Since I’m down here in Pompano Beach, and Glenn says we should do some local reporting, I thought I’d pass on the following.
March 10, 2004
BOCA RATON, FL (APUPI) Democrat officials in south Florida are still trying to understand the unexpected defeat of Democrat front-runner John Kerry by the former Republican and Reform Party candidate Patrick J. Buchanan in yesterday’s Florida primary. Validating what some had seen as an early trend in the 2000 presidential election, Mr. Buchanan came in first in Palm Beach, Broward and Dade counties.
One Palm Beach County party official’s perplexity was typical.
“At least the last time, the voters had the excuse that Pat was on that confusing butterfly ballot. But we got rid of that ballot design for this election, and he wasn’t even on it for the primary. He’s been a presidential candidate of lots of political parties, but I don’t think he’s ever been a Democrat. We’re really scratching our heads till they’re bloody and infected here.”
Some, however, point out that, while the dislike of local Democrats for the president (the governor’s brother) is even more visceral than in the rest of the country due to the controversy of the 2000 election, there is no fervor among Florida Democrats for John Kerry. “Anyone who looked more attractive than Kerry, but could still beat Bush had a good shot, even as a write-in,” explained one analyst. “It doesn’t surprise me at all.”
“In fact,” he continued, “if Buchanan can’t beat Kerry, I think we ought to run a dead guy, like we did in Missouri for Senator. He’d be more exciting than Kerry, and his positions would be more consistent. Dead people of all parties have been voting Democrat for years–I say that it’s about time that we made one president.”
A more typical voter who apparently prefers his candidates above room temperature, Herb Flannery of Deerfield Beach enthused, “Buchanan was opposed to globalization before it was cool, he opposed the war in Iraq, he’s always criticizing Bush. He stands up for the little guy, he’s got charisma, and you know where he stands. He gives great speeches, too.”
“He’s kind of like Jesse Jackson, except not as black. Or as corrupt.”
“Let’s face it, once people start to really get to know John Effing Kerry, he’s really charred toast. But Pat Buchanan is a dream nominee for Democrats this year.”
According to Ellen Schmuel Levi at the B’Nai B’rith in Boynton Beach, there had been many support rallies outside synagogues up and down the coast. Many of the local residents had reportedly decided to show their support for “Pitchfork Pat” by driving their Cadillacs and Towncars up and down the A1A highway very slowly, with a single turn signal perpetually on, all through election day. It wasn’t clear how effective the demonstration had been, however, because long-time residents were hard pressed to distinguish it from normal traffic.
The support from the local Jewish community seemed at first particularly shocking to many, given Buchanan’s history of veiled anti-semitic comments, but the enthusiasm seemed just as high at Nate’s, a busy deli in Lauderdale By The Sea.
“Israel, schmizrael,” one patron exclaimed. “So he doesn’t support Israel. Our party hasn’t supported Israel in years–we’re used to it. The important thing is, we’re Democrats.”
Questioned about Mr. Buchanan’s hints about the Jewish cabal that secretly pulls the strings in the government, Hollywood and the media, local beach metal-detector prospector Saul Weinstein was nonchalant, between sips of his egg cream.
“At least he gives us our due. And since when has being anti-semitic been a problem for Democrats? I should laugh till I pee my pants.”
“Remember Jesse ‘Hymietown’ Jackson? And how about that guy that Hillary screamed at and called ‘a schtupping Jew bastard.’ Well, she didn’t say ‘schtupping.’ She used a shiksa word for it.”
“Anyway, who’s perfect? You want I should vote on such narrow issues when we have Hitler in the White House? Hey, pro-semitic, anti-semitic, it’s all good.”
In an interview by telephone, Mr. Buchanan was pleasantly surprised to hear the unexpected news.
“I am always prepared to serve when my nation calls,” he said. “If we can sustain the excitement I sense in ‘hanging chad country,’ we can carry this insurgent campaign on to Texas and other states, and try to catch up with Mr. Kerry before it’s too late.”
“I have experience in being the nominee of a troubled, fractious and confused political party. Sadly, that party is no more, so I welcome the opportunity to do so again, in hopes of better results.”
“I call on my newfound fellow Democrats to take up the pitchforks and torches, and lock and load for America.”