Charlie Crist on (high) speed

Democratic hopeful promises to revisit federal funding for Tampa-Orlando rail line

Train in vain

Waft of floating white hair Charlie Crist has been making the editorial-board rounds lately trying to figure out just where the “moderate” soft spot is in an election year of impoverished doom, and some of his promises – as they would – sound rather promising. Key among Crist’s campaign totems is an executive order overriding the fools in the Legislature who have consistently refused federal monies to expand the Medicaid program. If you’re in the gap, wheezing, your legislature is probably to blame.

“The job production that would create would be about 120,000 jobs over a 10-year period, let alone the compassion … getting medical care to almost a million of our fellow Floridians who can’t afford it,” he told the Tampa Tribune editorial board last week.

Naturally, Scott’s angular press squad chimed in with a retort that expansion “could not be accomplished on a whim from the executive office, it requires legislative action.” Which is a terrible thing when you realize that your legislators have no interest in action whatsoever.

Crist dug in even deeper – and more historically – when quizzed by the whizzes at the Orlando Sentinel. At issue: the $2.4 billion Rick Scott declined for high-speed rail back in 2011. Though he wouldn’t name his sources – who does these days – he does seem to indicate he has an underground railroad to Washington, D.C., that might be able to dig up the finances. Sort of like Medicaid expansion, then?

Color us disillusioned, or maybe just Floridian, but the fact that an actual candidate – and former governor – is touting human rights over business rights in general is sometimes what it takes to get us out of bed in the morning. We might not love the mysterious high-waisted white-haired man outright, but at least he’s not making us angry or sick.

“As the richest country in the world, we ought to be able to provide for something which is a civil right, and that is health care,” he told the Sentinel.

Civility rules.


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