The Crist Files: The Crist Conundrum for Progressives

In the upcoming weeks and month TFS will look thoroughly at Charlie Crist’s record. The good, the bad, the ugly for progressives. We call it The Crist Files.

While Senator Nan Rich has garnered much progressive support around the state, the establishment of the party including many self-described progressives seems committed to Charlie Crist. Many progressives have thrown in with the potential Crist candidacy leading us to think perhaps Crist isn’t as bad as many on the left thought during the 1990s and 2000. Maybe our instincts on Crist were wrong? Is it possible he is actually the best flag bearer for the progressive movement in this state and for a party whose record of losing state elections is unmatched by any other major political party east of the Mississippi River in this millennium.

Our instinct was that never before in this era where political parties are based on ideology more than region, ethnic background or religion (as was the case with the Whigs, and the the Republican and Democrats for most of the 19th and much of the 20th Century) someone like Crist has never switched parties and been nominated for a top office so quickly. It happened regularly between 1932 and 1980 as the parties converged into a liberal consensus which saw the conservative wing of the GOP displaced nationally and the southern Democrats completely isolated from their political party, leading to lots of party switching. The eventual drift of southern conservative Democrats to the GOP pushed the liberal/moderate kingmakers running the GOP to the side. But in this era, someone like Crist drifting left and winning a Democratic nomination would be perhaps unprecedented.

The Democratic party establishment has been continuously and almost religiously wrong in their calculations about statewide elections in Florida. But Charlie Crist has generally been right in his calculations perhaps because he was facing the opposition of an inept Democratic Party. Now these two forces appear to be converging. What does it mean for the state?

Many of those in the Democratic Party pushing Crist to me have been doing so because it may represent an employment opportunity for them either in the campaign or if he were elected. That’s fair enough as much of today’s politics is about personal influence and business,

But for those who passionately care about issues something very unsettling about Crist’s possible candidacy is dominating thoughts.

We aim to flesh out all these issues looking at Crist’s past statements as well as a recent history of both parties in the state of Florida.

14 comments

  1. Fortunately, gerrymandering in the state doesn’t affect the governor’s race. How about a comparison of Charlie’s veto’s vs Rick Scott’s undoing of those veto’s to prove that Charlie was really not aligned with the extreme views of the right? Forget the labels, examine the ideas and the record

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  2. Florida Democrats · ·

    Well Kartik and Justin, if you ever want to work in this state again you’ll back off unless of course your man Rick Scott get reelected. You see we reward our friends and punish our enemies and once we regain power the jobs will go to those loyal Democrats who fought side by side with us. Those who sided with the Republicans and with this fraud Nan Rich candidacy which is strongly backed by Lenny Curry and the RPOF will be out of work and out of luck. Maybe you guys do not value economic security or party loyalty? But most of us do and Crist is our man, He was never a real Republican, merely someone who was stuck in a party whose values he did not share. He promoted our causes and having him and his veto pen was like having a Democrat in office.

    You still have time to be part of the team. Drop this series and editorialize that Nan Rich is a whiny old windbag that should drop out of this race. Then we can all be friends again.

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    1. Dems in Action · ·

      I didn’t know that jobs in government are always given to those who spend the most money on Crist’s campaign. Obviously you stand in the way of real reform. Or you must be afraid you will lose your job. Patronage is a thing of the past and when Florida finally figures this out we will have the good people, like Nan Rich, running our state. You are old school and progressives will run all over you. Grass Roots, boots on the ground is going to take this election.

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  3. Progressive Engineer · ·

    The poster posting as “Florida Democrats” truly shows why the work Kartik is doing here is so important. The poster threatens that Kartik will not work in this state again if he continues to publish this important information. The poster states “we reward our friends and punish our enemies” I have been a solid Democrat since I was 19 and I have never heard this from Democrats before. This is the way the republicans operate. The moderate republican power brokers are pushing hard for their man Crist. They want back in power after being shoved out of power by the Tea Party Republicans. They put Crist’s friend Rouson in place by handing out checks like the republicans do. The real Democrats threw him out when he started opening up bank accounts only he could control, another trick from the republican playbook. I just came back from the Democratic State Convention in Orlando. The poster also stated “fraud Nan Rich”. Nan Rich is the real deal, their is nothing fraudulent about Nan Rich. Let me assure you there were lots of Nan Rich Supporters at the convention and they are the real deal. They are true Democrats and they believe in our progressive values. I personally would not sell my values to the moderate republican power brokers that want back in power, they are the reason we are in this mess to begin with, they have no values.

