Charlie Crist Had Already Sold Out His Democratic Supporters

I rarely take time out to say “I told you so,” partially because like most people, I’m wrong often enough that I don’t want to be a sore winner. But damned if I didn’t tell you so on this one:

Not that it matters now, but former Sen. Bob Dole (R) told the Topeka Capital-Journal that Florida Gov. Charlie Crist (I) promised him that he would vote for Republican control of the U.S. Senate if he had won the three-way race in Florida.

Leopards don’t change their spots. People who proclaim themselves “conservative Republicans” don’t caucus with Democrats in the same calendar year.

This is why it is important for Democratic voters to stay true to their values and not be tempted by expediency in such an obvious case as Charlie Crist. Crist always called himself a conservative Republican, he was always a political opportunist and he was always going to abandon Democrats as soon as it served him.

If the voters who thought Crist was a viable option for our side had jumped on board with Kendrick Meek in the beginning, like they should’ve, Meek could’ve won and stopped Rubio. If groups like the Florida Education Association and some of the other unions had backed Meek wholeheartedly instead of splitting their support or endorsing Crist, Meek could’ve won (at least Equality Florida didn’t endorse Crist). If the left had worked to build some excitement around the Meek campaign, maybe a few more Democrats would’ve showed up to vote. Instead, they stayed home after they saw groups like the FEA co-endorsing a lifelong education opponent so they could get one bill temporarily stopped. If they had supported the lifelong champion of education, it would’ve been easier to turn out the vote and Alex Sink would’ve been governor and the legislature could’ve been kept under supermajority status. Make no mistake, SB6 will be back and there’s nothing that can be done to stop it now.

This is why you don’t betray your values for the sake of “maybe” winning with a candidate who doesn’t share your values.

At least those of you who did this have a chance to prevent Crist from doing this again if he runs for office again.

EXTRAS:

*Source: Smooth Like Remy

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9 thoughts on “Charlie Crist Had Already Sold Out His Democratic Supporters

  1. You article about Charlie Crist was correct, but it misses the point. Crist didn’t try to change his political views, he came to the Democrats because he saw a more conservative wave that made those much more to the right more electable. You can’t see it because you can’t imagine a political position that far to the right of you, but it is there, and there are a lot more people who agree with it that you can ever imagine. Crist, by most standards, was a moderate conservative. Hold onto your hat, because with the new legislature, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

  2. While I agree with you on the legislature, it is completely wrong to say that Crist didn’t change his political views. There is a long list of issues where he had diametrically opposed positions at different points in his governorship, sometimes even in the same week. I did the opposition research for the Meek campaign and studied the entire Crist administration.

  3. I had voted for Meek and I had recommended to all I could that everyone vote for Meek, but Meek himself and his campaign could have generated excitement for him as the US Senate candidate, not just “the left.” Even without money, and much like Obama, there is very little to any vision expressed as to what he wanted to accomplish in the Senate. Voters don’t require simply a nice persona and a promise to adhere to Democratic Party values. They need to hear an over-arching vision of what the country should be. For a loyal Democrat to vote for Charlie was foolish, but don’t blame “the left” for Meek’s failure to gain substantive-enough traction.

  4. I finally decided to vote for Meek, after much angst…and even though I was not pleased with Meek’s mistakes and failures. The (suspended from National SC) Florida Sierra Club’s dual endorsement didn’t help Crist or Meek, but merely helped get Rubio elected.
    Crist left the R’s in desperation when the corruption of the party was becoming too loud to ignore, but Meek did not capitalize on the blatant corruption inside the R party. I also remembered the old saying about leopards not changing their spots. But we’ve really got a mess now.
    Now we are really in deep doo-doo.

  5. Andrew, while it is true that Meek should’ve done more to inspire voters to show up to vote for him — I worked on the campaign and I unsuccessfully tried to get the campaign to do more in this area — but to not blame left-wing voters also is way off the mark. The simple fact is that voters have a responsibility to find out who the better candidate is and vote in every election, no matter what. The reason Democrats lost this year was that they didn’t show up to vote in enough numbers. It doesn’t matter what candidates do or so, it is the responsibility of every citizen to vote. Republican voters fulfilled their responsibility, Democratic voters did not. They won, we lost. We can, and should, criticize campaigns who don’t get the job done, but we also need to criticize the voters who don’t do their job as well.

