Thursday, April 09, 2015

Florida Democratic Party-- a Picture Of Congenital Dysfunction


There is no better word to describe the Florida Democratic Party than "pathetic." Professional losers incapable of change, they have managed to wreck the Democratic brand by enshrining a Republican-lite raison d'être into their own DNA. Florida is a 50/50 state-- although Democrats in Florida won 3 out of the last 4 presidential elections. Selfish, self-serving leaders like Debbie Wasserman Schultz have, over the decades, traded away party viability for their own narrow career objectives. Democrats colluded in gerrymandering the state to give the Republicans more congressional seats and more state legislative seats. There are only 14 Democrats in the 40-seat state Senate and only 39 Democrats in the 120-seat state House.

The dysfunctional party establishment is cut off from Democratic Party values and from grassroots voters and activists. This week the Miami Herald ran a story by Patricia Mazzei about something that has actually roused the moribund party establishment to action. There's a pulse! There's a pulse! They want to decertify the Florida Progressive Caucus for backing Alan Grayson over lifelong Republican opportunist Patrick Murphy, their kind of candidate and, in fact, their candidate. Keep in mind when you read this that "professional journalists" have been trained to use the words "moderate" and "centrist" when they refer to a Democrat who backs the right-wing, anti-worker Republican agenda. Watch for those words.
A spat between the centrist and progressive wings of the Florida Democratic Party over the likely 2016 U.S. Senate race escalated Tuesday when a moderate county chairwoman called on breaking ties with a party-sanctioned liberal group.

Celeste Bush, chairwoman of the St. Lucie County Democratic Executive Committee, emailed party leaders across the state advocating to the "de-certification" of the Democratic Progressive Caucus of Florida, which like other Democratic clubs and caucuses must be reauthorized by party brass every few years.

Her strongly worded email came a day after the Progressive Caucus held a conference call with reporters promoting the possible Senate candidacy of outspoken liberal Rep. Alan Grayson of Orlando over the announced candidacy of moderate Rep. Patrick Murphy of Jupiter. Bush listened in on the call and seized a chance to defend Murphy, her congressman. The seat is expected to open once Republican Sen. Marco Rubio launches a presidential bid next week.

Bush's email referred to Monday's call as "an unprecedented action" to "discredit" Murphy's nascent campaign.

"This action runs counter to our Democratic Party's very existence," she wrote. "We cannot have 'so called' Democrat leaders aggressively attacking an elected Democrat or any Democrat running for office. A Democratic leader is just that-- a leader of Democrats-- not just some Democrats that fit a preconceived notion of what constitutes a Democrat."

She also suggested kicking Nancy Jacobson off the Democratic National Committee. Jacobson, of Orange County, is a Progressive Caucus member who said in Monday's call that she spoke for herself and not on the DNC's behalf. She couldn't be reached for comment late Tuesday.

Kevin Franck, a Progressive Caucus spokesman, declined comment. So did Florida Democratic Party spokesman Joshua Karp.

State Sen. Dwight Bullard, chairman of the Miami-Dade County Democratic Executive Committee, told the Miami Herald he hadn't seen Bush's email but understood the positions of both Bush and the Progressive Caucus.

"In order for us to get our sea legs as Democrats, it's good for us to have a discussion," he said, calling the Senate race "an election where we have a chance to have a spirited debate."

Bullard said he spoke to Progressive Caucus Chairwoman Susan Smith before and after Monday's call. "Her criticism isn't of Congressman Murphy per se," he said, "as much as it is of not wanting to fall into the same situation that we saw this past cycle with Sen. [Nan] Rich and Gov. [Charlie] Crist."

Bush, however, told the Herald that Democrats shouldn't waste their time with candidates who aren't "viable"-- who don't have enough money, name recognition or grassroots support to mount a winning campaign. Rich fell in that category, according to Bush, though she said Grayson may not. Encouraging him to run is fine, but disparaging Murphy, a former Republican, is not, she added.

