Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) has a target on his back for voting for Trumpcare while representing a district in South Florida that is overwhelmingly Democratic and that loves Obamacare.
MIAMI — If Democrats are going to take back the House, they’re going to have to start here.
Almost two dozen interviews with voters this weekend from across GOP Rep. Carlos Curbelo’s sprawling district — which stretches from southwest Miami down all the way to Key West and out across the Everglades to the Gulf Coast — reveal a mix of opinions on his vote last week in favor of the House health care bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act and its impact on his reelection next year.
But the voters with the most passionate responses were generally those who opposed the Republican plan and their representative’s support for it.
Judith Casale said she is going to do everything in her power to stop Curbelo, one of the most vulnerable Republicans in the country in the 2018 midterms.
“I have never canvassed before, but I will f—ing crawl door to door to make sure you lose,” the otherwise mild-mannered 60-year-old recalled that she tweeted at Curbelo as she sat in her living room on Saturday afternoon.
Casale, a Miami native who runs a small brokerage company with her husband Dan, said the couple depends on Obamacare after both developed preexisting conditions that made it almost impossible for them to find health insurance.
Though registered as a Democrat, Casale said she was not very politically active before Donald Trump’s election, and had voted for Ronald Reagan.
“I have called him pretty much every day. I have faxed. I have tweeted. I have Facebooked,” she said of Curbelo. “I have told him, fix it, don’t repeal it.”
Curbelo has a target on his back and he knows it.
On the day of the healthcare vote last week, activists staged a “die in” outside his district office in Miami, lying on their backs on the sidewalk with faux gravestones.
“He should know he wrote his political death certificate with that vote last week. Because we are hell-bent on turning that district blue in 2018,” said Mike Williams, the founder of Indivisible Miami, the local chapter of a new group that sprung up since the election as the left’s answer to the Tea Party.
Curbelo’s office said he was not available for an interview, but pointed to a statement in which he said the GOP health care bill was not perfect, but that it was important for him to be a part of negotiations. The vote “is just a step in the legislative process for this bill — not the end of it. We have worked hard to improve the legislation, but we have a long way to go,” he said.
What are the odds that Mr. Curbelo — like just about everyone who voted Yes — never read the bill in the first place? And even if he did, it makes no sense to vote for a piece of shit so that it can be “improved” later on.
The only thing worse than being a hard-core ideologue is being a wishy-washy weathervane who relies on his ethnic roots and the prejudices of his constituents to keep him in office.
Bonus Track: An advocacy group is already running ads targeting vulnerable representatives, including Mr. Curbelo, in his district.