Author

Diane Roberts

Diane Roberts

Diane Roberts is an 8th-generation Floridian, born and bred in Tallahassee, which probably explains her unhealthy fascination with Florida politics. Educated at Florida State University and Oxford University in England, she has been writing for newspapers since 1983, when she began producing columns on the legislature for the Florida Flambeau. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, the Times of London, the Guardian, the Washington Post, the Oxford American, and Flamingo. She has been a member of the Editorial Board of the St. Petersburg Times–back when that was the Tampa Bay Times’s name–and a long-time columnist for the paper in both its iterations. She was a commentator on NPR for 22 years and continues to contribute radio essays and opinion pieces to the BBC. Roberts is also the author of four books, most recently Dream State, an historical memoir of her Florida family, and Tribal: College Football and the Secret Heart of America. She lives in Tallahassee, except for the times she runs off to Great Britain, desperate for a different government to satirize.

COMMENTARY

Richard Corcoran is not FSU president material, in part because he’s an enemy of public education

By: - May 19, 2021

Florida State University’s Presidential Search Committee has refused to put Florida’s irascible Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran on its short list. He should never have been on any list. He’s not FSU president material. FSU is a public institution. Corcoran’s an enemy of public education, an ardent supporter of school vouchers. He graduated from a private […]

COMMENTARY

DeSantis and his confederates in FL’s GOP Legislature: They don’t care about bettering the state

By: - May 7, 2021

Every year, I think the Florida Legislature can’t get any worse. Every year, I’m wrong. Let’s start with the hypocrisy. Republicans used to embrace local government, piously insisting that government closest to the people is best, and that “Tallahassee” doesn’t know what St. Pete, Palatka, or Palm Beach need. But now that city and county […]

COMMENTARY

Notes on the rise and fall of the Anglo-Saxon Caucus and its Florida fellow travelers

By: - April 26, 2021

“America is a nation with a border, and a culture, strengthened by a common respect for uniquely Anglo-Saxon political traditions.” — America First Caucus You may have heard that some of the most MAGA-ty of the congressional MAGA types — Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Duelling Banjos; Paul Gosar, R-Trump Tower; plus our own Matt Gaetz, […]

COMMENTARY

U.S. Rep Gaetz epitomizes the present state of the state of FL: cocky, clueless, and in a heap of trouble

By: - April 12, 2021

Matt Gaetz is not a prince among men. OK, maybe since he’s been accused of having sex with a 17 year-old, you might call him a Prince Andrew. Definitely not a Prince Charming. But even Prince Andrew didn’t go around showing naked pictures of women (one reportedly deploying a hula hoop) and bragging about bedding […]

COMMENTARY

Think every citizen has the right to vote? Not around here

By: - March 29, 2021

Voting: It’s not for everyone. The Founding Fathers only wanted some of us to vote, not all of us, and who are we to question rich, white, slave-holding gents from the 18th century? To that end, the Republican Party is working overtime to make it much, much harder for the wrong sort to go around […]

COMMENTARY

Some compassion, please, for Anthony Sabatini, ‘the worst person in the Florida Legislature’

By: - March 15, 2021

Pity Rep. Anthony Sabatini. He’s like an over-stimulated chihuahua at a crowded party, yapping for attention and never getting enough. Now he says he’s running for Congress to make America more greater again, again. Give him a Milk-bone, poor little fellow. Sabatini began his IED of a political career in 2016 as a member of […]

COMMENTARY
House

FL’s 2021 legislative session: A smelly storm of Bad Ideas

By: - February 23, 2021

It’s that time of year, dear readers, when the Florida Legislature gets ready to descend upon Tallahassee like a flock of incontinent pigeons. The 2021 Session will be a smelly storm of Bad Ideas, the likes of which you haven’t seen since Rick Scott, last seen on the U.S. Senate floor coloring in a blank […]

COMMENTARY

Hey, Olympic Committee! Why don’t y’all come on down to Florida? July is lovely here!

By: - February 1, 2021

Dear International Olympic Committee: Allow me to introduce myself, Your Gold Medal Excellencies: Jimmy — Jimmy Patronis — Chief Financial Officer of the great sunshine state of Florida. So, I hear Japan’s so scared of the Wuhan virus they want to ditch this summer’s Olympic Games. Pathetic. But never fear: As I so boldly stated […]

COMMENTARY

‘The 1776 Report’ feeds the Republican Party’s politics of delusion

By: - January 25, 2021

Slavery in America was not America’s fault. The rich white colonial gents who made their money from enslaving Africans, importing them, selling them, and forcing them to work on the plantations didn’t really mean to do it. But all the rich white gents in the French and English colonies were doing it, too. And what […]

COMMENTARY

Entitled followers of the new Lost Cause showed their face during Capitol attack

By: - January 11, 2021

When we elected Barack Obama president in 2008, I hoped maybe our long civil war — the one in which Appomattox was merely a pause — might be over at last. The United States would finally become what we like to claim we are: a society dedicated to tolerance, equal opportunity, and equal justice under […]

COMMENTARY

In the twilight of the Trumps, how much of America remains?

By: - December 28, 2020

When Donald Trump got himself elected president, I decided to look on the bright side, telling myself that our democratic structures — the legislative branch, the courts, the vote, the Constitution — would save us. The day after the election I wrote, “The United States has elected its own Silvio Berlusconi, a vain, vulgar, racist […]

COMMENTARY

FL’s political forecast: Stormy with a chance of idiocy

By: - December 14, 2020

Along with a jump in coronavirus infections, Florida is suffering a predictible spike in its already sky-high rate of self-defeating idiocy. Witness the newest immigrants to the Sunshine State, the Trump Crime Family: Individual 1, sulking, nursing his narcissistic wounds, says he plans to flounce down to Mar-a-Lago on Joe Biden’s Inauguration Day and hold […]