FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

What’s Going on in Florida, Again?

Florida still hasn’t declared. Another bungled presidential election cycle where the voting process failed. The US Department of Justice ought to investigate and readers should dwell, for a moment, on the disaster that would have unfolded if Obama had not held the Midwest firewall or Ohio.

That scenario would have thrown the election right back to Florida, just like 2000, where months later the US Supreme Court selected a president. So far, we haven’t heard a single Democratic leader in the state (are there any?) raise a peep of protest at the near train wreck. It is Thursday morning. Florida still hasn’t declared.

The worst of it: the press documented how the Republican legislature and Gov. Rick Scott conspired to suppress the vote, diminishing chances of an Obama victory. The lengthy ballot wasn’t inadvertent. It was loaded with right-wing, extremist measures on purpose: to make it more difficult to process ballots from people who have a hard time reading English. Hispanics and African Americans.

This isn’t speculation. As noted by Politico this morning, “… exit polls showed the same share of African Americans turned out as four years ago, something that GOP turnout models did not anticipate.” Of course not.  The intent of voter suppression is fully briefed in acrimonious litigation between state GOP officials and the former head of the state Republican Party, Jim Greer.

Gov. Rick Scott could have authorized and expanded early voting. The early voting lines in Miami-Dade were extraordinarily long. Miami- Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez, a Republican, could have insisted on a competent, timely response to what was clearly heading to an election day logjam and delays, beyond. The absentee and provisional ballots are still being counted by hand, one by one. That is a strategy, not a mistake. “We didn’t think they’d turn out more of their base than they did in 2008, but they smoked us,” one Romney operative told Politico. “It’s unbelievable that they turned out more from the African American community than in 2008. Somehow they got ’em to vote.”

It is excruciating to imagine the entire nation could now be hostage to the state of Florida’s deliberate incompetence and to GOP radicals, again.

We are at Thursday morning. The nation would be in an uproar, waiting for Florida. Again. Had that happened, then Jeb! Bush, Rick Scott, Marco Rubio and the legions of GOP lobbyists and attorneys who infest the state capitol like fleas on a dog would be racing to the TV cameras. The stock market yesterday, down only 250 points, would have been down 1000.

This scenario occurred to me instantly, in that brief, extraordinary moment after three networks had projected Ohio for Obama and on Fox News, Karl Rove anchored the news desk and exposed his plan to an audience of millions: Fox needed to stonewall, reject the professional analysis of its own election experts, and delay projecting Ohio. Fair and balanced? This was not a “Hail Mary Pass” by a political quarterback who had cost his investors billions and the nation, trillions through his role as top advisor to the Bush White House. Today the New York Times is raising the question: “What role was Karl Rove playing when he heatedly contradicted Fox News?”

To the Times, Rove offers the excuse that “the ghosts of 2000 prompted him to act.” Those weren’t ghosts. Rove was setting up Florida and the federal judiciary, where he has leverage through judges he personally vetted during the Bush terms, to put Mitt Romney in the White House.

A lengthy ballot — stuffed with ridiculous measures by right-wing GOP legislators to sow confusion at the ballot, inadequate voting equipment and bad planning on election day — caused outrageous and lengthy poll lines. But queues of up to six hours long are nothing compared to the controlled experiment of botching a presidential election in order to prevail through post-election chaos.

According to the Miami Herald, “Deputy Elections Supervisor Christina White insisted Wednesday morning that an unusually long ballot and high voter turnout, which was 64 percent, was to blame, not a lack of resources. “Its not that there were any problems or glitches,” White told reporters. “It’s about volume and paper left to be processed.”

The result is a disgrace, but in its fundamental respects mirrors the results of government-designed-to fail. In Florida, anger should be directed at incumbent legislators and county officials returned by voters to office one election cycle after another.

How many of those standing in long lines in Miami-Dade even know the names of their state representatives and state senators? Or why, in November 2000, then mayor of Miami-Dade County Alex Penelas took a flight to Spain “on personal business” instead of abandoning the ship, at the department of elections, on the very day GOP operatives parachuted from Washington DC to successfully disrupt the recount?

So there it is, Ohio: thank you. Soon, when the top percent of your residents move to winter homes or vacation in Florida, the rest of Ohio should reflect on what almost happened here.

Alan Farago is president of Friends of the Everglades.

More articles by:

Alan Farago is president of Friends of the Everglades and can be reached at afarago@bellsouth.net

Weekend Edition
August 17, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Daniel Wolff
The Aretha Dialogue
Nick Pemberton
Donald Trump and the Rise of Patriotism 
Joseph Natoli
First Amendment Rights and the Court of Popular Opinion
Andrew Levine
Midterms 2018: What’s There to Hope For?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Running Out of Fools
Ajamu Baraka
Opposing Bipartisan Warmongering is Defending Human Rights of the Poor and Working Class
Paul Street
Corporate Media: the Enemy of the People
David Macaray
Trump and the Sex Tape
CJ Hopkins
Where Have All the Nazis Gone?
Daniel Falcone
The Future of NATO: an Interview With Richard Falk
Robert Hunziker
Hothouse Earth
Cesar Chelala
The Historic Responsibility of the Catholic Church
Ron Jacobs
The Barbarism of US Immigration Policy
Kenneth Surin
In Shanghai
William Camacaro - Frederick B. Mills
The Military Option Against Venezuela in the “Year of the Americas”
Nancy Kurshan
The Whole World Was Watching: Chicago ’68, Revisited
Robert Fantina
Yemeni and Palestinian Children
Alexandra Isfahani-Hammond
Orcas and Other-Than-Human Grief
Shoshana Fine – Thomas Lindemann
Migrants Deaths: European Democracies and the Right to Not Protect?
Paul Edwards
Totally Irrusianal
Thomas Knapp
Murphy’s Law: Big Tech Must Serve as Censorship Subcontractors
Mark Ashwill
More Demons Unleashed After Fulbright University Vietnam Official Drops Rhetorical Bombshells
Ralph Nader
Going Fundamental Eludes Congressional Progressives
Hans-Armin Ohlmann
My Longest Day: How World War II Ended for My Family
Matthew Funke
The Nordic Countries Aren’t Socialist
Daniel Warner
Tiger Woods, Donald Trump and Crime and Punishment
Dave Lindorff
Mainstream Media Hypocrisy on Display
Jeff Cohen
Democrats Gather in Chicago: Elite Party or Party of the People?
Victor Grossman
Stand Up With New Hope in Germany?
Christopher Brauchli
A Family Affair
Jill Richardson
Profiting From Poison
Patrick Bobilin
Moving the Margins
Alison Barros
Dear White American
Celia Bottger
If Ireland Can Reject Fossil Fuels, Your Town Can Too
Ian Scott Horst
Less Voting, More Revolution
Peter Certo
Trump Snubbed McCain, Then the Media Snubbed the Rest of Us
Dan Ritzman
Drilling ANWR: One of Our Last Links to the Wild World is in Danger
Brandon Do
The World and Palestine, Palestine and the World
Chris Wright
An Updated and Improved Marxism
Daryan Rezazad
Iran and the Doomsday Machine
Patrick Bond
Africa’s Pioneering Marxist Political Economist, Samir Amin (1931-2018)
Louis Proyect
Memoir From the Underground
Binoy Kampmark
Meaningless Titles and Liveable Cities: Melbourne Loses to Vienna
Andrew Stewart
Blackkklansman: Spike Lee Delivers a Masterpiece
Elizabeth Lennard
Alan Chadwick in the Budding Grove: Story Summary for a Documentary Film
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail