I've been largely absent from the blog lately, only because I've been busy undergoing a major move and, reluctantly, I haven't had the time to do both. However, tonight is the last debate between Charlie Crist and Rick Scott, and I need to weigh in.
I took a moment to say a few things about it on Twitter, but before I knew it, it turned into a mini-blog post anyway. So I'm repeating what I said there, and elaborating on it here.
What prompted my latest round of Tweets was this: Yesterday the Miami Herald published another story in what recently has been a great effort reporting on the disasterous job Rick Scott has done as governor, and the consequences. If you haven't read it, this one centers on Scott's management style when he was running Columbia/HCA and the company committed the largest Medicare fraud in history, and how Scott took no responsibility for his actions. (Well, unless you count the golden parachute he took with him when the company forced him to leave, which he later used to purchase the governor's office. My words here, not the Herald's.) Scott blamed everyone else instead, and that's pretty much what he does as governor now. Read the story for yourself here.
My two cents on that story, Rick Scott, and why we need all hands on deck to vote him out and put Charlie Crist back in the governor's office:
Both then as CEO of Columbia/HCA and now, as governor of Florida, this is how Rick Scott "takes responsibility" - He wants "no paper trail, no records, no fingerprints.”
Scott's doing the same thing again now with Ebola: He slashed health department budgets, tried to block health care for Floridians and the ACA, and said no to Medicaid expansion, yet he now points the finger of blame at the CDC on Ebola preparedness. (Also recall how he "handled" the worst Florida TB outbreak in 20 years a couple years back.) He's also stoking fear and spreading misinformation about Ebola by wrongly telling people CDC guidance may be wrong, which is unconcionable as a governor. Of course, while this man who's "not a scientist" is criticizing them, he's also asking for federal money for Ebola preparedness. If he gets it, well, follow the money and see where it actually lands.
It's one thing to run a company and take no responsibility for Medicare fraud, but Scott can't do that as governor. He's not a CEO, he's an elected "public servant."
Scott can't claim plausible deniability as governor. He can't deny responsibility by saying he was unaware: That makes him an incompetent leader.
If Scott owns up to his failures as governor, that also makes him an incompetent leader.
Scott ASKED to be elected as governor of the state. He wasn't just appointed as Florida's CEO. He doesn't own the state. The oath of office he took still means something. Does he also deny knowing what that oath actually said?
No matter what side you view this from, Rick Scott is a disaster and a failure who's never taken responsibility for anything he's done.
That's also why all the newspapers that still want to be taken seriously haven't endorsed Scott and chose Charlie Crist. Scott is a walking disaster destroying our state.
The Florida GOP knows Scott's a disaster. They didn't want him either at first and got stuck with him. So they invested heavily in him anyway and now they own him and his mess. Their recent attempts to make lemonade out of Gov. Lemon have been laughable, stupid, unutterably unbelievable, and a real stretch, to put it in the mildest of terms. The finger pointing and circular firing squad that results after he's gone will no doubt be a spectacle to watch.
When Rick Scott's term as governor ends, he'll leave the state and the mess he made of it behind. Floridians will be stuck with his tragic choices.
You think four years of Scott were bad, imagine four more when he has no political obligations to run on again. He'll turn what's left of Florida's resources into a fire sale. (Literally. He refuses to act on climate change because he's not a scientist.)
Unless you're a millionaire with a vested interest in profits down the line, there's NO good reason to vote for Scott. None. But you'll still pay for it if he wins again. Just add it to your growing tab.
At tonight's debate, when Scott says he's taken responsibility, ask yourself how? Look at his history. When have you ever seen him do so?
Scott's never been popular, always at the bottom of the barrel in approval ratings. He didn't purge the voter rolls because he's a great guy.
When numbers don't add up for Rick Scott, he just changes the numbers.
When he can't answer questions he creates distractions, like the fan stunt at last week's debate. It's since come out that Scott's team was trying to get the entire debate cancelled over a fan and to pin the whole debacle on Crist on Scott's behalf. It backfired on him and only called attention to his own dodge and weave tactics on the national stage.
After Scott "hit the fan" he blamed it on his staff, and the debate organizers. He took no responsibilty. He blamed it on everyone but himself. He even blamed Crist anyway in one of the most bizarre television moments ever when he told the audience who watched Crist standing next to Scott's empty podium for six minutes, that it was Crist who didn't show up. Scott demanded that you ignore your lying eyes and step into Scottworld's alternative reality. He thinks you're stupid, and he was telling you so in front of a nationwide audience.
For that, he wants your vote.
I wouldn't be surprised if Scott's team has spent the last week pressuring CNN to go easy on him. He can't stand on his record. He's got nothing. That's what the GOP does: Bully the media into doing what they want. Most of the time, that works. CNN has already said no fans. Let's hope they don't let Scott and his team of incompetents run the show tonight.
Scott barely got elected once. If voters let him win another one (with or without an assist from his beer lobbyist Secretary Of State charged with the election) he gets the last laugh.
He'll be laughing all the way to the bank. Just don't ask Scott what's in his blind trust. He's counting on your blind trust in him. No questions!
If you haven't already voted, do it now. Vote by mail, vote early. Take someone else who hasn't voted with you. Get out the vote. Voters remorse is costly, and we've paid enough already as it is.
I'll be live Tweeting tonight's debate.
If you like, you can follow me here: @BeachPeanuts