Is there an actual Democrat left among Broward County Democrats?
Whenever Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jim "Marie Antoinette" Naugle comes down on the side of Republicans, political junkies know to shrug their shoudlers and move on. Despite being a registered Democrat, Antoinette almost always sides with the GOP, having support Jeb in both his elections, George W. Bush in both of his presidential campaigns, and Congressman Clay Shaw locally.
But just the other day, I got a form letter from Broward County Mayor Ben Graber, in which the Democrat endorses Republican Clay Show for congress' District 22. My initial reaction -- What the Fuck?! Is there not a single, solitary Democrat among the local Democratic Party that has the stones to stand up to the establishment? Of course, this is an impossibility with men like Graber and Antoinette, who are so beholden to their moneyed backers that they're just as much a part of the problem as Shaw.
What's really eye-rolling about Graber's written endorsement, though, is his amazing ability to parrot all the Republican talking points for this election. It's almost as though some GOP party apparatchik just wrote this up and then told Graber, "Sign here."
Shaw's challenger, Democrat Ron Klein, has tried to paint Shaw as little more than a Bush enabler -- and, indeed, Shaw has voted with Bush an astounding 93 percent of the time. Some of these votes have come at the expense of his constituents. Shaw's vote in favor of Bush's presciption drug plan, which has amounted to little more than a giveaway to the pharmaceutical industry at the expense of senior citizens, was a particularly egregious betrayal of Shaw's district, which includes a great multitude of gray-haired voters. Indeed, many of these elderly citizens pay more for drugs now than they did before the plan. Just look at this example.
So, with a vulnerable Republican incumbent who has placed his own party above his constituents on multiple occasions, what do Broward County Dems do? Why, endorse him, of course! And getting back to those Republican talking points, since being a Bush stooge is so unpopular these days, Shaw's campaign has tried to cast him as an independent. So what does Graber's letter say? "Clay Shaw is independent." (That line was bolded and underlined in Graber's letter, I should point out.)
In an earlier blog entry, I predicted Ben Graber would win his bid in the primary election for a Florida state senate seat, and even supported him over former Yahoo executive Jeremy Ring on the basis that Ring's run for office struck me as little more than a vanity campaign. Now, all I can say is, thank God in heaven above that I was wrong.
Democratic Broward County Mayor Ben Graber, sellout and Shaw supporter