August 26, 2012
Charlie in Charge
One thing you can say about Charlie Crist, the erstwhile Florida-governor-cum-Senate candidate-cum-ambulance-chaser, he certainly is persistent. In that respect, he's rather like the Sunshine State version of Norma Desmond. The only difference is that one of them is an aging diva with a terminally inflated sense of self who can't leave the stage even though the welcome has long worn itself out, and the other was played by Gloria Swanson in the classic 1950 film.
In case you're late to the drama, Crist tried to get the Republican nomination for Senate back in 2010, but was bested by Marco Rubio when it became obvious that voters no longer cared for the mushy, middle of the road, Democrat-lite kind of Republican that Charlie so amply embodied. But instead of taking one for the team after getting beaten fair and square, Charlie turned around and tried to run as an independent -- recasting himself as a moderate voice amid all the bickering partisanship, even though he had spent the majority of his campaign up to that point trying to pass himself off as a Reagan conservative. Voters, naturally, didn't buy it and sent Rubio off to Washington. Charlie, meanwhile, now does late-night TV ads shilling for the personal injury firm of Morgan & Morgan, whose clientele consists mainly of plaintiffs claiming dog bites and whiplash from rear-end collisions. How pride goeth before the fall.
Anyway, Charlie has decided to inject himself back into the news by penning an op-ed for my hometown newspaper, the Tampa Bay Times:
I’ve studied, admired and gotten to know a lot of leaders in my life. Across Florida, in Washington and around the country, I've watched the failure of those who favor extreme rhetoric over sensible compromise, and I've seen how those who never lose sight of solutions sow the greatest successes.
As America prepares to pick our president for the next four years -- and as Florida prepares once again to play a decisive role -- I'm confident that President Barack Obama is the right leader for our state and the nation. I applaud and share his vision of a future built by a strong and confident middle class in an economy that gives us the opportunity to reap prosperity through hard work and personal responsibility. It is a vision of the future proven right by our history.
Of course, Charlie is a little nebulous on exactly what "history" he's talking about. Perhaps it's the alternate history in which he actually won that Senate race, and is now Mitt Romeny's running mate instead of Paul Ryan. Or the one in which the stimulus actually worked and unemployment managed to get below eight percent. I tell you, even Harry Turtledove would have a tough time with that story.
Charlie went on to say:
Many have already forgotten how deep and daunting our shared crisis was in the winter of 2009, as President Obama was inaugurated. It was no ordinary challenge, and the president served as the nation's calm through a historically turbulent storm.
The president's response was swift, smart and farsighted. He kept his compass pointed due north and relentlessly focused on saving jobs, creating more and helping the many who felt trapped beneath the house of cards that had collapsed upon them.
Yes, Obama "relentlessly" focused on creating jobs -- except for the two years he spent ramming through Obamacare, fighting for tax increases on small business, and dumping money into green energy boondoggles like Solyndra. But wait, it gets better:
President Obama invested in our children's schools because he believes a good education is a necessity, not a luxury, if we're going to create an economy built to last. He supported more than 400,000 K-12 teachers' jobs, and he is making college more affordable and making student loans, like the ones he took out, easier to pay back.
He invested in our runways, railways and roads. President Obama knows a reliable infrastructure that helps move people to work and helps businesses move goods to market is a foundation of growth.
Of course, education spending had already expanded 58% faster than inflation under George W. Bush, so it's not like we hadn't been pouring money into that already. As for all that "investment" in America's "infrastructure" under the Obama "stimulus," most of that money went for union payouts and to shore up state budget deficits. Hell, even the president himself admitted there was no such thing as the "shovel ready jobs" that were supposed to put people back to work. You'd figure after nearly $1 trillion that we'd at least have a few bridges and dams to show for it, but alas no.
Face it, Charlie. Everybody knows that the only reason you penned this op-ed was because you're just itching to get back into politics -- only this time as a Democrat. You'd just love to run against Rubio in 2016 for the Senate seat that was supposed to be yours. Problem is, no matter how many times you tell Mr. DeMille that you're ready for your closeup, we've already gotten a pretty good view of what you're all about.
It's long past time you went away.
Hatched by Korso on this day, August 26, 2012, at the time of 10:56 AM
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