Lawton Chiles

Ron DeSantis’s War Against Truth, Facts, And Vulnerable Victims!

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, judged by many as a so called “Frontrunner” for the Presidency in 2024, is seen by decent people as a real threat to basic truth and facts, and as a person who promotes right wing groups and ideology to undermine the freedoms and rights of endangered Americans!

When one looks back to past demagogues, DeSantis comes closest to the late Alabama Governor George Wallace, who gained the backing of one seventh of the American people in his third party Presidential campaign of 1968, railing against African Americans and basic civil rights. But the danger is that DeSantis actually could end up the nominee of the Republican Party in 2024!

DeSantis has shown his demagogic tendencies by promoting censorship of educational curriculums in public schools, as well as at Florida public universities and colleges. DeSantis wants to prevent the teaching of the truth and facts about white supremacy, the reality of slavery and Jim Crow segregation, because of his assertion that it might upset some young white children!

He also wants to suppress the reality of sexuality, including the facts and truth about students, who are gay, lesbian, or transgender, endangering their emotional stability, as he demands teachers and counselors refuse to consult regarding the turmoil many young people are going through daily!

DeSantis has also made undocumented immigrants another target, sending some from Texas borders to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts without notice, a clear political stunt that promotes fear and hatred of those escaping persecution and crime in the nations of Central America!

Ironically, today is the 100th anniversary of the Rosewood Massacre in Northern Florida, where a massacre of horrendous proportions occurred, destroying an African American town, and little was done to compensate victims, and a decision to cover up the reality of what had happened, until 1993.

Thirty years ago, Democratic Governor Lawton Chiles arranged for some reparations for the few surviving elderly people who were still alive 70 years later, and for descendants of those who were victims, to be given financial support for a college education.

But will Ron DeSantis acknowledge it in 2023, when he seems so concerned that young white children might feel guilt, a totally preposterous assertion? It is the reason for his desire to suppress the history of racial discrimination, not only in Florida, but elsewhere, as part of his push to ignore the crimes against Native Americans and other people of color as well!

DeSantis is also emboldening ignorant and biased parents, to suppress through control of school boards and library boards, the enlightenment of children to confront the issues of racial discrimination and sexuality, and tolerance of immigration.

For public libraries to censor any literature or other material focusing on these matters is reprehensible, and does not allow for a true understanding of reality. Instead, DeSantis’s goal and that of the Right Wing Extremists that he supports, is to promote narrow minded bigotry and ignorance in a nation that needs to confront reality, not be taught propaganda that covers up truth and facts!

The “Dynasties” Under Attack: The Bushes Done, The Clintons?

This morning, it is clear that the Bush Dynasty is history, with Jeb Bush’s poor performance in the South Carolina Republican Presidential Primary, and his announcement of his withdrawal from the Presidential race.

A year ago, it seemed obvious that he would likely be the GOP Presidential candidate, but the entrance of Donald Trump eight months ago destroyed that possibility, and once Trump called Jeb “low energy”, Jeb was befuddled what to do in response.  It took him a long time to mount a serious attack, and it was too late.

Jeb was supposed to be the Republican nominee in 2000, the favored younger son, smarter and more knowledgeable than his brother George W, and Jeb had avoided being the “black sheep” of the family with the alcoholism and drug use of George W making his parents very unhappy with him.

But Jeb lost the 1994 Florida gubernatorial election by 60,000 votes, most of the margin for Governor Lawton Chiles being in South Florida, while George W,  despite a pitiful debate performance against Texas Governor Ann Richards, was able to win the Texas Governorship in the same year, 1994.

One will always have to wonder whether Jeb would have been able to be elected as George W was in 2000; whether he would have won on his own power in his home state, instead of having a Supreme Court case to win the Sunshine State and the election; and whether he would have acted differently around September 11, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Hurricane Katrina.

Jeb was a lost opportunity, one of many who wanted the Presidency; were considered serious contenders; and yet lost the chance, while lesser candidates won.

In this category, we could, in the past half century, put Hubert H. Humphrey in 1968; Ted Kennedy in 1980; Al Gore in 2000; John McCain in 2000; and Hillary Clinton in 2008, along with Jeb Bush in 2000 and now in 2016.

