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The Florida GOP "brand" in full flower

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Jacqueline Dowd over at the 13th juror has an important post about a new bill and how it affects the ability of the lower and underclass to have open access to the court system for redress. Before I get to what this says about the GOP “brand,” the key part of Ms. Dowd’s post that needs to be addressed first is the closing of this avenue to those less fortunate by the legislative branch exercising an authority not granted by the constitution. The GOP, as the dominant party of the legislature in both houses, know this and seem to be counting on the fact that a challenge to this bill in the courts from the sector of the population that would be hardest hit is cost prohibitive. One could only hope the ACLU will take up the cause of this challenge to constitutional guarantees of legal redress or have it rest in the hands of someone willing to take on the challenge pro bono.

There is no doubt this is an attempt by the GOP dominated legislature to come up with “creative legislation” to devise an alternative revenue stream to make up for the acute lack of funding for critical government services. As Ms. Dowd so astutely points out, the revenue from this new legislation charging a $295.00 fee to file a counter claim or a third party claim, is not going to the court system but to the general revenue fund. This “fee” would have the effect of making a court challenge through a filed claim problematic for the lower class, disadvantaged, and those of the underclass unable through circumstance to secure gainful employment. This is the type of legislation that is not sexy enough for the MSM to give adequate coverage because of the low threshold of those affected numbers wise. The extensive tax cuts given to property owners on top of other well publicized tax revenue downsizing has no doubt started to take its toll on the general revenue fund. It would be interesting to track these types of bills that focus on such a narrow segment of the population creating small, narrow revenue steams that fall under the MSM radar and the public consciousness of the general voting public.

Even more to the point of Ms. Dowd’s post is the obvious reinforcement of the GOP “brand.” This is so typical of Republican behavior as they cloak their public persona in religious allegory and use it to define the “GOP values” they supposedly represent while at the same time applying cold hard economic and social Darwinian public policy where only the economically fittest are deigned worthy enough to survive. Why the Democratic Party allows the GOP to hypocritically define themselves as compassionate servants of the people with such a loathsome and odious record is beyond me. We should be taking this so called “brand” and wield it like a blunt instrument and beat them over their collective heads with it every election cycle and see just how well it holds up.

Meanwhile here at Truman’s very troubled conscience we will be holding our collective breaths waiting for the Democratic Party to take our advice and fight them on our terms for once.


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