Florida Dems examine Party values and policies after getting clobbered

Florida Democrats are doing some soul-searching after their party took a drubbing in recent elections. A task force has been assembled to study why and how the party lost all four Cabinet races, as well as six seats in the state House.

As soon as the elections were over, National Democratic Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz uttered a dumb public statement that showed why the Dems continue to lose races in Florida: “We know we’re right on the issues.”

DWS Allison Tant
Photo credit: Daily Kos

Won’t she ever learn? Can’t she face reality? The right comeback to Schultz’s comment is to respond using this slight variation of Bill Clinton’s phrase: “It’s the issues, stupid!” But drivel was all Democratic leaders could come up with. As if by punctuation, Florida Democratic Party Chairwoman Allison Tant said: “Our bench is stronger today, with fresh faces to meet tomorrow’s challenges.”  Huh?

The task force consists of 14 Democrats representing typical constituencies, including two officers from public employee unions. Here again, the Dems show why they are already heading down the wrong path. They would strengthen their power with most voters if they would reduce the influence of public unions and Obama apologists.

Why are there no business people or business interests represented on the task force, which will make decisions on the party’s future? How is Florida going to increase its economic well-being and tax base with that kind of thinking? How can state business leaders support Democrats when the party does not include the business community in their plans or goal setting?

Florida party officials also moaned about the Republicans’ fundraising advantage. Well, when the Dems engage in class warfare against “greedy, evil” wealthy people and business owners, is it any wonder why Democrats can’t raise much money in Florida? Florida business groups know that if Democrats came to power in Florida, businesses would need to brace for a big onslaught of regulations, litigation and higher taxes.

The Florida Democratic Party is also facing trouble because of some off-base, wild positions taken by the House Democratic Party Caucus. The leftist cabal within the caucus is always pushing Democrats to the far left, then makes trouble for moderate Democrats who don’t follow them into the political slaughterhouse. These leftists need to mature, abandon their kamikaze missions and stop imploding as a result of promoting out-of-touch political positions. After exiling themselves from the private sector and the business community, leftists would do well to stop throwing grenades and moderate some of their daffy positions. If they don’t, they cannot expect House leadership to listen to anything they have to say.

On a larger scale, Florida Democratic leaders need to abandon the foolish notion that their problem is messaging, when the real problem is their policies and ideas. These leaders need to lead by rethinking their direction, or the Democratic herd will continue to follow them over the edge of the cliff.

Dems are trying to explain that it wasn’t their fault when the Republican wave washed over them two weeks ago. But The Wall Street Journal ridiculed Obama’s official spin that, “My ideas and policies are fine. I just have a messaging problem.” Hooey. Voters just handed Republicans an unequivocal mandate to reverse his destructive policies.

Florida Democrats need to deal with the public perception that they represent government, public unions, fringe environmental activists and the interests of the public sector, and they pay for it by imposing taxes and fees on everybody except hard-core Democratic constituencies. The Florida business community would welcome efforts by the Democratic left to work with the business community. Democrats could start by adding true business people to the new Florida Democratic Party Task Force.

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John R. Smith


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