And now, the question is whether Hillary Clinton can overcome Bernie Sanders for the Democratic Presidential nomination, after failing to overcome Barack Obama eight years ago.  Or will she, like Jeb, expected to win, end up failing, as Jeb has done?

In any case, George H. W.  and Barbara Bush may, very well, live to the next inauguration and beyond, at age 92 and 91 respectively in January 2017, but they will NOT see the inauguration of a second son to the Presidency.

The other question that arises is whether Bill Clinton, age 70 by the time of the inauguration in 2017, see his wife, on her second try, now 16 years, not 8, since he left the Oval Office, become President, or have the ultimate failure, despite all evidence that she would become the first woman President?

We shall see soon enough over the next number of months!

The Worst Governor In Florida History: Rick Scott!

Florida Governor Rick Scott may have gained less attention than other “Bully” Republican Governors elected in 2010, but he is, in many ways, the absolutely worst governor in America, and easily, the worst Governor Florida has ever had in modern history!

Florida has had some really outstanding Governors, including Leroy Collins (1955-1961); Reubin Askew (1971-1979); Bob Graham (1979-1987); Lawton Chiles (1991-1999); and Charlie Crist (2007-2011). Republican Governors Claude Kirk (1967-1971) and Bob Martinez (1987-1991) both lost re-election and were controversial. Jeb Bush (1999-2007) had his controversies, but did an excellent job dealing with eight hurricanes during his time in office.

Rick Scott came into office with the record of having paid a record fine for his Medicare corruption as the leader of the nation’s largest hospital chain, and should have gone to prison instead, for his misdeeds. He won the Governorship by only 50,000 votes, the smallest margin in Florida history.

Scott spent $73 million of his own money to get himself elected, despite a personality that was and is a turn off to most people who have any intelligence or compassion for others. It was an example of how backward Floridians were, that they would allow a convicted felon to become their Governor.

Scott has done massive damage on voting rights, privacy rights, public schools and higher education, environmental protection, and health care. His party controls three fourths of the seats in the legislature, and has taken Florida backwards at a time when it is about to become the third largest state in population.

Scott has made it harder for Florida citizens to vote; for those who are unemployed to gain unemployment compensation; for renters to avoid eviction; and made it easier for borrowers to be charged high interest rates on short term loans.

Scott has refused to accept Medicaid money for the poor, despite the fact that the federal government will pay all the costs for three years, and 90 percent after that. He fought ObamaCare tooth and nail, and still makes it difficult for citizens to apply for it.

Scott rejected federal money for high speed rail, while creating another state university, Florida Polytechnic University, which undermines the University of South Florida market for students. His administration spends less per public school student than when he took office, and promotes private charter schools over public schools. He has undermined respect for a liberal arts education, and teachers at all levels have been treated with disrespect by his education policies.

Scott has undermined the environment protections put into effect by his predecessors, and sees Florida as equivalent of a corporation that needs to be given freedom to abuse in every way possible, including health insurance rates, higher electric rates, and tax breaks for businesses that have not created the promised number of jobs.

Scott has demonstrated little concern for individual rights, wanting drug testing for state employees and welfare recipients; purging voter rolls, and restricting early voting. Luckily, there has been reaction against these ideas by courts, county elections supervisors, and the public.

The man has no compassion or empathy, and comes across as a cold, calculating individual, and it makes one wonder how Floridians could possibly consider him for a second term, but Scott is willing to spend whatever it takes to fool people, and to keep the vote numbers down by any means he can conjure up.

Scott gains less attention nationally than Scott Walker of Wisconsin, Rick Perry of Texas, Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, and other “Bully” Governors, all of whom are considered Presidential possibilities, but IF Rick Scott is re-elected, do not be surprised if he tries to bring his corruption, mean spirit, callousness, and lack of empathy or compassion to a national campaign for President.

One might say, wait, there is already Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio as potential candidates for President from Florida! The answer is: So What? Scott has never let ego or ethics get in his way in the past, and do not be surprised he might mount a national campaign if he defeats former Governor Charlie Crist, who has switched parties, and faces a massive challenge to be elected Governor as a Democrat, in a state with such a large Republican dominance in the state legislature!

The problem is that, even if Crist were to win, he is likely to face a hardline legislature, where only his veto might sometimes be effective, as Florida politics now represents one of the most backward agendas of any state, despite the fact that the state has nearly 20 million citizens, including many elderly, poor, sick, and disabled!

