It has been 100 days now since the Dark Lord Voldemort took over the governor's mansion, and since he arrival, we have seen nothing but the smugness, arrogance and generally evil stance that almost enough of us predicted before his election.
Today, unions in the state came out to give him failing marks on everything. No surprise. Only the state constitution stops him from going the full Scott Walker and trying to ruin the employment of every government officials on his quest to get Florida to work. It seems the entire polling public in Florida has also caught on the his wicked ways.
I wish I could say I was surprised at what a bad job he has been doing. I also wish I was surprised how long it has taken the general public to catch on. But this is pretty status quo for Florida. Democrats hurt when the crazies in Tallahassee take over, but never enough to do anything about it. Then again, maybe that is starting to change.
That is why today I want to offer an unusual bit of celebration on this 100th day of madness in Florida. The reason? Not because I think Rick Scott is now or ever will do anything that results in positives for the state of Florida. I don't believe that will ever happen. But there just may be method to Scott's madness. Not method to his own ends, mind you, but a method which may finally result in an awakening of state progressives.
For too long, this has been a state that was 50-50 when it came to votes on national politics but which has reliably and inexplicably sent just one party to Tallahassee with enough power to truly govern. It is no wonder Rick Scott thinks he has a mandate to gut public good and ignore the law with executive whim. Even if he came in by an historically-slim margin, the man is surrounded by GOP compatriots.
But even in a Capital where Republicans can't lose, there is resistance to Scott. Lawmakers don't like his budget. Law Enforcement officials don't like his plans for the prisons. And nobody seems to like his tendency to act more as a king than a single person within a single branch of government.
Yet, this man is the face of the Republican party. Heck, he has become a national figure even as he has met only resistance among those he must work with in Tallahassee. Politically speaking, this man is a godsend for progressives. He represents the worst of the no-government branch of the GOP. He makes Ayn Rand look a bleeding heart Huey Long seem like a model for good government practices.
There will likely be a primary challenge of Scott in four years, but it won't work. The man feeds red meat to the base, and until their heart explodes because of it, they will keep him around. But general election voters likely will have far less taste for what he is serving. And without a Republican tide inching him across the finish line in four years, it will be a hard fight.
In the short term, though, the man is going to weigh down every Republican running in two years who has to face a legitimate Democratic challenger. Even if they fight Scott at every turn, GOP lawmakers will be branded with his policies. That means we need to contest the GOP in as many places as possible. Even districts which will be handdrawn by this legislature and which look unwinnable could turn blue in 2012 if Obama performs well again and the voters maintain a distaste for Rick Scott's politics.
So today, I revel in the madness, only because the madness may hold the promise of a better tomorrow