Political Potpourri

* We all know, and most of us lament, the ever-increasing influence of lobbyists, whether in Tallahassee or Washington. That’s a given. But the derivation of the term “lobbyist” predates modern partisan politics by about a century and a half. The 1870s, to be exact. Legend has it that those who wanted to influence the government would hang out in the literal “lobby” of Washington’s Willard Hotel–next to the White House–and hope that President Ulysses S. Grant would put in an appearance. More often than not, President Grant would drop by for a nightcap.

Sounds almost quaintly innocent by today’s compromised standards.

* “De$anti$”: A potential oppo bumper sticker that should be too good to pass up after the announcement that U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, part of Florida’s gubernatorial-candidate field, has the support of Trump and several, usual-suspect billionaires.

* Political speculation: It’s part, of course, of what we do around here. Especially local to statewide. And, inevitably, we ponder whether Dems can make certain inroads.

Any scenario, however, has to factor in that this is a non-presidential year–and non-presidential years, as we know all too well, are not typically good for Dems. Which confronts us with this demoralizing reality: How much longer can this be the case? We know all the usual demographic and political rationales–but voting as a whim and not a responsibility?

How can that rule of selective disinterest still apply–given the desecration of the governor’s mansion and the continued Republican majority on the County Commission? American exceptionalism shouldn’t include this predicable subplot about lazy undervoting in non-presidential years.

* After health care fraud, a geek-caricature persona, media avoidance, opaque policies and high-speed rail oblivion, how has Rick Scott been re-elected and seemingly headed for a Senate race? See above.

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