Florida Republicans: Trying To Learn How To “Ride the Tiger”
It appears Rick Scott is looking towards Paula Dockery as his choice for Lt. Governor. Senator Dockery was once the main competition to Bill McCollum and represents the “reform” wing of the Florida Republican Party. She has bucked the establishment GOP, including my own Senator, Don Gaetz, on the High-Speed Rail and was against SB6. One would hope that if Rick Scott wins 24 August and he chooses Senator Dockery as his running mate, it would indicate that Mr. Scott intends to make a real effort to return the GOP to its small government and pro-business roots.
As for the Chamber of Commerce endorsement for Mr. McCollum, it appears much of the Republican Old-Guard Dinosaurs are pulling out all the stops for McCollum. Gary Bauer and Steve Forbes have also endorsed McCollum, probably at the behest of Jeb Bush, who IS still the major player in Florida GOP politics.
There comes a time when a political party needs to move on. Jeb Bush, while very much more the social conservative than his brother, was and IS still a big government Republican. FCAT, his creation, has turned into a mindless leviathan that robs our children of precious school time and holds teachers hostage to how well their students test, plus spends a boatload of our taxes. The result is a three week period where our children are crammed to the gills with what is expected to be in the test. And anyone who has crammed for a test can testify… whatever benefits the child gains for the test, are quickly flushed away from memory after a few days. Cramming is not teaching.
Jeb says he is not running for President. I suspect that is true for now and he is probably thinking of running for Senator in 2012 (unless there is a complete economic collapse under Obama and it looks like ANY Republican will beat him, even one with the last name of “Bush”). Regardless, we, as Floridians, have to be willing to think outside the Big Government Policy Wonk box that has engulfed our state’s political culture. Career politicians on both sides of the aisle have led us down a path that is resulting in the economic bankruptcy of our great country and state. Charlie Crist is the poster boy for this “No Principle But Get Elected” cult. (Take Note: Crist WAS the establishment GOP candidate for the Senate…just as Bill McCollum is for Governor.)
I suggest that we try a third path with Rick Scott. THE ONLY argument Bill McCollum has made to vote for him is cry “Thief” at Rick Scott. McCollum’s campaign is bereft of any REAL ideas, and as far as the 527 wars, McCollum was first to pull that trigger AND they were sponsored by money from the established GOP.
I’m a bit of gambler, but I am also becoming acutely aware that unless the Republican Party starts to make a credible difference in this state, the next change this state will take will be turning the government over to the Democrats. While McCollum is better than Sink, I’m gambling on Rick Scott because I’m pretty sure I know what we are going to get with Bill McCollum.
I want better than that.
Be advised: Handing the reins of power over to the Democrats will result in the “Californiacation” of the Sunshine State (and look on how well the Democrats are doing DC). So the Bottom line is this: Regardless which Republican is elected Governor, unless we Republicans offer REAL REFORM in the near term and a new approach to running our state, inevitably it will result in the Democrats taking over. That’s what happened in Washington in 2006/2008. The result was the sparking of a grassroots tiger that this country has not seen the likes of in over a century. Republicans are trying to “Ride” this tiger but if you “Ride the Tiger”, you better be able to satisfy it, or the Tiger WILL eat you if you fail.
If Bill McCollum becomes Governor, I am afraid we will continue to go blindly down the same “Good Ole Boy” GOP road and the result will be the Tiger eating the RPOF for the next few years. I hope I am wrong. If Alex Sink takes over, however, stand by for disaster and the “Tiger” will be looking for a new rider and possibly decide on a “third” way.