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I don't know the answer to this, or really have much of a clue. I've lived here from 1990-97, and then from 2005 to date. Have had writing clients here during the entire interim. No, I don't write about politics (and anyone who has attempted to wade through my non-snark diaries likely understands why).

But I want some insights. Our party has had its head somewhere other than where it ought to be pretty much since I moved here in 1990. I am sure the population volatility is a challenge, but it likely challenges the GOP as well and we have the advantage of the growth being among potential Dems.  I know money is a huge problem.

What I don't know is how we got to this place and why we seem incapable of getting out. Specific observations below the fold.

We've elected one governor to two terms since I moved here, and he had previously retired from politics.

It isn't that we have lost the legislature. We've lost at least three redistricting cycles so that winning back seats is going to be difficult.

Related note. State party at least voiced not caring so much about being competitive in 2006 and 2008 - Dem trend years, remember - because 2010 was what mattered. 2010 of course was a midterm after the election of a Dem president.

The most recent Repub to beat us at governor is a Jay Gould-level crook. And a creep. And a not very appealing creep at that.

Not near enough was done - to my knowledge, anyway; I'll be happy to stand corrected - to redress the 2000 Brooks Brothers Riot. The GOP doesn't seem to have any reason to fear continuing its thuggiesh electoral practices.

I'm going to stop there, but of course there are other things and I'm glad for those to be put on the table as well. I'm hoping for comments that will make me and I hope other FL dems understand what the problem is. There have been times I've wanted to get involved in the party, but the one time I made the effort I left feeling it was hopeless. This was doing GOTV work election day 1996, and by that time the die had been cast for my county continuing a GOP swing that begun even as it gave the state our last Dem governor, Walkin Lawton Chiles.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (8+ / 0-)

    Have you heard? The vice president's gone mad. - Bob Dylan, 1966

    by textus on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 06:46:50 AM PDT

  •  there problem with florida is (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gorette, FG, textus, diffrntdrummr

    that a third of it votes like new york, another third votes like missouri and the final third votes like alabama.

    •  But you can say that about a lot of states (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      highacidity

      I grew up in Oklahoma, and frankly never heard the N word in conversation until I moved to upstate New York in the 70s. Well, I did, but not bloody often.

      Have you heard? The vice president's gone mad. - Bob Dylan, 1966

      by textus on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 08:22:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  There probably are a lot of reasons (0+ / 0-)

    One of them is that the candidates the Democratic Party has nominated for high offices have been mediocre and uninspiring.

    It's certainly possible that funding is an issue, since in today's culture money allows consensus to be manufactured.

    A terrible beauty is born. --W.B. Yeats

    by eightlivesleft on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 07:15:39 AM PDT

  •  Look, as a Floridian now, I'm interested, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Odysseus, textus, highacidity

    but your diary bothers me. I've never seen a diary with so many typo errors. I counted six and a misspelling, and you state at the outset that you have writing clients. Take the time to respect your readers a little more and do the work.

    I agree that the Democratic Party here is not very impressive. I live near Gainesville and since I have health problems haven't been going to meetings or participating much. What little I have seen firsthand, such as attending a meeting with a challenger to Cliff Stearns a few years ago, made me scratch my head, so lackluster it all was. Very disappointing because Stearns is just so bad! And there are lots of Democrats here.

    I think part of the problem must be people who give up before they can make an impact. It is discouraging and you have to stick with it and be visible! Perhaps the old timers who are in control are just not up to the challenge.

    Sorry I can't give more perspective but I've only lived here ten years and it's hard to understand. I'm more focused on national rather than state, but Scott must be defeated next time. He seems to be working toward that end, right?

    "extreme concentration of income is incompatible with real democracy.... the truth is that the whole nature of our society is at stake." Paul Krugman

    by Gorette on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 07:21:47 AM PDT

    •  Thanks (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      highacidity, Gorette

      My worst of my communication skills involve copy editing. I went and fixed what I could find, but experience tells me that is likely an incomplete list.

