I’ve personally become more aggressive the last few weeks in calling out Florida-based progressives that sit on Twitter obsessing about national politics, while ignoring state and local issues.
Some of these progressives have gained great followings as a result of being Bernie Sanders supporters, and spend much of their day attacking national Democrats for perceived their inadequacies and not focusing on Ron DeSantis or anything at the state level. Many don’t even pay attention to the State Legislature, not knowing when it meets, what’s going on there and who represents them. It’s time to change that.
In the wake of the Dobbs decision which overturned Roe v Wade, electing more Democrats to the State Legislature should be the absolute focus of every progressive. That is if they actually care about women’s reproductive freedom, health care and a host of other critical issues this activist Supreme Court has thrown back to the states. Those progressives who carry on about economics being everything, and the Democrats being pro-business, reproductive freedom is CORE ECONOMIC ISSUE for working class women. IT IS NOT MERELY A SOCIAL ISSUE.
Thanks to the long-standing ineptitude of the Florida Democratic Party, the GOP has had an unnaturally high majority in both house of the Florida Legislature since 1998. This has led to a passage of laws that don’t reflect the general moderation of the state for most of that period.
Now, GOPers around America are focused on banning abortion and turning women and doctors into criminals as well as demonizing COVID-19 science, when they should be trying to improve our economy, ensure that every American can find a good paying job and make health care more affordable and accessible. The GOP, the party of big brother government, particularly here in Florida is focused on expanding the scope of government to unprecedented levels
Incoming Senate President Kathleen Passidomo has already indicated she supports a potential statewide ban on reproductive freedom and on the House side, influential GOP State Rep. Webster Barnaby has said he would sponsor legislation next year that would ban all abortions in the state.
GOPers are shooting to win 80-82 State House seats and 27 State Senate seats, which give the party a 2/3 majority in both chambers. The Democrats MUST begin building back in the State House, in particular, a place where the last really effective Democratic effort at targeting and recruiting was in the 2006 and 2008 cycles- since 2010 it’s been a mix of consultant-driven choices and missed opportunities.
Building blocks need to be laid this cycle, and with so much on the line, progressives need to focus on these races – quite frankly they are now more important than most US House races in the state (with the exception of FL-27), and its important anyone inclined to vote for Democrats, do so in legislative races even if the nominee in your area isn’t “ideal.”
We’re up against it, and it’s time to consolidate and fight back.