State of shock

Max Read instructs us on how to get away with murder in Sanford, Florida. The Trayvon Martin case is moving people, even unexpected ones. GOP strategist Matthew Dowd and Beltway pundit emeritus George Will wondered how Florida’s Stand Your Ground policy and its imitators had made such a hash out of the criminal justice system.

All in a month’s work in the Sunshine State, whose legislature just passed the most draconian budget in memory. Don’t count on Governor Rick Scott calling for repeal:

The 2012 Florida budget is a perfect example of this overarching strategy. On its own terms, it is a document of frightening severity, inflicted on a state with little risk of popular backlash. Scott and the Republican leadership may be widely despised, but the Sunshine State lacks the formations capable of challenging the imposition of austerity, such as what we’ve seen in Madison and Zucotti Park. I don’t want to downplay the noble efforts of the Floridian Occupiers (yes, they exist) but the state’s overwhelmingly suburban geography, its lack of density and dearth of prominent public space, prevents the sort of spectacular urban reclamation that made Occupy so compelling. And unionized public workers, the warp and woof of the Madison eruption, are a tiny minority of Florida’s total employed. Fittingly, the 2012 budget disproportionately harms university students and state workers, the two groups actively resisting the descent into austerity.

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