Mayor Carlos Alvarez of Miami-Dade County Florida lost a recall election yesterday, and it wasn’t close. He lost his job with 88 percent of the voters against him. (In 2003, Governor Gray Davis of California was recalled by a vote of only 55 percent.)
Although Miami has been especially hard hit by the meltdown in property values in recent years, Alvarez pushed through a 14 percent property-tax increase and then gave public employees fat salary increases in contract negotiations. He also championed a new baseball stadium publicly funded at the cost of $600 million, despite 12 percent unemployment in the area.
This election, I think, is just more evidence that the famous formula for political success, first enunciated by FDR’s close aide Harry Hopkins, “tax and tax, spend and spend, elect and elect,” is no longer operative. Another indication of that is the continuing resolution passed in the House yesterday, by a vote of 271-158, which continues the cuts of $2 billion a week initiated by the first resolution. The media has made a big deal of the fact that 58 Republicans voted against, wanting deeper cuts. But equally significant is the fact that fully 85 Democrats voted for it. Nancy Pelosi could persuade only 55 percent of her caucus to join her in voting against it.
There has been a sea change in American politics. The left should take notice unless it wants the 2012 election to be even worse than 2010.