BY BUDDY NEVINS
In Tallahassee like in the bedroom, size matters.
Size means the 74 Republicans compared with 46 Democrats in the Florida House.
Size means 26 Republicans and only 14 Democrats in the Florida Senate.
The overwhelming size of the GOP majority means nothing the Democrats say counts…much less anything the Ds sponsor.
All the Democrats can hope for is to use their minority status to stall bills. The 2012 election gave them enough votes to demand every word of a bill be read, if they can hold their votes together. This maneuver would be especially valuable near the end of a session when legislation piles up.
Will the Florida Democrats take their real lessons from the U. S. House Tea Party contingent and learn their most potent weapon is to gum up the works? When Florida Tallahassee Republicans were in the minority almost a generation ago (Yes, it’s been that long!), they used any stalling tactic they could muster, but they had some conservative Democrats as allies.
Despite these inside baseball games that the Capitol crew plays, here is what matters in Democratic Broward: When the Legislature adjourns in the late Spring, the Ds agenda will largely remain unfulfilled.
The Democrat’s legislative training session?
Maybe the first session should have been entitled Losing With Dignity?
Here is House Democratic Leader Perry Thurston and Senate Democratic Leader Chris Smith smiling at the start of the training session.
Commit the scene to memory. It might be the last time you see them smile:
State Rep. Perry Thurston of Plantation and Chris Smith of Fort Lauderdale at beginning of Democratic legislators training session in Tallahassee today (Photo courtesy of Mark Hollis, communications director of the House Democratic Caucus.)