• Tammany Hall In The Tropics

    June 5, 2023
    Public Domain

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    The Rule of Law

    [Doral, Florida] The Republican Executive Committee (“REC”) of Miami-Dade County is made up of a total of 160 Committeemen and women, plus their Alternates, distributed among 40 Districts, to cover a county of almost 1,000 precincts and almost 1,500,000 registered voters. The names and addresses of these Committeemen and women are required by Florida statute, and also by the rules of the Republican Party of Florida (“RPOF”), to be kept on public file with the Supervisor of Elections for the county. See: Florida Statutes, Title IX, Chapter 103.91(3), and RPOF County Model Constitution, Article 3, Section 5. The REC leadership, however, since last year has refused to comply with this requirement, and instead scoffs at the rule of law.

    If you ever wondered why there have been so many Cubans wandering around Miami since 1959, instead of living in their native land, then this refusal explains everything. The reason they lost their freedom in their native land, and had to flee as refugees to America, is Cuban political culture’s lack of respect for the rule of law. This respect is the main difference between life in America and life in Latin America. If we lose it here, then we have nowhere else to go. Accordingly, it is surprising to see this blatant disrespect of the rule of law by the REC leadership.

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    One of the pleasures of moving to Miami in my senior years has been the opportunity to enjoy the local Cuban culture. This culture has included a festival of films made in Cuba, but recently shown in Coral Gables, curated by the media studies department of Miami Dade College. These films range from Memories of Underdevelopment (1968), to Guantanamera (1995), to Last Days in Havana (2016). In a discussion of these films, one panelist observed that he wished Cuba were a common and ordinary country (un pais comun y corriente), instead of a country beset by tyranny and poverty (tirania y miseria). Of course, the answer to that observation is that almost all countries, both today and throughout world history, are beset by tyranny and poverty. That is what is common and ordinary. Instead, what is exceptional is liberty and prosperity, which we have enjoyed in America, but which hare now under attack.

    The foundation for America’s exceptional liberty and prosperity is respect for the rule of law. This means voluntary compliance with the law by all citizens, laws which they have indirectly enacted for themselves, and equal treatment under the law of each individual citizen. The disrespect by the REC leadership for the rule of law constitutes yet another plank on the road to serfdom.

    Bolshevik Tactics

    At the March meeting of the REC in Miami, however, after a hotly contested debate, the Vice Chairman led a walkout in order to undo the quorum, for a vote on a resolution to make public a portion of the required information, thereby causing the resolution to fail for now. So, the REC leadership really does want to keep this information away from the public. Clearly the Chairman does not control REC leadership, or is in cahoots with them. Both the Chairman and Vice Chairman campaigned last year promising transparency, but as Otter said in the movie Animal House: “You f*cked up. You trusted us!”

    This tactic of walking out of a public meeting, and lying in wait in the lobby, in order to undo the quorum, is a malicious tactic, an act of disrespect, reminiscent of Bolshevik operators and Chicago Democrats. As they say in Texas, to Hell with that! At the start of our meeting with a quorum, the Chairman of the REC had offered a prayer appealing for party unity, but a walkout led by the Vice Chairman, in order to undo that quorum, is the opposite of party unity. I guess that the Vice Chairman and his minions do not heed prayer. The REC leadership does not even comply with the rules that it sets for itself. As Chief Ten Bears remarked to Josey Wales: “It’s sad that governments are chiefed by the double-tongues.”

    In any event, once the quorum is established at the start of an REC meeting, a malicious minority should not be allowed to undo the quorum by walking out, and then standing in the next room watching the meeting end, with no more business conducted. How can we trust the quorum established to start a meeting, when it can be undone at any time by a malicious minority? How can we resolve anything else? And why does the REC need to pass a hotly contested resolution directing it to follow the law? Shouldn’t they follow the law as a matter of course? Stopping the work of a meeting by walking out to undo a quorum is like getting cancelled on social media, when they don’t want to hear your views or acknowledge your supporters.

    Vice Chairman during prayer in June meeting

    Your columnist does not make a living from politics, and when I attend a political meeting, I am freely contributing my time, so I expect my time to be treated with respect. There can be no party unity without respect. Accordingly, I do not appreciate having my time wasted and being disrespected (falta de respeto) by malicious tactics like walking out of a meeting to undo the quorum. As Benito Juarez observed: “Respect for the rights of others is peace” (El respeto al derecho ajeno es la paz). If the REC had named a Sargeant-at-Arms to keep order, as your columnist and others have requested, such officer might have stopped a walkout.

    The failure to respect the rule of law opens to door to vigilante justice. In England they say that some people would rather be red than rude; that is, they would rather submit to tyranny than respond rudely. A free person’s response to tyranny should be extremely rude, and we should not submit to tyranny politely. They use our civility against us, and their sense of impunity provokes our righteous indignation.

