Postcard from Dystopia

ding-dong_mofo

A few days ago, in Anne Laurie’s thread about Rand Paul’s tenuous belief in democracy, the topic turned to speculation about Baby Doc’s presidential aspirations. I said:

I have a hard time believing Baby Doc could get elected to any office that required appealing to voters who are not hardcore wingnuts and Papa Doc fans. It’s not that the electorate is particularly discerning. It’s just that Baby Doc comes across as such an arrogant, smarmy prick.

I was right about Paul being an arrogant, smarmy prick, but upon further reflection, I should have known better than to think that’s a disqualifying factor in a general election. An example is right under my nose here in Florida, where Rick Scott — a Voldemort lookalike and known crook who displays all the personal warmth and charm of an anaconda — was elected governor in 2010.

True, Scott won with less than 50% of the vote, and he needed $77 million of his personal fortune, a wind at his back gusted up by the rebranded Bush dead-ender “Tea Party” plus the apathy of Democrats dispirited by a real and perceived lack of pony production on the part of President Obama and the Democratic Congress. All of this broke Scott’s way.

Some might dismiss Scott’s election as just another example of Florida insanity, like face-eating zombies, airborne fish attacks and fatal roach-eating contests. Maybe, but I think Florida is a better microcosm for America than is generally acknowledged.

Florida has left-of-center coastal enclaves, heavily armed yahoos and religious fanatics in the interior, a growing immigrant population, simmering racial tensions, a politically powerful “Screw you, Jack, I’ve got mine!” elderly population and disaffected, jobless young folks who have been robbed of their future and birthright by nature-despoiling greed-heads.

Is this not America?

As for the future, Scott’s approval ratings have consistently been among the lowest of any governor in the US, and I used to believe that all the Democrats had to do to beat him handily next year was nominate someone capable of fogging a mirror. But the Florida Democratic Party (of which I am a proud member) is a hot mess, and fault lines are emerging that could result in yet another epic fail.

Those fault lines are reflected on this blog (stupid fucking firebagger! drone-loving obot!), and you’ll see them deepen nationally as 2016 approaches. Love him or not, President Obama is a gifted politician, but he’s won his last election.

Can anyone else bring our fractured coalition together — if only for one fucking day? We better hope so. Unless the rest of you want to live in a Hiaasen novel too.

[Image credit: Buzzfeed; x-posted at Rumproast]






101 replies
  1. 1
    ruviana says:

    The Anaconda Defense Society on line one for you, Betty.

  2. 2
    Redshirt says:

    Let’s hope we can purge ourselves of many of the wingnut Governors who got elected in 2010.

    Here in Maine, Governor LePage is a daily disaster. Latest embarrassment is his declaration – in response to a great piece of journalism uncovering the links of a lobbyist who he put in charge of the state environmental department – that the government of Maine will no longer communicate with many of the state’s newspapers.

    Fun!

    And while his approval rating remains in the tank, as always, we’re looking at another 3 way race in 2014, which is what got LePage elected in 2010. Ug!

  3. 3
    Shakezula says:

    Is this not America?

    Nope, or my ass would be in England.

  4. 4
    Violet says:

    @Redshirt: Why can’t it be a three way race where two of the three are Republicans/conservatives/teatards, leaving the third spot for someone a little more sane?

  5. 5
    jayjaybear says:

    “Candygram!”

  6. 6
    Rosalita says:

    Hiaasen is truly a state treasure

  7. 7

    Florida scares me, anacondas, alligators, huge cockroaches. DO NOT WANT. My cousin is married to a libertarian doctor and lives there. I am afraid to go visit. Betty, please tell me that alligators don’t really show up at your door.

  8. 8
    piratedan says:

    Monkey Boy while not his best work, is definitely a solid entry into the Florida pantheon of stories. I guess the hopes of getting Nelson or Christ to run for the governor’s office are pipe dreams then?

  9. 9
    maya says:

    Bible salespersons sure are different down in the flaccid, dripping peenuss of America.

  10. 10
    Mnemosyne says:

    I dunno. I think people still vastly underestimate how much support Bush got from the Washington establishment (not just politicians, but journalists), and Rand Paul is not going to be able to draw that level of support. I know I’m obsessed with social class right now, but Paul is not the Right Kind of People like Bush or even Romney.

  11. 11
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Shakezula: What part of the description in that paragraph couldn’t be applied to the US as a whole?

  12. 12
    Cassidy says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Depends on where you live. Seriously.

