Saturday, June 27, 2015

Our digest of, and commentary on today's Florida political news and punditry.

Jeb! Dancing as Fast as He Can; Media Let's Him Hide in "States' Rights" Sewer

"For the second time in two days, the Supreme Court struck at the heart of the Republican Party platform." "GOP offers tepid response on same sex marriage."

"In a week of painstakingly drafted Supreme Court decisions, no literary effort was crafted more gingerly than Jeb Bush’s statement following the high court’s 5-to-4 endorsement of same-sex marriage rights on Friday."

The court did the GOP a big favor, though, by disposing of the gay marriage (and Obamacare rulings) six months before the first primary ballots are cast, giving the Republican camps time to sort out their differences. For the moment, the most unifying default position for Republicans is to blame the Roberts Court for the Obamacare and marriage decisions, even though evangelicals played a critical role in winning the appointments of its ostensibly conservative majority.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio’s response to the marriage decision was dour enough, but his disappointment was directed more at the court than at backers of the marriage equality movement. “We live in a republic and must abide by the law,” the Florida senator said in a more-in-sorrow-than-anger statement. “As we look ahead, it must be a priority of the next president to nominate judges and justices committed to applying the Constitution as written and originally understood.”

But no serious candidate has steered as close to the center on gay marriage as Bush. He supported Indiana’s anti-gay-marriage religious freedom law, then [suggested he didn't really mean it when he] subsequently told donors he wanted to avoid all “the yelling and screaming” of the debate.

"GOP 2016 hopefuls seek footing on marriage ruling."

Bush, in fact, is not has playing "close to the center" on this issue: Jeb! has directly repudiated the Supreme Court's explicit finding - the essence of the decision - that there is a federally protected right to marry. Instead of issuing this substantive ruling, Bush instead sidesteps the issue, complaining that

the court should have left the decision up to the states.
"Jeb Bush: Same-sex marriage should have been decided by states."

Notwithstanding Bush's out-and-out rejection of the Supreme Court's holding, the chattering classes are letting Jeb! dance around the issue, and ironically allowing him to hide in the sewer of states' rights to do so. See "Dog-Whistling Dixie".

Seeing that the media is giving Jeb! a pass, Rubio is now claiming "States Should Decide Same-Sex Marriage."

Tampa Mayor a "prospective Democratic statewide candidate"

"Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn traveled 280 miles to speak for 44 minutes without actually answering The Question: Will he or won’t he run for governor? On Friday, Buckhorn was the featured speaker at Capital Tiger Bay, a monthly political forum. It’s an open secret he’s been eyeing a run to be the state’s chief executive. The two-term mayor gave what sounded like a stump speech on Tampa’s successes that could have played anywhere in the state." "Buckhorn charms Tallahassee elite, but won’t commit to governor run."

Grubbing for Wingnuts

Apparently worried that he is dancing too "close to the center," Jeb Bush is now calling "for Religious Protection after Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage."

A West-central Florida Thing

"Scores take part in rally supporting Confederate flag."

"Penance for representing Anita Bryant"

"The legal battle over same-sex marriage was waged in Tampa more than 10 years ago with results starkly different from the U.S. Supreme Court’s declaration Friday that gay couples have a fundamental right to wed. . . . Ruben, who said he waged the battle as penance for representing entertainer Anita Bryant in her fight against gay rights, died in 2006." "Fight on same-sex unions in 2005 ended differently."

Good luck with that

Nancy Smith says "Conservatives Should Embrace Same-Sex Marriage Decision."

"103 privately sponsored trips in 2014"

"Florida’s federal lawmakers and their staffs took 103 privately sponsored trips in 2014 valued at more than $350,000.."


"Gov. Scott drops Medicaid lawsuit with federal government."

Another loser

"Same-sex marriage became legal in Florida on Jan. 6 after U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle in Tallahassee ruled that the state's ban was unconstitutional."

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi then began a series of unsuccessful appeals, hoping to forestall its implementation.
"U.S. Supreme Court: Same-sex marriage is law of the land."

And this is mighty big of Bondi: "Pam Bondi on Same Sex Marriage: 'The Court has Spoken'."