      Maybe one problem is that so many of us are national rather than FL Dems. I'm the same way, and frankly I am more attentive to the congressional redistricting thant he state lege redistricting, even though the latter clearly is at the base of the former problem.

      My kids are old enough now that I have time to get involved, but with whom? Per your second to last graph, that might make me part of the problem.

      Have you heard? The vice president's gone mad. - Bob Dylan, 1966

      by textus on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 08:19:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, I wish those Dems who could get (0+ / 0-)

        involved and work to increase Democratic turnout would do so. You included.;~}

        It is awful though to have a governor like Scott and the earlier Republicans who work to disenfranchise the poor and Democrats. It really sucks. I'm hoping this time they went to far and turned off a lot of Independents! Hopefully they've been paying some attention!

        I love Dylan, too. We could sure use one like him now.

        "extreme concentration of income is incompatible with real democracy.... the truth is that the whole nature of our society is at stake." Paul Krugman

        by Gorette on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 10:45:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I have been wondering the same thing since 2000 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    textus, Zornorph

    when I moved here. The Fl dems have no organization as far as I know and the national party seems to throw away our elections (as they did last year) knowing that this is a swing state that went for Obama in 08.  They didn't get behind their nominees (Grayson, Meek) and they struggled at the end.

    I wish I knew how to make this party be more forceful and indignant and in your face like the damned teabaggers, but when all we've got are idiots like Gary Siplin and Corrine Brown, it will be hard. These 2 have been living off the public teat for years and will not go down without a hard, mudslinging fight

  •  I have lived here for 5 years but I am an (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FG, textus

    experienced Democratic Party volunteer and I have some strong opinions about this state. First of all questioning the OPs grammar is not a very to persuade people that your point has any value. Just sayin.

    Second there is no political culture in Florida. The way campaigns are waged is to go on TV with lots of advertising, and then hold up signs on election day encouraging people to vote. I have never been sent a piece of literature, rarely see yard signs, and no one has knocked on my door. I also have never received a phone call  reminding me to vote. I am a registered Democrat here in Florida and the only literature I receive is from my wife's labor union.

    Where are the rallies, the GOTV efforts, the human interaction. Here in Orlando there is practically no reporting of politics or government by the local media. As a former Chicagoan I was used to being swamped by political news. I was an active Democrat in Republican dominated suburban DuPage County and I know how the game is played. But we do not play the game in Florida.

    •  Exactly! And have you noticed how if they actually (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PHScott, textus

      have to report on a political story, like say one about Obama, they always have an attitude? Martha Sigalski & Jime Payne are very obvious about it and if they report about sick rott, they're do it like fawning sycophants. The Sentinel is no better.  

      That's why I don't bother to watch local news anymore

      •  typical Tallahassee Democrat editorial (0+ / 0-)

        Both sides do it but we are above it-  Hah! Then they publish misleading AP feeds

      •  I've lived now in six states. Florida twice (0+ / 0-)

        and I don't think I've seen a more pure distillation fo what is wrong with TV news than in Orlando. This from an old newspaper guy, who covered TV for seven years and am reasonably familiar with the intrinsic differences between the two media.

        Have you heard? The vice president's gone mad. - Bob Dylan, 1966

        by textus on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 08:28:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Definitely true in the I-4 corridor (0+ / 0-)

      Does it extend elsewhere?

      Either way, would developing an I-4 corridor Dem political culture be a place to start? Certainly, when a portion of my county is shoved into an otherwise Orlando district, I presume to make it less likely Grayson will be able to retake a US House seat, the idea of a better regional culture would seem to be a good one.

      Why hasn't the state thought of this? Or the applicable counties? (I assume we're talking Orange, Seinole, Oscola, Polk, Hilsborough and maybe Paso, Volusia and Lake.) One of Scott's first acts was really to screw over our recovery by cancelling the light rail project.

      Oh, by the way, I took no offense at being called on turning in dirty copy. There are times I think I wouldn't type any worse blindfolded.