  13. 13
    Betty Cracker says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: It happens, though I’ve never personally seen one that big in the yard. You hear news accounts of big gators turning up in pools, etc., a lot, especially during mating season.

    My snowbird in-laws called their retirement villa maintenance crew once to see if they’d assist with removing a small (2-1/2 feet or so) gator from their yard, but when the crew heard how tiny it was, they just laughed. The neighborhood geezers had to band together and drive the little gator into a trash can, slam the lid shut, transport it via golf cart to a pond at some distance and then release it.

  14. 14
    Robert Sneddon says:

    “President Obama is a gifted politician, but he’s won his last election.”

    I think President Obama should run for Governor of Hawaii sometime after he leaves the White House. Home state advantage and all that…

  15. 15
    rda909 says:

    “bring our fractured coalition together”

    Dividing and conquering Democratic support has been the lynchpin of the media-owners plan for decades. WI Gov Scott Walker let that slip a couple years ago, which was luckily recorded. They used to talk about it out loud years ago, but learned over time to keep quiet about it, although old man Rupert doesn’t seem to care anymore…I suppose at that age he’s thinking, “Ah, whatever.”

    This is precisely why it’s been so annoying to watch supposed “liberals” fall into the media traps over and over again. It started with the irrational Obama-hate around some liberal sites since before he was even inaugurated, and it’s been turned to 11 ever since. There are sites and commentators who say they are “progressives” yet probably haven’t said one single, not an exaggeration, thing about President Obama in years. Day after day and now year after year.

    What’s especially odd about that, is that President Obama has done more to advance liberalism across the board on such a wide range of issues as any president ever. Any actual liberal should be ecstatic with President Obama, yet we have so many so-called liberals screeching about Obama=Bush and repeating the media-created fabrications as if they are fact, and the mainstream news is careful to make sure people never hear about the accomplishments and progress. This is exactly what the string-pullers wanted all along. It’s on purpose and carefully planned. The question is how many liberals will continue to allow themselves to be played by Rupert and friends.

  16. 16
    Linda Featheringill says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    What part of the description in that paragraph couldn’t be applied to the US as a whole?

    What part would not apply to my family? :-)

    Actually, I have survived most of them and the next generation seems to be socially progressive even if fiscally conservative. I haven’t seen any indications of fascism among the whole group, which is more than I can say about the previous generations.

    It is rather amazing that this country is actually making progress.

  17. 17
    Roger Moore says:

    @maya:

    the flaccid, dripping peenuss of America.

    That’s “America’s Wang”, TYVM.

  18. 18
    PaulW says:

    I live in Florida as well. Alligators are not as pervasive as the media lets you think, but the rule of thumb around here is 1) don’t feed them anything, 2) get the duct tape, 3) call the local gator wrassling league, 4) tackle the big lizard, 5) blog about it, 6) trade in the gator for a free t-shirt at the local Seminole tribe casino.

    :)

    In all seriousness, Scott is not looking good for re-election, he’s still alienating far too many voters (people are still mad about how he sh-tcanned the high-speed rail project), hasn’t done enough to get the Medicaid issue resolved with the legislature, and while the Dems seem disorganized for now when they get a candidate (most likely Crist) confirmed it’ll be game over for Scott (even with Scott garnering a record amount of campaign funding before the election kicks into gear). The real trick is to keep the moderate and Dem voters active between now and November 2014.

  19. 19
    Shakezula says:

    @Betty Cracker: Sorry, I was responding in a less than serious manner to what I perceived as sarcasm. Ma faute.

    I should have said if the U.S. as a whole were like Florida, I would never leave my Liberal Enclave for fear of being shot by heavily armed yahoos, possibly in police uniform.

  20. 20
    maya says:

    When life hands you gators make gatorade. Or.

  21. 21
    Roger Moore says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    It happens, though I’ve never personally seen one that big in the yard. You hear news accounts of big gators turning up in pools, etc., a lot, especially during mating season.

    Ah, so it’s sort of like bears here in Southern California. But if a bear wants into your house, he can just rip the door off its hinges rather than ringing the bell.

  22. 22

    Well, if it’s any consolation, the way things are going with our government and Climate Change, your state will probably be underwater soon, and I’m sure most of the GOP’ers will stay behind and live with sharks in their living rooms rather than admit that the Socialist Demoncrat party was right about Climate Change.

  23. 23

    @maya: That is if he doesn’t make you his breakfast, first.

