Saturday, April 26, 2008

What's the Matter with Florida?

Isn't Florida supposed to be a purple, moderate swing state? Then why is the Florida legislature considering a series of regressive measures seemingly aimed and boring holes into the wall between church and state? Consider:

  • The legislature is currently debating a billthat will effect the teaching of evolution. (though exactly how depends on the final product.

  • This fall Floridians will vote on two constitutional amendments that will allow the state to fund religious schools with vouchers.
But worst of all is a serious proposal to create the specialty license plate depicted at right. What's more the fee for the plate will benefit the Christian education and advocacy group Faith in Teaching. (And by the way, if we can ever stop the media from acquiescing to the fraudulent label "faith based" for enterprises that are patently Christian-based, it will be a good day.)

For Constitutional background, check out this piece by Dahlia Lithwick outlining the legal issues and this discussion of standing in the comments on Religion Clause. I'll be back to flesh these out tonight.


Anonymous said...

Maybe, just going out on a limb here Scott, it's because Florida is not a moderate, purple state.

Might also be the reason it's nearly Republican across the board? [shrugs]

Scott Piepho said...

Michael my impression -- and I can't vouch for anything more than an impression -- is that Florida is something like a 50/50 split with lots of mod dems and independents and some extremely conservative R's and that much of what happens there legislatively is depends entirely on how the districts are drawn.

Hmm. What other swing state does that sound like?

Anonymous said...

Hmm... it's on the tip of my tongue (or forebrain) Scott.

But seriously, true, very true.

It's almost like we're turning out the opposite of Florida in some ways - minus the voting problems and divergence in population/districts.