    Progressive Infiltrators

    Some say that, despite the requirements of Florida statute and RPOF rules, local REC’s should not be transparent and publicly disclose their openings for new members, because then they will be infiltrated by Democrats and other deplorables. There may be something to that argument. Here in Miami-Dade County, for example, the state legislative delegation of the Republican Party has been infiltrated recently by progressives:

    Rep. Demi Busatta Cabrera, who voted against the Parental Rights in Education Act championed by Governor DeSantis last year and again this year. House Republicans in Congress recently passed a Parental Bill of Rights as well, and around 15 other Republican state legislatures are considering similar measures, so this has become a national Republican position. Republicans are the party of parents.

    Sen. Alexis Calatayud, who marched with Black Lives Matter and recently voted against anti-abortion legislation. An abortion is the killing of a little person. Where are the single-issue voters opposing abortion but supporting her? She also introduced legislation purporting to ban hate speech, but in effect violating our First Amendment right to free speech. Her talk is all about equity.

    Rep. Vicki Lopez, who supported the Democrat candidate in the recent special election for Miami City Commission This was the new Commissioner who, when asked to lead the Pledge of Allegiance at her first Commission meeting, could not remember the words. Vicki also voted against permitless carry of firearms, despite assuring voters that she supported the Second Amendment.

    All these progressive infiltrators are supported by our REC leadership. I wonder at what price? Maybe leadership thought that only those progressive candidates could win in their districts? If so, then they should form a Progressive Republican Caucus, including leadership.

    Leadership Failures

    Miami-Dade County has almost 1,000 precincts, for almost 1,500,000 registered voters, but there are no Republican precinct captains. On election day last year, in my capacity as Vice Chairman of the Election Integrity Subcommittee, your columnist served as a roving attorney for poll-watching at around 18 precincts in Miami Gardens, with one assistant who covered around six of them. Accordingly, there were around 12 polling places to be visited and watched in 12 hours. If we had precinct captains, then they could both champion the Republican cause on a year-around basis, and serve as poll-watchers on election day and during early voting, but the REC has so far failed to implement this program.

    Turning Point Action (the political arm of Turning Point USA) is recruiting hundreds of young conservative activists to serve as precinct captains, but the Republican Party of Miami-Dade County has no room at the inn for them. It seems like REC leadership fears promoting too much enthusiasm among the conservative base of the Republican Party.

    Voter registration is another area where the REC leadership has failed. In Miami-Dade County registered Republicans rank in third place (435,950), behind not only registered Democrats (546,658), but also registered Unaffiliateds (482,001). Of course, the REC has no program in place to increase Republican registration, despite increases nationwide and statewide, so that registered Republicans now outnumber Democrats in the State of Florida. A larger Republican electorate in the county would facilitate challenges in the primary elections by anti-establishment candidates, and thereby complicate the results for leadership. No wonder that REC meetings are for “members only.” The REC leadership prefers to retain full control of a smaller party (La Cosa Nostra), than share control of a larger and growing party.

    Meanwhile the Democrat County Mayor has lured: (1) the County’s Police Chief to switch his party registration from Republican to Unaffiliated to Democrat; and (2) the Supervisor of Elections to switch from Unaffiliated to Democrat. This way next year both may run for their respective offices as Democrat incumbents. They made these switches while party registrations in Florida are moving the other way, except in Miami-Dade County, where the REC leadership is busy keeping out deplorables.

    Governor DeSantis won Miami-Dade County last year by a wide margin, the first time in 20 years that a Republican candidate for governor had won the county. However, that victory was won by the Governor, not by the county REC, which does not promote Republican precinct captains, voter registration or local candidates. The Republican wave in Miami-Dade County last year was due almost entirely to the multi-partisan appeal of Governor DeSantis and his coat-tails. You can see how Democrats flipped from Republican the mayor’s office in Jacksonville, Duvall County, last month when Governor DeSantis was not on the ticket, in another supposedly red county.

    Don’t Tread On Me!



    Eduardo Vidal

    Eduardo Vidal is a lawyer and political activist. His family brought him when he was nine years old from Cuba to the USA, but now the rule of law has been eroded in the USA as well, and we are turning into Cuba and the rest of Latin America.

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    10 months ago

    99.99% of politicians are consummate weasels. Their favorite color is plaid and they constantly have a finger in the air checking wind direction.
    In every country throughout history there has come a time where every person must decide to stand and possibly die or live on their knees as a miserable serf.

    10 months ago

    Did DeSantis win because he is a good campaigner with a good MAGA message or because he is a part of the Uniparty that controls the elections in many areas or a little of both??

    Mr. Bee
    Mr. Bee
    9 months ago
    Reply to  KuhnKat

    To know DeSantis, know his backers.

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