  24. 24

    @Cassidy: My cousin lives near Tampa, I think.

  25. 25
    West of the Cascades says:

    @Robert Sneddon: Or emulate John Quincy Adams and represent the South Side of Chicago in the U.S. House of Representatives …

  26. 26

    @West of the Cascades: Or Hillary could appoint him to the Supreme Court.

  27. 27
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @ruviana: Indeed. They’ve contacted me to propose settlement negotiations prior to a defamation action, which would be costly for all involved. What about it, Betty?

    @Rosalita:

    Hiaasen is truly a state treasure.

  28. 28
    PaulW says:

    Mind you, gator bites can be pretty nasty…

  29. 29
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    Can anyone else bring our fractured coalition together

    Yes, Democrats. Until the party realizes that it will only get what it wants by winning elections, we’ll end up with charismatic leaders with no support. The party will also have to realize, that to win elections, it will have to move slowly in the right direction, settling for compromises that put the country on the right track, because the country is not 51% Democrat. You move too fast, you scare the woodland creatures off.

  30. 30
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Redshirt: But remember, Eliot Carter is not a politician. No sir. And his party left him. Don’t forget, up heah in the Pine Tree State, it is widely believed that ‘independent’ comes from Latin meaning roughly ‘I’m better than you.”

    Carter’ll get 1/2 of the usual Democratic vote from the saltwater towns — MPBN members to a man — and put Landslide LePage back into office.

    There goes my pension.

  31. 31
    Violet says:

    @Linda Featheringill:

    next generation seems to be socially progressive even if fiscally conservative

    I wonder when the description of “fiscally conservative” will change to “fiscally responsible” or something like that. That’s pretty much how I’d describe myself. I’m socially progressive and fiscally responsible. I’m for safety nets and against starting wars you refuse to fund via tax increases. That’s being responsible, not conservative.

  32. 32
    SatanicPanic says:

    Don’t laugh, but I think the national Democratic party is much better at picking candidates than state parties. I mean, Kerry was kind of goofy, but otherwise we’ve had pretty strong ones the last 20 years.

  33. 33
    Mino says:

    Well, there is always a lot of sex and humor in Hiaasen novels.

  34. 34
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q): Hiassen is truly a state national treasure, was what I meant to write.

  35. 35
    jprfrog says:

    It is of course entirely a personal matter, but all of my experiences in Florida have ranged from mildly unpleasant to catastrophic. These include coming close to disaster in the Wreck bar in Ft. Lauderdale (saved from my own asininity by a waitress), a drunken disaster with a family of inlaws on Xmas day in Fort Myers, a “vacation” at Disney World trying to protect 3 teenage girls (a step-daughter and 2 fosters) from themselves, and the last, the death by drug overdose of one of those girls (at age 22) who spent the last years of her life in Tampa making money by taking her clothes of in front of drunken men.

    Is there a common theme here? Yes, it is booze (and coke, and weed, and every other substance used by desperately unhappy people trying to dull their desperation). Carl Hiassen knows what Florida is: the place where all the slimy sludge of a dying empire collects. I’m not surprised that a convicted thief is the governor…it is fitting. And I would hope that after the decent people left get out, the whole thing would float out to sea, never to be heard of again. (Something like this may happen as the seas rise anyway.)

  36. 36
    Betty Cracker says:

    @PaulW: Have you been following the internecine slap-fights? Supposedly Sink will primary Crist if he runs, unless Bill Nelson runs, in which case she’ll support him. And none of the liberals are happy about any of those three (myself included, though I’ll certainly pinch my nostrils and vote for whomever emerges as the candidate).

  37. 37
    Hal says:

    I just wish more liberal dems would start seeing candidates like Obama as a doorway to a more progressive future, a beginning, as opposed to an end all be all. I’m getting tired of losing elections because someone doesn’t pass purity test so slanted you would have to be the love child of kucinich and Grayson.

  38. 38
    mainmati says:

    Here in MD just over the border with DC, it is not uncommon to see red foxes strolling down the middle of the street, la-dee-da.

  39. 39
    gwangung says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):

    Yes, Democrats. Until the party realizes that it will only get what it wants by winning elections, we’ll end up with charismatic leaders with no support. The party will also have to realize, that to win elections, it will have to move slowly in the right direction, settling for compromises that put the country on the right track,

    Certainly, 27% of this country does not believe in compromise. And I suspect a good chunk of so-called progressives dont beleive in it either (see the health care debate).

