The way the GOP firewall was meant to work was this: 1) voter suppression by shortening voting hours and 2) a 10 page ballot stuffed with ridiculous measures by right wing majority dominating the Florida legislature (many, from Miami-Dade County).
As Karl Rove demonstrated in his own election eve ether on Fox News, it was necessary for Ohio to remain in dispute in order to throw the chaos to Florida, just like what happened in 2000 -- the election through which Rovian vanity was cemented into GOP politics. The nation suffered the consequences, and so have GOP billionaires ever since.
It is classic disinformation strategy to claim as the GOP is claiming today that Florida's election processing delays were inadvertent.
County election officials assign blame to the volume of paperwork. Mayor Carlos Gimenez convenes a blue-ribbon panel of "fair and balanced" county commissioners. Nonsense.
Chaos in Florida in the recount was a GOP strategy, not a mistake.
There is further proof in yesterday's attack by Rove, accusing the Obama campaign of "voter suppression": if you want to know the heaviest tool in the Rove electioneering box, it as attacking at exactly his opponent's point of strength. (ie. 2004 Swiftboat and John Kerry) It is not going to work this time.
I would not want to be a billionaire investor in GOP candidates and causes these days.
The Obama election highlights how enervating GOP campaigns through fear and loathing of 'the other' points to a shrinking white voter base. But John Boehner and Mitch McConnell, the GOP standard bearers in Congress, don't have the willpower or guts to tell their donors the bad news. Rove is too invested in the politics and psy-ops based on the Bush model.
Today's news from Florida will be anticlimactic, of course. The Florida Firewall will be mothballed by the GOP who now need to figure out how to keep Florida from turning to a blue state. Meanwhile the blue ribbon panels to fix Florida voting (once and for all!) and dissembling by state officials will go into high gear, throwing out a smokescreen like clouds of DDT to wave off West Nile mosquitoes.
There are a couple of local races that EOM will pay more attention to, once the final campaign finance reports are filed.
First of all, Jose Javier Rodriguez defeated Alex Diaz de la Portilla for the state house. Rodriguez, a Democrat, is exactly the profile -- well educated, reasonable, and committed to public service -- that is needed to repel the radical right.
Ross Hancock, a political newcomer, very nearly defeated GOP leader Erik Fresen for state senate. In the evening's most interesting outcome, Hancock ran with the support of Sierra Club and civic activists who were deeply opposed to Fresen's leadership on the pro-casino issue and embrace of every other right-wing scheme that energizes Tallahassee. Hancock's effort should send shivers through the status quo in Tallahassee. We'll look closely at those campaign finance reports.
There are two main conclusions to draw from the elections in Miami-Dade with deep implications for Florida. First, the tyranny of the old Cuban American guard -- that has weakened over successive election cycles -- is finally finished. Credit to Sergio Bendixen who, for twenty years, has predicted this outcome.
This is bad news for the GOP and its local funders from the Growth Machine. As we have documented on EOM, the GOP political model that worked in the past was based on contributions organized through the Latin Builders Association and funneled toward organizing districts based on hatred against Castro. The Miami-Dade GOP has a problem: anti-Castro vitriol (that was, by the way, the content of the anti-Obama ad that fell flat on its face in the last weekend of the campaign) is boring and tiresome to non-Cuban Hispanics. The opportunity is for Democrats to find clear and compelling messages to organize non-Cuban Hispanic voters.
The second conclusion from the election: Gov. Rick Scott is finished.
Who will defeat Scott in 2014? I certainly hope it is NOT from the north Florida / Bill Nelson wing of the state Democrats. They have let down Democrats ever since Buddy McKay. My vote would be for Dan Gelber who remains the only reliable, articulate Democrat in the state of Florida.