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COLUMN

Happytown

The week where Jim Greer bought some time for the GOP, Charlie Crist became a threat again and Jennifer Carol put an ugly foot in her giggle-mouth. Republicans are awesome.

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Jim Greer

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Charlie Crist


Washington Post op-ed written by Crist forced website Politico to pull out the proverbial rhetorical headline on Saturday: "Is Charlie Crist mulling a comeback?" Oh, fuck.

At issue was Crist's somewhat scathing take on the current attack by Republicans on Florida voters via suppression laws.

"[I]'m concerned that zealots overreacting to contrived threats of voter fraud by significantly narrowing the voting pool are doing so with brazen disrespect and disregard for our greatest traditions," Christ cooed in typeface. "As a result of insidious political maneuvers and a lack of respect for voters, we in Florida have been entangled in litigation."

We in Florida are always entangled in litigation. This didn't stop the editorializing voices of both the Miami Herald and Tampa Bay Times from jumping on the "there's news hidden in here somewhere" bandwagon, suggesting that at the very least Crist was becoming a Democrat and at the most, he's planning a bid for the governor's office in 2014. Yeah, after donating to Scott's PAC, that's definitely what's going on. More likely, Crist is just tired of pretending to care about your car wreck from your yawning morning television and wants to sound relevant again. Cue the fans! The sweating man is back!

Not to be outdone by the increasing pinkening of the GOP stakes, Crist's story took a backside backseat to that of virtually powerless Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll last week as Carroll – who is being accused of being a lesbian by a former employee who illegally recorded her conversations (allegedly) and then tossed a cigar into Carroll's trash can, or something – was forced to respond to the allegations in a fairly public way.

Carroll took to the airwaves of Tampa television station WTSP on July 15 to cool the coals a bit, talking about, among other charming things, how awesome her marriage of 29 years is. "So usually black women that look like me don't engage in relationships like that," she said. Translation: I'm too pretty to be a lesbian!

Our friend Nadine Smith, who is both black and a lesbian, and leads gay-activist group Equality Florida, didn't take the jab so well. She took to thegrio.com blog to say, "There are many ways for a person to deny accusations, but Lt. Gov. Carroll reached into her anti-gay bag of tricks and ended up hurling a series of stereotypes about women, lesbians and black people in one fell swoop. The hyper, nervous giggling didn't help matters."

In fact, the whole fracas may not be helping matters for Carroll, giggling aside. By Saturday, the Palm Beach Post was pulling out its magic headline machine to declare that "Fla. lieutenant governor's GOP convention cachet plummets with office scandal." What's that you say? A black woman who was probably going to be a nice chess piece for the monochromatic good-ol'-boy collective known as the RNC is now in trouble? At least to some of her colleagues she is.

The chairman of southwest Florida's Lee County Republicans told the Post, "I'm sure the lieutenant governor was designated to have some role at the convention, but there's too much smoke around this story. This is not the kind of thing you want floating around when you're promoting the nomination of your party's presidential candidate."

Yeah, because those standards are pretty high these days. Let the games begin.

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