  40. 40
    Commenting at Balloon Juice since 1937 says:

    I saw on PBS that Florida also has thousands of burmese pythons. That would be the last straw for me. I hate snakes, especially fifteen foot long ones.

  41. 41
    MaryJane says:

    @piratedan:

    I hope not. I’m kinda hoping for a Christ/Holy Ghost ticket in ’16.

    ;)

    I guess the hopes of getting Nelson or Christ to run for the governor’s office are pipe dreams then?

  42. 42
    Redshirt says:

    @Davis X. Machina: It’s all too conceivable, sadly. I don’t know how to avoid it either – no one can stop Cutler from running of course, and the Dems will run a candidate, and voila! Mister 32% MANDATE back in for another 4 years of destroying the state. Yay!

  43. 43
    Elizabelle says:

    @jayjaybear:

    “Candygram!”

    Perfect.

    Hiassen’s “Sick Puppy” is a terrific read. “The evanescing blood of fools.”

  44. 44
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Redshirt: But a big win for non-partisan, No Labels, immaculately conceived politics without politicians. And the Dems are cuing upMike Michaud, the only New England member of the Blue Dog Caucus.

    This state’s fascination with independents defeats me. It’s not like they’re Greens, or Socialists, or some actual alternative. They’re just another brand, but not one of the big two.

    Suppose it’s the same impulse that keeps Moxie on the shelves. “Sure it tastes like transmission fluid, but it’s not Coke or Pepsi!”

  45. 45
    Cassidy says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Like Betty said, it happens. Up here in North Florida, I’ve had gators come up to the picnic table and hang out about 5 feet from us. While they can be scary, they’re really not incredibly dangerous for a full grown adult.

  46. 46
    Sawgrass Stan says:

    The gator just wanted to use the bathroom. And I think he deserves a few props for not wanting to pee in the pool.

    When I was a kid you almost never saw a gator, even though we lived in the upper everglades– hunted almost to extinction for their skins. They’ve sure made a comeback.
    Also, Rick Scott is a Lex Luthor look-alike. Also, too, the evil. Don’t know about Voldy.

  47. 47
    Hungry Joe says:

    I love Hiaasen, but when you’re talking about hilarious goofball Florida crime semi-thrillers, don’t forget Tim Dorsey and his wonderful series featuring Serge A. Storms, the most lovable serial killer EVER.

  48. 48
    Shakezula says:

    @mainmati: Yep. D.C. foxes are bold. We had two that strolled the streets like they owned the place (and considering they were the largest predators running free, I guess they did).

    But after some idiot fed one it became alarmingly forward in its dealings with people. It wasn’t unusual to see it trotting down the street after people, like a dog.

  49. 49
    eyelessgame says:

    The thing about Rand Paul (the middle third of the human philosophy centipede that is Ayn Rand Paul Ryan) that scares me is that I know a lot of middle-aged liberals who are sweet people but not the brightest crayons in the box — who are so consumed with their (somewhat justified) concerns over privacy and OMG TEH SPYINGZ that they are looking around for anyone who seems to share their concerns.

    And it might be easy for them, in 2016, to fail to notice exactly what Rand Paul’s lips are attached to, or what it will do to us to have this dangerous cultist as president.

  50. 50
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Shakezula:

    Foxes are semi-easy to domesticate, so I’m not surprised.

    We had a famous meatball-eating bear here in my small city who’s now livin’ the good life in an exotic animal rescue. IIRC, the Fish & Game department usually euthanizes three-time offenders, but Meatball was too famous to end up on death row, so they sent him to a refuge instead.

  51. 51
    gvg says:

    Gators aren’t that aggressive unless provoked or taught to associate humans with food. They are around everywhere but mostly unseen. New comers freak about them. I’ve run over a large one in a canoe and it didn’t even bother to move. Mind you I didn’t WANT to run over it and definately don’t recommend it as another time it might go differently, but I didn’t get a say and it happened.
    We were canoeing one of the springs in Ocala National Forest. It was small and narrow and at one point did about 6 switchback wiggles. It was maybe 3 feet wide and a foot or so deep and the gator decided to sleep across the stream. He was big enough to lay on the bottom and stick out on top. We came around the corner in the current and were over him before we could react. We weren’t the only canoe either, its a popular run and there were others ahead of us and behind. Apparently he didn’t care.
    Gators like the taste of dog so you never leave fido out in the yard when you aren’t home. They have no trouble climbing chain link fences. You don’t walk your dog near water. They have attacked dogs on leashes. Very few people attacks compared to population and most are attacks on small children. Also most involve gators that someone has fed. That is a big big no no that will get you yelled at by locals.
    Dad taught me gators run fast in a strait line, so zig zag and try to dodge around things like trees. They don’t turn very fast on land. I’ve never had to try. I have been walking along sidewalks and come across them lying where I wanted to go when I turned a corner at the local botanical garden or a couple of parks. I turn around fast and walk away quick, then warn people. The big guys have never even stirred. I was brought up to be cautious about them but really don’t worry.