  6. Kenny, your commentary is more often than not just plainly myopic. I have posted on Facebook an email I had sent to the Dan Gelber campaign the day after the primary election, and despite my constant presence with the campaign and my personal contact and friendship with both the candidate and the staff, I had heard back not a word. Turned out by the night of Nov. 2nd, the concerns I had expressed last August to the Gelber campaign in regards to the intentions and strategy of the FDP and in regards to my expectation in regards to voter turnout were prescient.

    I’ve also written other commentary that is publicly posted as well as personally contacted candidates, politicians and politicos on the subject of getting out the vote. I’ve also volunteered -not tirelessly, because I was exhausted- for campaigns and for Organizing for America, hitting the streets and getting on the phones, and I’ve attended events, rallies, participated in discussions, and even tried to participate in your Yahoo! Group until I saw that your arguments continually exhibited that myopic determination to progress right smack into the status quo, and you’ll get really quite vociferous about them.

    What I have experienced is that the campaigns, the DNC, the FDP and the local clubs and DEC’s are unresponsive to arguments that have clearly been validated by electoral results. It should be the assumption of all Democratic Party operatives that the vote will not easily get out and that inexperienced, minority and youth voters are not going to turn up for a mid-term, let alone, perhaps, in great enough numbers for a re-election in 2012. What is needed is a strategy that excites those who assume that the political story will take its own course with or without them.

    You are making a tremendous mistake to assume that voters have a responsibility and will accept admonishment. They’re not hearing you. They’re too busy dialing in for Bristol Palin. Voters will behave like voters- and I am NOT referring simply to super-voters. Providing a sense of urgency, an over-arching vision and an undeniable display of empathy for ordinary people, let alone an ability to communicate in a fashion that can get through to busy and preoccupied people the way that, oh, I dunno…. Alan West and Marco Rubio can… is what is vitally important.

    You may wish for and insist upon specific behaviors from voters, even for a mid-term, but all I can tell you is that the Republican Party has not only continually embraced the dumbest amongst us, but they have won by tacking demonstratively to the far right and never, ever taking any vote for granted that could come out from under any rock anywhere. Joy-Ann Reid of The Reid Report has done an outstanding job demonstrating how the FDP, let alone the DNC has left votes on the table and ignored constituencies that have apparently been expected to show up and do their duty as per your own finger-wagging admonishments. Won’t happen.

    The Democratic candidates need a narrative, and they need to talk straight (even to the lgbt’s) and concisely. Meek answered questions in his debate just like a Democrat typically would, and that was not gonna work in this kind of election and that kind of race. Wavering and tightrope-walking explanations are not going to tap into the passions of those who may or may not show up to vote. Why- exactly- did Kendrick Meek believe that he could accomplish something specific and unique as one of Florida’s two Senators rather than keeping his safe seat in the Congress? Only he and his E.F. Hutton broker know, apparently.

    You and every other Democrat and every progressive should operate under the assumption that younger voters, minority voters, progressively-minded voters and inexperienced voters just will not study the candidates, the issues and feel that sense of urgency to speed up the inevitability of progress if you, as a professional (even if your last paycheck was a while ago) don’t do your job as a political operative and ensure that every single vote shows up, because otherwise they WILL NOT. It’s only a few of us that consistently follow the political narrative in the state and in the nation.

    Here are four of my Facebook postings that should demonstrate that I’ve thought a lot about this and tried to get the message across for a while now. You’re a FB ‘friend’ of mine and can read these, and I think ‘friends of friends’ can as well, and anybody can ‘friend’ me to gain access otherwise. They were written both before and after the primary and mid-term elections, and I think they say what those inside the Democratic political consulting game are too often in denial about:

    An Email I Had Sent to the Dan Gelber Campaign for FL Attorney General Just After the Primary Election:
    http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=453553572495

    For Florida progressives: Maurice Ferre got it right…
    http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=454906342495

    What I Expect for this Election and Who I Blame for the Results:
    http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=443967122495

    The left complains but doesn’t really strategize:
    http://www.facebook.com/notes.php?id=100000449956911&notes_tab=app_2347471856#!/note.php?note_id=390006462495

  7. Jack Brinkman mentions just one strategy that serves as a good example of what had not been pursued in any effective manner by the Meek campaign, let alone by the FDP.

