Republican governor Rick Scott of Florida has made it his own personal mission to legislatively bomb Florida back to the Stone Age, managing to lose the hearts and minds of fellow Floridians in impressively rapid fashion. Arguably his most triumphant act of ideologically motivated self-defeat was his choice to reject several billion dollars worth of federally-provided stimulus money, money designated for a high-speed rail project intended to produce thousands of jobs for Floridians and reduce highway congestion. So popular was this decision that Scott’s own ideologically partisan brethren in the Florida senate wrote a letter of rebuke asking the Department of Transportation to renew the funding. Yes, he’s special.
Not a man content to underachieve, Scott had the auspiciously bright idea to test welfare recipients in Florida for drug use. Aside from the apropos timing of attacking the poorest Floridians during a brutal recession, his attempt to drape the animus of his decision as dubious conservative social engineering based upon faulty assumptions made it the masterpiece of dimwitedness it would finally be. Scott claimed, “Studies show that people that are on welfare are higher users of drugs than people not on welfare.” Floridians on welfare of course tested out at a meager two percent, placing them well under the Justice Department figure for drug use by all Americans of six percent. Scott’s ability to shock and awe with vast stupidity was well entrenched.
Adding real flavor to Mr. Scott’s work, analysis later confirmed that the costs of doing the tests would approximately equal the savings from rejected applications, the exercise as a whole a Hurricane Andrew level wash. Still, Mr. Scott is nothing if not ambitious, and he recently gave a speech at the CPAC convention noting that during an economic downturn in which Florida currently suffers a 10.7% unemployment rate well above the national average, “We’ve had plenty of success so far…we have 15,000 less government jobs in the state of Florida.” As they have been wont to cheer for all manner of events likely to produce saturnalia in the normal person, conservative Republicans cheered news of less jobs in Florida. My only question is: where were the cheering conservative Republican mobs during the crucifixion?
In any case, simply for bragging of reducing jobs during the middle of an unemployment crisis Mr. Scott deserves high praise for going above and beyond the call of duty in the service of the proudly idiotic. Yet, before one could even think of underestimating his capacity, he added this: “Government doesn’t create jobs.” In terms of physics, and philosophically, reducing the non-existent is unchartered waters; and for this leap into the dark unknown we owe the man a debt of gratitude. I would suggest a novel theory to his governorship, which is that any entity capable of being reduced by 15,000 by physical law also may be created by the exact same 15,000.
In fairness to Scott, his ideological declaration that government does not create jobs is widespread among the Royalist faithful, though many a first responder or teacher would aver that what they do has all the feeling and even remuneration of what conventionally is known as a job. I’ve proposed before and will propose again that any Republican who wishes to convincingly demonstrate a commitment to this political and ideological absurdity that government cannot create jobs, no longer will count these non-existent entities when decrying President Obama’s national unemployment rate. One may not be out of a job that never existed; therefore, one cannot be counted as unemployed. But though government here on the planet Earth directly creates millions of jobs in the private sector, and indirectly creates even millions more, in addition to which are millions more actual jobs in government, on this strange Planet Republican Talking Points the basic laws of physics indeed are quite askew.
On the even brighter side, one mystery of life few will find a need to exhaust themselves attempting to solve is the origin of Scott’s unpopularity.
For Republican idolaters, Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey appears to be Gordon Gekko, Colonel Frank Burns and Scrooge all rolled into one (literally), and indeed his oratorical intelligence has been remarkably effervescent of late. Perhaps the most endearing of his declarations is that President Obama is “a bystander in the Oval Office.” Mellifluous as this sounds, the accusation by thousands if not millions of conservative Republicans that Obama single-handedly has been destroying life in America as we know it as a bystander seems to have some conspicuous logical fallacies. Destroying Western Civilization and serving as the Anti-Christ are highly proactive assignments, and bystanding is not a luxury one can afford. Waggish types would suggest that passing the first comprehensive health reform legislation in American history, a major stimulus program that according to every serious economist pulled the nation back from the brink of depression and killing Osama bin Laden is evidence of something, though not sloth.
Mr. Christie’s other glorious statement of the week again was an accusatory one directed at the President, accusing him of, “Telling those who are scared and struggling that the only way their lives can get better is to diminish the success of others”
Governor Christie, obese and obtuse are no way to go through life, son.
One understands and sympathizes that Governor Christie wishes more than anything in the world to say something awful about the president of the United States, while defending the Royalist position that our non-Sikh American equivalent of cows, the upper one percent in income should be allowed to lie about in the streets or do as they please unaccountably so sacred they purportedly are. However, such a profoundly banal ham hock of an accusation as his will forthrightly be dismissed by all Americans with an intelligence quotient higher than 70, meaning everyone not already a conservative Republican. In fact, his statement may be the clumsiest one ever to enter the historical record attempting to defend the proposition that all of government with all its benefits direct and indirect for ordinary Americans shall be dismantled, or deficits shall rise to heights unknown should it spare the wealthy the manifest stress of another nickel or dime of tax burden.
Worse, one has the hunch that telling those who are scared and struggling that the only way their lives can get better is to diminish the success of the segment of the nation that rendered the economy a wretched compost of detritus, squandering boundless amounts of capital accumulated by reaping every red cent of growth in GDP while enjoying luxuriously meager tax rates on risky financial instruments, would cause them not only to gladly diminish that success, but to put those heads in a guillotine.
Yet, the future may only be bright for one so passionately loved as the fearless leader of New Jersey. Hang in there Mr. Governor Christie.