“Has being a Florida Democrat brought you to tears? You’re not alone. Ready to switch parties?” asks a postcard that’s going to be mailed to an unannounced number of Democrats by the Republican Party, according to the St. Petersburg Times.
The postcard – which depicts a grieving older man – is a response to the big brawl between Florida and National Democrats. As of now, there won’t be any delegates from Florida voting at the Democratic National Convention in 2008 because Florida wouldn’t set its primary date after Feb. 5. The current primary date is Jan. 29 – exactly one week before the DNC’s set date.
I’ve ranted and raved about this topic before, but with new information exposed to me through various news outlets, I now can do nothing except assume that the Republican Party has it out to destroy the Democrats in Florida.
According to USA Today, “only Florida’s Legislature can set the state’s primary election date. To abide by the DNC’s rules, the state would have to turn the Jan. 29 primary into a non-binding straw poll and hold a caucus or some other delegate selection process later.”
Currently, Florida’s legislature has a Republican majority, complete with a Republican governor, neither of which will budge on this topic. The state Legislature will not change its mind on the primary issue, no matter how hard the Democrats try.
Still, the assertions of this postcard remain awfully suspicious. First, it was a Republican-controlled Legislature that selected an early primary date. Second, the DNC said the date will not qualify as a real primary under their rules, and thus all of Florida’s 210 Democratic Delegates will not be allowed to vote at the Convention.
Third, all efforts put forth by the state Democratic Party to move the date were shot down. The chairwoman of the Florida Democratic Party, Karen L. Thurman told MSNBC: “We took all provable positive steps in good faith to prevent the legislative effort that caused the earlier primary … Florida Democrats did what they could, but in the end we failed.” Fourth: Republicans sent this postcard.
Although the Republican Party may also face repercussions for holding an early primary – as a Jan. 29 primary date violates the GOP’s rules as well – they won’t be nearly as harsh. Only half, if any, of their delegates will be denied representation. Either way, they will have dominance over the Democrats.
Yet, as the postcard states, “there is hope. You’ll find it with the Republican Party of Florida.”
There isn’t hope – all this is just a setup. It’s petty and childish. I don’t want to believe it, but I cannot ignore what’s standing in front of me. It’s creepier than the Scientologists by Cooper Hall during the Bull Market; and just like them, the Republican Party of Florida isn’t kidding.
“Now – thanks to their egos and political infighting – you, as a Florida Democrat, may lose your right to vote. No delegates. No votes. Because of the Democrat rules, Democratic presidential candidates say they won’t campaign in Florida – they’ll only raise money here,” the postcard asserts.
No, postcard, it’s not thanks to the Democrats’ “political infighting” and immaturity – it’s thanks to you. It’s thanks to the Republican stronghold on Florida that – from April, when the early date was picked – Florida won’t get representation at the DNC. That Florida is being exposed to only Republican candidates. That Florida’s political battleground has only one team playing. That my vote won’t matter. It’s thanks to the Republican Party.
This primary date struggle, highlighted by the new “join me, Luke” Republican message to the Democrats, further exposes that a lack of teamwork will get this state and this nation nowhere. The constant bickering and rope-tugging attitudes split by both Democrats and Republicans are only going to further divide this country and its citizens.
As Benjamin Franklin once said, “we must all hang together, or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately.”
Amy Mariani is a sophomore majoring in mass communications.