  8. With a few edits, if you haven’t posted yet:

    Kenny, your commentary is more often than not just plainly myopic. I have posted on Facebook an email I had sent to the Dan Gelber campaign the day after the primary election, and despite my constant presence with the campaign and my personal contact and friendship with both the candidate and the staff, I had heard back not a word. Turned out by the night of Nov. 2nd, the concerns I had expressed last August to the Gelber campaign in regards to the intentions and strategy of the FDP and in regards to my expectation of voter turnout were prescient.

    I’ve also written other commentary that is publicly posted as well as personally contacted candidates, politicians and politicos on the subject of getting out the vote. I’ve also volunteered -not tirelessly, because I was exhausted- for campaigns and for Organizing for America, hitting the streets and getting on the phones, and I’ve attended events, rallies, participated in discussions, and even tried to participate in your Yahoo! Group until I saw that your arguments continually exhibited that myopic determination to progress right smack into the status quo, and you’ll get really quite vociferous about them. Jason Feldman had responded to you after you went ballistic over my sharing of an article to your Group, and Jason had incorporated much of my own commentary to him in his comments to you at that time, even though you couldn’t know that some of those comments had been my own. When Jason let me know about that, I had asked him to attribute my words to me, but I don’t think that he had.

    In regards to your posting here on this subject of Charlie Crist and the votes from the left in the last election, what I have experienced is that the campaigns, the DNC, the FDP and the local clubs and DEC’s are unresponsive to arguments that have clearly been validated by electoral results. It should be the assumption of all Democratic Party operatives that the vote will not easily get out and that inexperienced, minority and youth voters are not going to turn up for a mid-term, let alone, perhaps, in great enough numbers for a re-election in 2012. What is needed is a strategy that excites those who assume that the political story will take its own course with or without them.

    You are making a tremendous mistake to assume that voters have a responsibility and will accept admonishment. They’re not hearing you. They’re too busy dialing in for Bristol Palin. Voters will behave like voters- and I am NOT referring simply to super-voters. What is vitally important is to provide a sense of urgency, an over-arching vision and an undeniable display of empathy for ordinary people, let alone an ability to communicate in a fashion that can get through to busy and preoccupied people the way that, oh, I dunno…. Alan West and Marco Rubio can.

    You may wish for and insist upon specific behaviors from voters, even for a mid-term, but all I can tell you is that the Republican Party has not only continually embraced the dumbest amongst us, but they have won by tacking demonstratively to the far right and never, ever taking any vote for granted that could come out from under any rock anywhere. Joy-Ann Reid of The Reid Report has done an outstanding job demonstrating how the FDP, let alone the DNC has left votes on the table and ignored constituencies that have apparently been expected to show up and do their duty as per your own finger-wagging admonishments. Won’t happen.

    The Democratic candidates need a narrative, and they need to talk straight (even to the lgbt’s) and concisely. Meek answered questions in his debate just like a Democrat typically would, and that was not gonna work in this kind of election and that kind of race. Wavering and tightrope-walking explanations are not going to tap into the passions of those who may or may not show up to vote. Why- exactly- did Kendrick Meek believe that he could accomplish something specific and unique as one of Florida’s two Senators rather than keeping his safe seat in the Congress? Only he and his E.F. Hutton broker know, apparently.

    You and every other Democrat and every progressive should operate under the assumption that younger voters, minority voters, progressively-minded voters and inexperienced voters just will not study the candidates, the issues and feel that sense of urgency to speed up the inevitability of progress if you, as a professional (even if your last paycheck was a while ago) don’t do your job as a political operative and ensure that every single vote shows up, because otherwise they WILL NOT. It’s only a few of us that consistently follow the political narrative in the state and in the nation.

    Here are four of my Facebook postings that should demonstrate that I’ve thought a lot about this and tried to get the message across for a while now. You’re a FB ‘friend’ of mine and can read these, and I think ‘friends of friends’ can as well, and anybody can ‘friend’ me to gain access otherwise. They were written both before and after the primary and mid-term elections, and I think they say what those inside the Democratic political consulting game are too often in denial about:

    An Email I Had Sent to the Dan Gelber Campaign for FL Attorney General Just After the Primary Election:
    http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=453553572495

    For Florida progressives: Maurice Ferre got it right…
    http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=454906342495

    What I Expect for this Election and Who I Blame for the Results:
    http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=443967122495

    The left complains but doesn’t really strategize:
    http://www.facebook.com/notes.php?id=100000449956911&notes_tab=app_2347471856#!/note.php?note_id=390006462495