This is NOT a state where anyone who has a choice to move would decide to remain. YES, the weather is great, but the future for the elderly, the poor, the sick and the disabled, and for children in general, is gloomy!

Maryland, anyone?

The Promotion Of Jeb Bush For The Presidency

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush has made it crystal clear that he is NOT interested in running for President in 2012, or has he? 🙂

One gets the feeling that he has NOT given up completely on the idea, and when one considers much of the Republican field is seen clearly as losers, unable to win the country over Barack Obama in 2012, one can understand why Jeb’s name keeps on coming up. He could be looking for a so called “draft” like Dwight D. Eisenhower had in 1951 to convince him to run in 1952.

If one looks rationally at the multitude of possible candidates, only three seem at all realistic–Mitt Romney, Jon Huntsman, and Jeb Bush.

All three are competent and qualified, and are not connected to the loony side of the GOP, including the Tea Party Movement.

Of course, that makes it more difficult for them, as the Tea Party Movement, and the impact of Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann and other loonies like them, may be enough to prevent any of the three above from being the GOP nominee.

But if the goal in politics is to WIN, then one of these three might just be the right guy for the moment!

The problem that Romney and Huntsman face, however, is their Mormon religion, which turns off evangelical Christians. But both have backgrounds and qualifications that make them prime possibilities for President, although Huntsman is not yet well known.

But Bush has the advantages of having been, overall, a popular governor of the fourth largest state, Florida; having an appeal to Hispanics and Latinos since he is seen as open minded on the immigration issue; and seen as smarter and brighter than his brother George by far!

Don’t forget that originally the Bush family plan was that Jeb would win the governorship of Florida in 1994 and then run for President in 2000, but Lawton Chiles ruined that, and Jeb had to wait until 1998, and by then brother George had already been Governor of Texas for four years, so George got the advantage to run for President.

The National Review, a conservative journal of great reputation, and its editor, Rich Lowry, make the case for Jeb in 2012, arguing that he has a better chance of uniting a party that has no strong leader yet; that for Jeb to wait to 2016 will make him seem “old news”, and that many newer candidates will come along by then, including Florida Senator Marco Rubio; that the rehabilitation of brother George has already begun, so being a Bush is not as negative as it was in 2008; and that waiting is always a mistake, and that one must be aggressive in going for an opportunity to run, as such examples as Bill Clinton and Barack Obama proves.

So with such a large and mostly weird, loony list of possible candidates, or those who simply have no national appeal, the likelihood that Jeb Bush will yet be heard from for 2012 grows!

The Growing Chasm Politically In Major States, And Across The Nation!

As a result of the midterm elections of 2010, we see California becoming a state where Republicans are a dying breed, failing to win one statewide office, not gaining even one House seat, and losing any control over what the state legislature does in either house! It is hard to believe that at one point, the Republicans dominated the governorship and House and Senate seats, and that this was the state of Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon!

But at the same time, the Democrats lost a couple of House seats in Florida, no longer have any influence in the state legislature, and failed to gain one statewide office, as the Republicans swept over the Democrats in all but black and Jewish areas of the Sunshine state. It is hard to remember that this was the state that once elected Bob Graham, Rubin Askew, and Lawton Chiles!

And Georgia, once the state of Jimmy Carter and Sam Nunn saw an equivalent GOP sweep, as did Texas and Oklahoma and Kansas among others!

At the same time, New York remained a dominant stronghold for the Democrats, as also occurred in Massachusetts, Maryland, Delaware, Vermont, Oregon, Washington, and Hawaii, among other states!

Finally, the Midwest saw a major GOP gain in such states as Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana, Missouri and Iowa!

What this all tells us is that the nation is becoming more and more divided politically, as we see the development of two nations–the Northeast Atlantic Coast and the Pacific Coast as Democratic strongholds more than ever before, and the South and the Great Plains and much of the Mountain West more Republican, and the Midwest tending in the direction of the GOP!

The political flux is amazing, having witnessed what seemed like a permanent GOP gain in the early Bush II era, succeeded by what looked like a permanent Democratic gain under Obama, followed by what now seems like a major Republican gain that could be long lasting due to reapportionment being affected by their triumphs in the state legislative battles of 2010!