      Have you heard? The vice president's gone mad. - Bob Dylan, 1966

      by textus on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 08:38:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'll defend the advice to correct the diary typos. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      textus

      When made in the spirit of strengthening a person's message I consider it a favor. I want to know so I can make corrections, it's helpful.

      Of course it all depends how it's phrased....

      Not trying to hijack a good diary...

    •  Yard signs (0+ / 0-)

      maybe it's just me and where I've lived, but every community down here I've lived in disallowed yard signs. I even tried hanging signs in my window and were told I had to take them down. So the preponderance of HOA's and such may have something to do with that.

      "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

      by FloridaSNMOM on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 10:27:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  FL Dems need leadership (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PHScott, buffie, Statusquomustgo

    Need to get behind someone like Alan Grayson - someone not afraid of the GOP and someone who will take them head on.

    •  I actually think that Grayson would be a very (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      textus

      effective head of the State party and would be able to suss out good prgressive dems to run. Of course the national party would have to get behind them and put some money into their races. I sometimes dream of what I would do If I were governor...... oh well....

      •  Interesting idea (0+ / 0-)

        We need the state equiv of a Dean in 2005 pretty much abandoning all the previous assumptions and restoring the Dem party sot hat 2006 was inevitable and 2008 possible.

        Of course, Dean ruffled feathers.

        Have you heard? The vice president's gone mad. - Bob Dylan, 1966

        by textus on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 12:12:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  We have to stop blaming money for our (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    juca

    problems in the Democratic Party.  On Sunday I listened to C-Span - some call-in hour and the topic was the statement by the dunderhead CEO of AIG about how the retirement age will have to be raised to 80. Notice how the media has been cleansed of this comment already - so there is that - obviously the GOP controls the mainstream media, but still...
    The outrage TO A PERSON, however they id'd themselves - Repub, Dem, Indie, whatever, they were uniformly outraged and they knew very clearly why this idea is hogwash.  So my question is why every Dem politician in this country is not standing before cameras daily TRUMPETING THE FACT THAT REPUBS WANT TO GET RID OF SOC SECURITY or raise the age so high you will never see a check.  Why can't they do this?  Why not? What is wrong with the Democractic Party?  Are they really so incompetent that they cannot locate the winning messages?  Because they exist!  I can find them, why can't they?  Am I a fucking genius or something?

  •  FL Dem Party = max ineptitude and complacency (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vetwife

    -No organization

    -No leadership

    -No Money

    -No Ground game

    -No mailing or contact

    -A machine content to maintain the status quo.

    Republicans dominate here with an iron fist and have very active and powerful machine. Candidates engage, send mailings, and go door to door. The party backs them and if there's a primary; the inherent party discipline prevents major fracturing.

    Democrats have poor candidates and a poor machine. They  also seem to have to come to terms with it's permanent minority status. I see little to no effort to espouse ideas, people or policy rebuttals. The best they can hope for is that a small sisterhood of moderate female Rs & Ds teaming together to bring some moderation to some dogmatic policies.

    You think Scott with his low approvals would lose his reelection? Think Again. It's a Wisconsin scenario all over again.

  •  The machine is broken and there is a lot (0+ / 0-)

    of huge potential at the colleges but the retirees ( many at least) are comfortable and do not show any passion.
    The 2000 recount IMO hurt the Floridian so bad they really are having a time gathering their collective crap.
    I think the onslaught of repulican governors has had a huge impact.  Example:  Scott, Bush, Martinez, all broke the backs of the dems.   People being called stupid in a rigged election like 2000 did not help create passion.
    It hurt.  People down here are disabled, elderly, the poor are POOR and butterfly ballots who IMO designed the thing on behalf of republicans and having to hunt for voting places and removed from rolls is too frustrating for the voters.  Iraq used purple index inked fingers and it worked.  

    The whole thing in a nutshell.  The National party could really advise and help in Florida so I ask why they haven't done anything to motiviate.  Florida fights back but like a bird with a broken wing.  We are tired.  We are not stupid.

    We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

    by Vetwife on Fri Jun 15, 2012 at 10:02:31 PM PDT

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