"They're looking for purity in their Democrats," Bush said, comparing progressives to conservatives in the GOP. "They have a lot of single issues, just like the tea party does, and they think everybody needs to check that box, so to speak. That's just not the way people are."
Yesterday Susan Smith, president of the Florida Progressive Caucus, wrote this letter to Murphy:
Yesterday, I learned your supporters have organized an effort to eliminate the Democratic Progressive Caucus of Florida. In all honesty, I have to tell you that I was shocked by this news and even more dismayed by the implication that you support this effort.

I am writing to you directly so that you will know that our aim is not conflict, but debate. We do want to hold your feet to the fire on core democratic principles, but we are not attacking you personally. We don’t want a war, we just want a primary.

The truth is that we have some serious concerns about your record on Social Security, Medicare and other key issues that Democrats hold dear. Given your sudden switch from Republican to Democrat just in time to run for office and your past support of Mitt Romney over President Barack Obama, we believe those concerns are justified.

At a time when “expanding Social Security and Medicare has become a mainstream position among many Democrats,” your support for benefit cuts is troubling. [The Hill4/6/15]

At a debate with Allen West in 2012, you supported a so-called “grand bargain” that would have have averted sequestrations. Here is exactly what you said:

“President Obama and John Boehner, the Speaker of the House, came to the table almost had a grand bargain, but the Tea Party and people like my opponent, Allen West wouldn’t let Boehner make a deal. Everything is on the table during these negotiations, but the Tea Party wouldn’t let it happen. So, now we’re left with the sequestration.” [Murphy/West debate 30:00, 10/19/12]

As you noted, “everything was on the table,” during the negotiations between Speaker John Boehner and President Obama. Specifically, “reductions in Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security were all on the table-- not to mention reductions in discretionary spending that would have seriously weakened, if not crippled, government programs on which poor people, in particular, depend.” [New Republic7/10/11]

Soon after you were elected to Congress, you told CNN, “we have to look at cuts across the board. We’re going to have to look at Defense. We’re going to have to look at some structural changes to some programs like Social Security and Medicare.” And when you coauthored a letter with congressional Republicans, you pledged only to protect “current beneficiaries” of Medicare and Social Security.

You can see why we are concerned. You have plainly said that you would support cuts to Social Security.

As I said, we just want to know where you really stand on bedrock Democratic policies such as Social Security and Medicare. Specifically:
Would you support a plan to cut benefits for Social Security recipients or increase out-of-pocket expenses for those on Medicare or introduce a voucher system?

You have talked about “structural changes” to Social Security. Do the structural changes you propose include means testing?

Would you ever support raising the age for eligibility for Social Security?

Would you ever support privatization of Social Security?
I hope that you will take the time to answer these questions so that we can gain a fuller understanding of your position on these issues.
This quarter the Goldman Sachs political action committee welcomed Murphy to the race with a juicy $5,000 contribution (bribe), a classic case of political back-scratching and selling out to the worst special interests. Which side are you on? Please help us draft Alan Grayson to run for that Senate seat and make sure it doesn't fall into the hands of a Republican calling himself a Democrat.

Labels: , , , ,


At 3:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"There is no better word to describe the Florida Democratic Party than 'pathetic.' "

There is no better word to describe the National Democratic Party than "pathetic." FIXED IT!

Look at Schumer, for instance. He's as pro corporate as any real Republican. So is Hillary. So are most Democrats. It's easier to list those who are NOT corporatists than it is to list them any other way.

The people of this nation need a party which represents them and fights for their interests. They don't, however, deserve one. The fact that over 90% of all incumbents win re-election proclaims this. One can only conclude that the people have no qualms about how things are in the Citizens United era, and are willing to maintain these conditions no matter the numerous warnings directed at them regarding things like TPP or climate change.

As long as people have sports on TV, pizza in the microwave, and beer in the fridge, this isn't going to change. But by the time they notice how such things are affecting them, it will be much too late to do anything about it. They can live with it at that time.


Post a Comment

<< Home