It’s October and politics are bustin’ out all over.
The Republicans had a big week.
The debate performance of their presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, was surely something to crow about.
The performance of the Florida party leadership, on the other hand, was anything but. It was the kind of thing that gives the GOP a bad name.
It’s as if they can’t stand success. Just when things seem to be going so their way, they push too far.
Case in point: The Florida party letter, signed by Gov. Rick Scott, that seeks GOP donations from backers of Scott’s fight for purging voter rolls.
This pointed and proud partisan pitch comes after Scott and other GOP leaders have insisted the purge of noncitizens had nothing to do with politics — just upholding the law.
Another case in point — and this one is 10 times more egregious: The public pronouncement that the full weight of the Republican Party of Florida is behind the Nov. 6 campaign to oust three Florida Supreme Court justices who were appointed by the late Democrat Gov. Lawton Chiles; one of them was co-appointed by Republican Gov. Jeb Bush.
For more than a month we had been told it was only an unknown conservative political group based in Georgia that would be raising money and unleashing last-minute TV ads against the justices.
Florida’s merit-retention system for high-ranking judges is designed to keep partisan politics away from the courts.
But here comes the Florida GOP. Nothing coy or even statesmanlike about what Chairman Lenny Curry has to say about the justices’ attempts to raise money to defend themselves: “Frankly, there is nothing wrong with that. What is wrong is their disingenuous attempt to portray themselves as ‘above politics,’ when they are mired in it and it permeates their very existence.
“If these judges and their allies don’t like having to face the voters,” Curry goes on, “they have every right to try to change the law.”
Breathtaking — and surely embarrassing to party members, especially legislators who are attorneys, who care more about an independent judiciary than a Republican governor getting to name their replacements.
Then, for the “all politics is local crowd,” we see Naples City Council paying attention to the level of service on the poor side of town.
Quite the hoo-ha was made about streetlights in River Park that have been dark for months.
One council member, Sam Saad III was quoted as blustering about public safety service as basic as street lights: “That’s our first job. Our first, first job.”
Well, no, it’s not — at least not yet. That’s the point.