton did do, but it's what he may have urged privately that has me writing this) instead of doing turncoat, damaging things like RFK, Jr. did by endorsing Crist, or urging Meek to drop out of the race!!!  What kind of message are you sending to Democratic voters with that behavior?  Why do you want to convince us that Meek has no shot of winning?  He has EVERY shot and, indeed, the CERTAINTY of winning IF every registered Democrat goes to the polls and votes for him.  That, my dear Democratic leaders, is what you should be out there convincing the Democratic voters to do!  You should be circling the wagons!

3.  How DARE any Democratic leader urge the DULY ELECTED NOMINEE to get out of the race when there is no reason on earth for it?!!!!  This is madness!  I mean, do I see the urgency of defeating Rubio?  God, yes.  Do I see that my party leaders probably have way more influence and pull on the Democratic candidate than they do on Independent, Charlie Crist?  Yeah, I get it, I get it.  Seen in the best of all lights, they are valiantly trying to do anything necessary to defeat Rubio, thus saving our state from the kind of slash and burn destruction he inflicted on it from Tallahassee, only now it would be from Washington.  They also would prefer an Independent, not a Republican, get that Senate seat, numbers-wise.  I get their so-called logic but I also get that it is so flawed!

Most of Meek's supporters would not vote for Crist.  I would not.  If Meek dropped out, I would not vote for the candidate who basically forced him, my Democratic candidate, out of the race.  For the first time in my life, I would just not vote because there would be no choice representing me, or even representing the lesser of two evils, on the ballot.  (I already voted by mail for Meek so luckily I wouldn't even have to face that whole, epic, moral dilemma, but if I hadn't voted by mail, I do not think I could vote for Crist.)  Oh, and, by the way, if Crist goes to the Senate?  Yeah, newsflash to my party's leaders:  he's going to vote with the Republicans, not the Democrats!  You shouldn't be backing Rubio Lite, when there is a picked-by-your-voters, real live DEMOCRAT on the ticket.  Don't act meek, back Meek!

If Meek drops out, his supporters--i.e., us so-often-overlooked-by-our-own-party DEMOCRATIC BASE--would not go for Crist.  On the other hand, if Crist drops out, there will be a windfall of Democratic voters who will come home to Meek.  So, any Democratic defectors out there (a.k.a., "leaders" who would attempt to lead our candidate right out of the race):  put that in your turncoat pocket and button it.

It is Charlie Crist who should get out of the race.  He wasn't nominated by anyone but himself and all his presence is doing is handing the election to Tea Partier, Marco Rubio.

Perhaps the bigger question here is, IS FLORIDA CAPABLE OF EVER HAVING A NORMAL ELECTION?  Obviously, though, that topic requires a blog of its own.  So, sticking to my topic and wrapping 'er on up:  I'm disgusted with the confirmed action of RFK, Jr. in endorsing Crist, which was a total and uncalled for betrayal of the Democratic Party and very potentially harmful to Florida (if any Florida voters actually pay attention to RFK, Jr., which, thankfully, they probably won't).  Mind you, if there were anything wrong with our Democratic candidate and/or if RFK, Jr. differed with him on the issues and there were a good Independent alternative, maybe I could see it, but Meek is a solid, consistent, strong Democratic leader.  RFK, Jr. didn't say anything against him as a person or on the issues.  He just decided to endorse "his friend", Crist, and felt the need to throw into his statement that Meek has "no chance".  WRONG:  when Democrats vote for Democrats, Democrats win!  So he DOES have a chance, if we get out and vote!  I'm also very shocked and dismayed to hear that Bill Clinton may have privately urged Meek to drop out.  It is very important to note, however, that Clinton campaigned for Meek in my city, St. Petersburg, Florida, and at least if he did bring up Meek getting out of the race, he did it privately and he still stood up for him publicly.  What I don't get, though, is why any Democratic leader would even suggest, even entertain the notion and bring it up for discussion, that the nominee exit the race to enable a Republican in windsock clothing to win.  Crist and Rubio are both Republicans!

Crist has a new label on the ticket now, but his actions stand as those of a lifelong Republican.  Crist and Rubio both have a history of supporting offshore oil drilling, for instance, and being against gay adoption, and on and on the list goes.  It's a longer, scarier list for Rubio, but Crist is not our candidate.  Meek is.  Unlike the other candidates, Meek has a history of supporting and fighting for Democratic priorities, and thus can be be counted upon to support those priorities in the US Senate:  the environment, education, civil rights, the greening and thus health of our economy, seniors, the middle class, and the list goes on.  It's a good list.  It's a list of our Democratic values.  Remember those?  Aren't they what we should be fighting for?

So, to the leaders of my party and, more importantly, to my fellow Florida Democratic voters (because your endorsement on Tuesday is the only one that counts), please throw your support to our deserving candidate, Kendrick Meek.  If we all do this, he WILL pull off a stunning win.  THAT is how we save the day, save the future of our state, and stop Marco Rubio.

Florida Democrats, you have a choice on Tuesday:  For US Senator, contrary to what it says next to Crist's name, there are really two Republicans on the ballot.  A really scary one, and a scary one.  There is also a Democrat on the ballot.  Democratic voters put him there.  And we can also put him into the Senate.  You decide.

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