The bad news is that
The good news is that it doesn't matter this time.
By now, we Floridians have stoically accepted our laughingstock role in the
We are the Joke State.
And, by a stroke of good fortune, it's much easier to smile today than it was 12 years ago.
The 2012 presidential race was basically over last on Election Night when precincts in
To their honor, lots of them stayed and voted anyway.
The next day, Floridians awoke to learn that thousands of ballots remained uncounted in
Whether it was a text, email or phone call, the gist of the inquiry was the same:
What is wrong with your state?
Yes, exceptionally long poll lines were made worse by the Legislature's decision to cut the early-voting period from 14 days to eight days. It was one of several Republican strategies to stifle turnout in the cities, and it backfired.
And yes, Gov. Scott could have made the election go smoother if he hadn't refused to extend polling hours for early voting. However, there was scant chance of the governor lifting a finger to help urban Hispanics or African-Americans cast ballots, because they often vote Democrat.
Adding to those factors last week were the same demons that helped send the 2000 presidential contest to the
Chads or no chads,
Mixed among all the smart, hard-working people in county election offices are a few witless boobs, some of them in supervisory positions. All it takes is one to gum up the works.
By midnight, every other state on the electoral map was blue or red. We were the only blank one on the board, and stayed that way late into the week.
This time, all of America wasn't anxiously waiting. It was chuckling and shaking its head.
We can't count on
In case you were wondering, the U.S. Constitution makes no allowance for a state to exempt itself from presidential elections in order to avoid national ridicule. Nor is there any legal mechanism by which
Maybe we just hold our heads up high and try again, bracing for the inevitable screw-up and the snarky one-liners to follow.
If the next presidential campaign proves as exhausting and dispiriting as this one, the country will sorely need a laugh or two when it's over. Perhaps that is
It's way less painful than being the decider.
Read the latest political news.
- Corporate Bosses Gone Berserk
- The Trojan Horse in the Debt Debate
- The Real Problem with Military Spending
- Without Unity, We'll Tumble Over the Fiscal Cliff
- The Classy Election of 2012
- Karl Rove: The Biggest Loser in Politics
- Will the Supreme Court Dismantle the Voting Rights Act?
- The Pollution of Political Discourse
- The Sad State of Zealots with Microphones
- Mitt Romney's Uncertain Legacy
- Obama's Re-Election: Oh, We Forgot to Tell You ...
- Republicans and Democrats Playing Game of Economic Chicken
- Petraeus Yet Another High-Ranking Military Official Mired in Scandal
- David Petraeus: Sex and the City (of Washington)
- David Petraeus: What Obama Did Not Need to Know
- David Petraeus: The Public's Need to Know or Not
- The French View of The Petraeus Sex Scandal
- Mitt Romney's 'Gifts' Gaffe
- Mitt Romney Self-Destructs Again
- Ballot Measures Reveal Electorate No Longer in a Tea Partying Mood
- Real Facts Catch Up with the GOP Spin Doctors
- 2012 Election Results: Changing America
- 2012 Election Results: The Right Is Not Waving a White Flag
- Whither the GOP?
- GOP's Biggest Problem is Itself
- 2012 Election Results: Compassionate Conservatism Redux
- Election was a Turning Point for Latinos
- Republicans Need to Rethink Future; Latinos Here to Help
- 2012 Election Results: Once Again, Florida is the National Punchline
- GOP Defeated by Single Women
- 2012 Election Results: The Mandate
- 2012 Election Results: A Victory for Creatures of the State
- Let's Make Sure Every Vote Matters
- Obama Re-Elected as President
- Obama Victory Speech Talks About Reconciliation and Hope
- Romney Ends Presidential Run, Congratulates Obama's Election Win in Concession Speech
- GOP Retains House Majority But Democrats Keep Control of Senate
- Obama Re-election the Result of Increasingly Diverse Electorate
- Voters Said No to 'Politics of Pitchforks'
- Obama Presses On
- Four More Years of Decline
- An America Yet to Be Born
- Democrats' Medicare Offensive Falls Flat Against GOP
- Federal Deficit Talks Could Impact Obama's Moves On Health Law
- Groundhog Day in America
- 10 Reasons Latinos Voted for Obama
- The New American Civil War
- What's Next?
- Nate Silver's Numbers Racket
- Florida Voters Won't Be Fooled Again -- or Will We?
- A Date with History: The Cuban Missile Crisis
- United States Presidential Elections in Perspective
- Early Latino Turnout Could Swing Vote
- A Letter to Women Voters
- The Final Days, The Biggest Issue and The Clearest Choice
- Another Electoral College Nightmare?
- Why We're Still in Deep Trouble No Matter Who Wins The Presidency
- FEMA vs 'Romnesia'
- An Unscripted October Surprise
- Stormy Weather Politics
- Storm Saves Obama From Himself
2012 Election Results: Once Again, Florida is the National Punchline | Politics
(c) 2012 Tribune Media Services, Inc