Gov. Rick Scott Is Batting Way Out of His League

By Amanda Marcotte
Thursday, February 21, 2013 9:52 EDT
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I’m beginning to think we need a new term for white male Republicans whose gender, party, and skin color allows them to drift into positions that hold a lot of power without anyone noticing that they’re very, very stupid. Like the Peter Principle, but for conservative white guys. Gov. Rick Scott of Florida is a fairly clear-cut example of how this works. Every time his name is in a story headline, one thing is absolutely certain: The reader will be forced at some point during the story to shake her head and think, “How did his supporters never notice that he’s dumber than a bag of corn chips?”

Take, for instance, Scott caving in on the Medicaid expansion.

Scott, a former healthcare executive, started an advocacy group to fight the health law before being elected governor, and has continued fighting the law ever since. He joined with other Republican governors to oppose the ACA’s Medicaid expansion, arguing that it would be too expensive for their states, and took his legal challenge all the way to the Supreme Court.

But this afternoon, the federal government granted Florida’s request for a conditional waiver to experiment with privatizing Medicaid in the state, and Scott quickly backed down on opposition to the expansion. He hastily called a press conference to formally announce the new policy this evening.

The question here is simple: What did Scott think was going to happen? Did he really think that by posturing around the state promoting dishonest propaganda about the Medicaid expansion, he would get the federal government to say, “Hey, just kidding! Florida is totally exempt from all federal legislation!”  How many seconds was it after the federal government accepted Florida’s request to run their own experimental Medicaid that Scott said, “Great goblets, Batman! Obama called our bluff!” Three seconds? Four seconds? Did he need time to scratch his nuts ponderously before calling a press conference and saying, “Just kidding!”
No matter, because there’s nothing more amusing than someone try to recover his dignity after thinking he was playing Go Fish and discovering instead that the game is poker.
“This is not a white flag of surrender to government-run healthcare,” Scott explained. “We now have a Supreme Court decision and we have an election that says this is the law of the land.”
Not the white flag of surrender, no. The puke green flag of a person who just realized for a moment that he’s batting out of his league, though I imagine that he’ll soon be comforting himself by reminding himself that he’s a white guy, and that does wonders for convincing others that you aren’t as stupid as your actions would lead them to believe.
Amanda Marcotte
Amanda Marcotte
Amanda Marcotte is a freelance journalist born and bred in Texas, but now living in the writer reserve of Brooklyn. She focuses on feminism, national politics, and pop culture, with the order shifting depending on her mood and the state of the nation.
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