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Tampa Bay Times columnist John Romano's anger misplaced

In Monday’s column, John Romano of the St. Petersburg Times complained Florida’s Democratic Party was virtually doomed by recent redistricting enacted by partisan Republicans.

"The maps are drawn to have predetermined outcomes in elections. Republicans have given themselves enough safe districts to ensure they will remain in power, and they have given Democrats just enough safe districts to keep them from complaining," Romano complains in Friday's rant against Republicans.

What does "giving Democrats just enough safe districts to keep Democrats from complaining" even mean? What does it say about Democratic Partry leadership?

Truth is, redistricting has little to do with the Democrats' political problems in Florida, as Mr. Romano himself pointed out in March after the Democratic Party failed to produce a candidate to run against Republican David Jolly.

In the all-important bellwether race to replace longtime former congressman Bill Young, Democrat operatives pulled support for Democratic candidate Rev. Manuel Sykes, leaving little-known, underfunded Libertarian Party candidate Lucas Overby to face well-funded Republican David Jolly.

Jolly won.

Romano, furious with his Democrats, scolded party leaders' failure to field a candidate in his March 31 column and redistricting was not the problem a few months ago, according to the Times columnist.

To put it in Romano’s words, “Because their party honchos failed to act with any A) urgency B) vision C) strategy D) brain activity whatsoever, there will be no Democrat on the ballot in the fall.”

Conversely, in yesterday’s column – just as in others he recently penned on behalf of the Democratic Party - the left-leaning Times’ columnist blistered Republicans for their redistricting efforts as though the Democratic Party had not done the same thing back when it dominated state politics.

“Nearly one-third of the candidates for 140 Senate and House seats are running unopposed. You think that sounds bad? Pffft, that just scratches the surface,” lamented Romano in yesterday’s column.

Obviously, Romano’s frustration, and that of rank-and-file Democrats like him, stems from the intellectual flat-line of party honchos who lack a sense of “urgency, vision, strategy and brain activity.” The Democrats simply aren't fielding candidates at all or fielding incompetent ones. Either way, Democrats lose.

Take for example Charlie Crist, the Democrats' candidate for governor. The Republican turned Independent is now running as a Democrat against Gov. Rick Scott. The problem for Democrats is that he is despised as a traitor by most Republicans, distrusted by Independents because they are the most recent political party thrown under his campaign bus, and disrespected by Democrats because they are his last, desperate choice.

Long story short, Tampa Bay Times columnist John Romano needs to waste fewer columns bashing Republicans for redistricting and write more suggesting psychotherapists for the vision-less Florida Democratic Party he calls “brain dead.”

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