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  4. Florida Democrats · ·

    Guys we need to be like the Republicans to WIN. It is about WINNING not WHINING.

    You Democratic LOSERS like losing because you can get in your circle jerk and whine about it all the time drinking your imported wine and specialty craft beers while the real Florida works hard, drinks a 6 pack of Bud Light and doesn’t drink wine. You people are so disconnected from reality it is sick.

    As someone whose livelihood depends on the success of Democrats I am not going to let a bunch of LOSER WHINY gadflies led by Kartik Krishnaiyer, Justin Snyder and bitter delusional lefty Nan Rich and their ethnic south Florida based allies (none of us are racist but give us a break- we need to run candidates that connect with the majority of voters) ruin my career and destroy our state by reelecting Rick Scott.

    The choice is clear.

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  5. Progressive Engineer · ·

    You sound just like a Republican to me… No facts. Just images of you drinking a beer with the guys… Then attacks on those who provide information. You do not know me and have no idea what I drink. your arguments are hollow and have no substance… I will give you some style points though.

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  6. If Crist is forced down our throats you’ll see turnout dip.

    That is the truth. Progressives are people with values or at least we once were.

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  7. The thing that you people do not understand is for many of you this is a hobby. But some of us make our living off of this. We have more at stake more skin in the game. We cannot afford to nominate someone as liberal and asked offensive to the majority of voters in this state as Nan Rich. It is not about geography and not about her religion. Is not about her gender. It is about pragmatic politics and reaching out to the voters to try and win an election. In order to win you must get more votes than the other candidate. It’s impossible for Nan Rich to get more votes than Rick Scott. It is also similarly impossible for Rick Scott to get more votes than Charlie Crist. This has to be done down for you idiots who are going to ruin our livelihood our jobs and careers Someone like Kartik should not be allowed to be at any Democratic Party function he should be thrown out at the sight of him because he is working hard to ruin what so Many of us are working to achieve while he sits behind the keyboard and just lots missiles at the best Democrat in the state. If Charlie Crist had not been governor this state would be like Texas or Utah so conservative. Crist was the only thing that stopped the Republican Party in this state from being like the tea party is now he was always a good liberal contrary to the words on this hack site. If you are going to listen to someone who publishes this blog has no skin in the game doesn’t make his living off of this and instead works in the realm of socialism in FOREIGN sports then the hell with you all. As for the other minions who write for this site they are so insignificant they do not even deserve mention.

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    1. Sharon Sjokvist Isern · ·

      If you want to continue to make your living off politics or political appointments, perhaps you are really a Republican at heart…you certainly sound like Tea Party to me and should seek your political handouts in the Republican party. The Democratic party is about ideals and serving, not personal gain.

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  8. I am not going to comment on the hateful rhetoric other than to say my skin in the game is living in Florida since 1979 and caring about the people of the state. My skin in the game is about protecting and promoting progressive/liberal values that benefit all the people of the state of Florida not just the political class, lobbyists or partisans in EITHER party.

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  9. Fla Dem you won’t be making your living off of this for too long. Jeffrey Garcia sends his love…..no one is done yet.

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  10. Crist is a crook. You think Bobby Wexler and the get along gang have it in the bang. Just wait when they say he help us with our votes in 2008. Hey ladies they made sure your votes were not counted. Once it was found out Wexler and crew were not on the up and up…Bobby and Charlie left. Don’t kid yourself. Crist running will be the best thing for both parties. Clean up everybody everywhere.

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  11. The GOP is definitely trolling this site.

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  12. Yes, I agree, emotion appears to trump critical thinking here……whether this
    blog is progressive leaning, the facts are what is important….and of course
    we want the best person (if possible) in the governors mansion. Why can’t
    we reserve the ugly comments and opinions until we can look at the facts
    of Mr. Crist’s record, as well as Nan Rich and any other candidate willing to
    step up….I’m looking forward to reviewing that information….since I have
    also been in the area since 1979…. and it does seem we are left to vote
    the less of two evils in these high profile seats because money plays such
    an important role…..

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