As a guy who grew up in South Florida and cut his young canines in South Florida Latin GOP politics in the early 1970s, I can tell you a couple of things about the joint.
Now granted, I have not worked a race there in decades. But some of my closest pals from early adolescence have, are doing so now, and are in positions of leadership in the GOP in the south of the state and climes north up til Jacksonville.
So when I recently noticed Bernie Sanders praising Castro I knew those satisfied chuckles I heard from way down past the Mason-Dixon line were from those GOP pals. Even a couple of old moderate lefty pals chimed in, head in hands, and wondered how they came to this.
Well, I’ll rub salt in their Democrat wounds privately during my next visit home. But as for my fellow Republicans, yeah, it’s time to gloat. No, it’s not premature. Oh please Mario, get your mind out of the gutter.
The Democrats need to flip several states to have a shot at the presidency. North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, and at least, Florida.
However, there are some things just not done in Florida. Like use coconut scented tanning goop (makes you smell like a tourist), wear cutoffs to the beach (makes you look like a tourist), and say anything approaching favorable about Fidel Castro.
When you do the last you risk the not so subtle ire of the Dade County, and elsewhere in the state, Cuban-American community. And without the Dade Latins, Cubans still the biggest group amongst them, the Democrats can’t take Florida. Nor really today, can anyone else.
I grew up in that Cuban political community and the most popular saying back then was “Cuba si, Castro no!” followed by a phrase about Democrats, and their alleged intimately physical relation to communism, that cannot be recounted in a family publication.
The Cubans will not only vote against you, they will hound you like Ahab hounded his whale. They will track you down and make your public life a living delirium if you venture into their spaces. Proof? Go online and see what they did to Nancy Pelosi the last time she tried to have lunch in Miami…Uh huh, that.
And not being a people fond of nuance, it won’t matter to the Cubans if Sanders or another one of the seven dwarves said it. Just another Castro-loving communista to them.
So Democrats, kiss Florida goodbye and with that most hope of the big office. I’d say it in Spanish, but again, the family publication thing…