Going back to 2006, you can see that I had NO LOVE for Charlie Crist. This same blogger who has relentlessly attacked Crist for years is doing something that I never thought I would do.
I fully endorse and back Charlie Crist for Senate.
I think I have some explaining to do.
First, the why-nots:
He is currently in the lead for the Democratic nomiation, if that means anything. He has 17% to Meek's 13%, while their opponenets are in the 30th percentile. Jeff Greene was a republican who decided to be a Democrat and enter this race after Meek's candidacy failed to catch on. He is quite a character: Mike Tyson was his best man at his wedding, ex-Hollywood madam Heidi Fleiss lived in his guesthouse, and he made MILLIONS betting on the housing collapse that killed our economy. I join many of my fellow Dems in saying No Thank You.
Unlike Jeff Greene, I like Kendrick Meek. I like him a lot. More well-known Dems didn't join the Senate race because Dems and GOPers alike all assumed that Crist was a shoe-in. His was a long shot. Another long shot? Marco Rubio. At least Meek had a clear field to the general. Rubio actually thought he could take the nomination from the crowned prince of Crist?
But that is exactly what happened. The wealthy benefactors of the joke that is the teabag party told their members to rally behind the wingnut without question. The GOP establishment responded by trying to get Crist to go more wingnut, but it didn't work. Rubio overcame a huge deficit and surged ahead of Crist.
I brought this up with the founder of DailyKos when he was calling on Crist to run as a Dem or Indie long before his switch. At the time I was furious…why can’t a progressive website get behind the damn progressive?
But I think Kos was just less idealistic than I was. He knew what I learned…herding liberals is like herding cats. Although the virtue of this is obvious…we think for ourselves and never follow a cracked whip (we will never get behind Jeff Greene)…the downside is it makes it difficult to get real liberals elected.
On the other hand, teabaggers do what they are told. This is also why the GOP nominee for governor is going to be Rick Scott, a bona-fide criminal for crying out loud.
The numbers speak for themselves. Meek is stuck at 13%--even behind Greene. It has been many, many months and people still don't know him. It is obvious to everyone that he is not going to catch fire. In fact, billionaire Greene just started a massive media blitz attacking Meek over a development scandal. Meek cannot afford to respond. So those who don't know him will soon know the negatives. If anything, he will go further down. I strongly support MEEK for the primary, but bottom line, Meek will not be the next Senator.
There are too many posts on my blog attacking Charlie Crist. Some of my posts attacking him even made our local paper. Just search “Crist” in the search block and see what I mean.
I have little respect for Crist as governor: He appointed cronies, he never had and still has no ideas on how to handle our state's numerous problesm, such as our outrageous deficit, our broken education system or the insurance crisis. Not only did he refuse to tackle the big issues, but when our state was drowing in red ink with no end in sight and we needed strong leadership the most, Crist decided to bail and escape to the Senate.
So why do I back him now?
I have several reasons, but first, the primary reason. We cannot afford Marco Rubio.
He is our own Sharon Angle and will wreak havoc not just on our state, but all the others as well. Between the two, I pick Crist every time.
Rubio is part of the culture of corruption that led to the self-imposed implosion of the Florida GOP that has already led to the arrest of former GOP chairman, Jim Greer.
But if you thought Greer's spending habits were bad, Rubio, who has the nerve to run as a "fiscal conservative", racked up over 100,000 on his personal GOP credit card. The IRS is still investigating his abuse of the credit cards for personal expenses without reporting or paying taxes on additional income.
Rubio released a statement saying that his expenses were for "legitimate political purposes." So I guess groceries, plane tickets for family, and a back wax constitute legitimate political purposes.
Reckless spending aside, Marco Rubio is a wingnut's wingnut.
Just like GOP nutcase Sharon Angle in Nevada, Rubio opposes Social Security and Medicare as he explained to Joe Scarbarough in this video. (Bonus—you can hear his rousing support for Glenn Beck).
Marco Rubio also proposes to spend trillions of dollars while overwhelmingly sending the benefits to the very, very rich. And we all know how well that strategy works.
We cannot, cannot, cannot afford this extremist teabagging idiot to be our representative in the US Senate.
But a full-throated endorsement deserves something a little better than the lessor of two evils.
First off, I believe Crist will caucus with the Democrats. The GOP has burned their bridge with Charlie, going so far as to insult him openly and even hock his official portrait on ebay. Good riddance.
However, more importantly, I do believe that what made Crist an awful governor will make him a decent Senator. If you know anything about Crist, you know that he is the most colossal panderer in politics today. When Obama was riding high after the election, Crist embraced him and supported the stimulus. When the harder times came and Crist was trying to get the GOP nomination, he suddenly attacked everything Obama and hated the stimulus. This is just one example of who Crist is.
A successful governor is one who needs to make tough, unpopular executive decisions that directly benefit the state, even if the benefit is not immediately seen. That man is not Charlie. He always put his finger in the wind and did what he thought was most politically popular. (Another case in point: his pet project, Amendment 1. Floridians got a mild property tax cut that cost the state billions and induced trauma on the already bleeding services many Floridians depended on.)
But as far as traits go, this is not too bad in the body of the Senate. Right now, the GOP is marching in
Health care of 9/11 victims?
Wall Street gambling reform?
God-damned unemployed insurance?
To hell with what the people want.
THIS is not Charlie.
I would much rather have someone who panders to the citizens rather than someone who panders to the worst fringe of a failed party—which is what a Rubio candidacy gaurantees. Other Senators, like Ben Nelson and Blanche Lincoln, pander to special interests that bankroll their candidacy.
THIS is also not Charlie.
Yes, he will pander to whatever is popular, but in the scheme of things in the Senate, that is not a bad place to be.
Finally, a Crist win might just send a message to the GOP. Pushing moderates out to pander to the teabagging fringe = FAIL. They already messed up what looked like a sure thing in Nevada, possibly even Kentucky, but Florida was considered a GOP lock. How sweet to see it go.
One year ago I never would have predicted this. But here it is. I will be voting for Charlie Crist for Senate this November. I strongly urge you to do the same.