Charlie Crist: Blowin' in the Wind
So Charlie Crist visited the Miami Herald on Thursday. He spoke in generalities, summoned the name of Harry Truman, and said the word "hell" five times in two minutes, forty four seconds.
And he spoke of his fissure with the Republican Party.
"The first test was, 'Are you conservative enough?'" he said. "And that test was brought to me, and I'm a pro-life, pro-gun, anti-tax Republican. That used to be like an A on the test, but no more. Now it's, 'Are you pure enough?'"
Nobody would ever accuse Crist of being pure in his politics. Just listen to him on the federal health care bill.
"Had I been in the United States Senate at the time, I would have voted against the bill," he said on July 29.
A month later, on August 27, Crist did a 180.
"I would have voted for
it but I think it can be done better," he said.
Crist then said he "misspoke" when he said he would have voted for the bill. Later he simply said he wants to "fix it."
What are his real stances on the issues?
Which way is the wind blowing?
What day of the week is it?
In 1998, Crist was vehemently right-wing; his views bordered on racist. He was not only against Affirmative Action, which is forgivable, but also in favor of stiffening up sentences for drug sentences, which is not.
On education he supported a constitutional amendment for school prayer and other GOP staples like "parental choice" and school vouchers. He has been an unbridled supporter of the NRA and a supporter of a regressive flat tax. For years he was anti-abortion and against gay adoption but in recent months has reversed himself on those issues as he left the Republicans to try to make it to the Senate without a party.
Bottom line, this guy would never be taken seriously by any self-respecting Democrat. But then again Broward County doesn't have too many of those, at least at the top of the party. It's got more of that base type of Democrat, folks who are in the party more because it's a route to power than their kind of politics.
So you're already hearing about numerous Broward Democratic leaders abandoning their party's nominee, Kendrick Meek, to support a Republican who has a long history of being anathema to their party and seems willing to say whatever he needs to say to get elected.
They're rushing to put on that empty suit.
Where is Democratic party chief Mitch Ceasar? He's the basest Democrat of the lot. Hell, his right-hand woman, Diane Glasser, and other party leaders backed the carpetbagger and recent Republican Jeff Greene -- a guy the rest of the party had the good sense to reject out of hand.
Why would any Democrat support a guy like Crist, a guy who has spent his political career pandering to the worst instincts of the GOP base? Property Appraiser Lori Parrish, one of the first big Crist converts, has said she is only saying what other people are "whispering about" and said, "If we don't unite on someone, we'll send a right-wing ultraconservative to Washington."
Ah, the bogeyman, Marco Rubio. But why would Democrats unite behind a Republican instead of a Democrat? What sense does that make? Is it right to throw your professed values out the window because you're afraid of losing? Isn't that what Crist just did when he jumped away from the GOP?
The Cristocrats are backing the governor for two reasons: They think he's going to win and they believe that because he doesn't seem to really believe in anything he will actually abandon his Republican views en masse and ultimately become a good Democrat.
The problem is nobody really has any idea which way Crist would go. It all depends on which way the wind is blowing.