When he's not appearing before an emergency meeting of the world's leaders and declaring that they have 24 earth hours to surrender or be destroyed, Rick Scott can be found running Florida into the ground. The fact that he's managed in just three years to make Florida even more of a dystopian hellscape than it was before he got the job as governor speaks volumes about his incompetence, to say nothing of his maniacal devotion to economic austerity. Seriously, it took all of a few months for Scott to make himself one of the most hated people in Florida -- a state, it should be noted, that's home to giant scrotum Nick Hogan -- manifesting in one of the most profound and expansive cases of buyer's remorse in modern politics.
Over time, Scott managed to use his mantis-like pincers to penetrate people's chests and find his way into their hearts. In the race to remain in Tallahassee he's now locked in a statistical dead heat with former Florida governor Charlie Crist, who wants his old job back just not as a Republican. The tightness of this race is precisely why tonight's televised debate with Crist was so important for Scott: at this point every voter you can put yourself in front of matters. One little screw-up on the part of either candidate can mean the race.
So who knows what it's going to mean for Rick Scott that he just handed American politics the single most fucking insane thing seen at a debate maybe ever. As the shot came up on an empty stage at what was supposed to be the beginning of the face-off this evening, WFOR anchor and debate moderator Elliot Rodriguez told the crowd, "Ladies and gentlemen, we have an extremely peculiar situation right now." That peculiar situation was that Charlie Crist was willing to debate Scott, but Scott was refusing to come out and face Crist. The reason: Crist had a small fan under his lectern, which Scott's camp claimed violated the rules about no electronics being at the candidate's disposal. Admittedly, maybe Crist was wrong to use the fan and Scott no doubt worried that he'd already have to contend with the hot lights potentially melting off his biosynthetic skin, revealing the insectoid exoskeleton underneath. But no matter his reasons, Scott basically refused to come out on stage because of a fan.
It took eight minutes to finally coax him out, likely with a coroner's table topped with decomposing human flesh.
The response to this farce by the press was, well, quiet resignation. This is Florida after all.
When the dust settles, Scott's probably going to be the one to pay politically for this juvenile nonsense tonight -- and he should. But there's something to be said for the fact that it took him losing his mind over a fan to maybe blow this race rather than -- oh, I don't know -- being found guilty of 14 felonies for running a healthcare company as a criminal enterprise and having to pay the government back $600 million he bilked from it.
Being a thief and a grifter is cool, but being a whiny baby? Not a chance.
Welcome to fucking Florida.