  52. 52
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Hungry Joe: Big Tim Dorsey fan here too. “The Outback Steakhouse Florida Governor’s Race,” LOL!

  53. 53
    J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford says:

    What’s wrong with Charlie Crist? Even when he was a Republican he seemed like a pretty decent guy. Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good.

  54. 54
    Betty Cracker says:

    @gvg: I went to UF, and they had (and still have, at least last time I was there for a ball game) a pond that has some humongous gators in it. There were always tales about someone tripping over one that was sunning itself on the sidewalk, etc., but no one ever got eaten as far as I know.

  55. 55
    Trollhattan says:

    Door gator for the win! Needs a burning poop bag, tho. Of course, door gator leads to other reptile hijinks.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.....ostpopular

    Sleep tight.

  56. 56
    Patricia Kayden says:

    “face-eating zombies, airborne fish attacks and fatal roach-eating contests”

    Why haven’t I seen any of these when I visit Florida? You have such a way with words, Betty. You make Florida look like a hell-hole instead of the paradise it is.

  57. 57

    @Davis X. Machina: OMG Moxie, is the vilest thing I have ever tasted.

  58. 58
    JoyfulA says:

    We have a wild turkey, Ruthie Rutter (for Rutter’s gas station), hanging out at a gas station down the street. She’s very friendly, and staff and customers are protective. She is said to have a nest behind the building. The owner says if she’s still here at Thanksgiving, he’s going to get her a dog costume.

  59. 59
    Ben Grimm says:

    @piratedan:

    Nelson was never realistic. Crist is a near-certainty.

  60. 60
    rikyrah says:

    1. I’ll always appreciate your map of Florida, Betty Cracker.
    2. The Florida Dems need to suck it up and nominate the human oil slick that is Charlie Crist.

  61. 61
    cmorenc says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I dunno. I think people still vastly underestimate how much support Bush got from the Washington establishment (not just politicians, but journalists), and Rand Paul is not going to be able to draw that level of support. I know I’m obsessed with social class right now, but Paul is not the Right Kind of People like Bush or even Romney.

    Yes, but the problem is that Christie IS the “right” kind of people to get lots of support within the Washington establishment, particularly the journalistic branch thereof. But then again, so is Hillary Clinton, for all her talents and foibles. As much as the hard-core activist wingnut base of the GOP virulently dislikes Christie and would be able to rather quickly doom his chances if they were able to unify and rally around a single hard-right candidate early in the 2016 GOP primary process, unfortunately my bet is that they’ll fracture among Paul, Santorum (or someone of similar talibangelical nature) and Rubio, allowing Christie to accumulate a sufficient early lead that will be hard to overcome once they eventually do unite around the last-surviving opponent.

    And Christie’s enablers and fan-people in the Washington/establishment media will hail his ascendency as a sign of the resurgent prevalence of the allegedly pragmatic moderate GOP establishment over the Tea Party/religious right types.

  62. 62
    Shakezula says:

    @Patricia Kayden:

    Why haven’t I seen any of these when I visit Florida?

    You haven’t been to the House of Mouse?

  63. 63
    MomSense says:

    @Redshirt:

    Did you see this? Governor made a “vaseline” comment that has not gone over very well. He made the comment about Sen. Troy Jackson who is a woodsman from Aroostook County–known here simply as The County.

    http://www.wmtw.com/news/polit.....index.html

  64. 64
    rda909 says:

    @gvg: Whenever I’m working in Florida, I always seem to hear stories about cottonmouth snakes being much more of a danger. So much so they can even jump out of the water and into small boats? Is that true or have these guys been pulling my leg? Did know about a waterskier though falling and landing on a cottonmouth, and the guy ended up dying.

  65. 65
    MomSense says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    It really is vile but don’t tell anyone I said so or they might kick me out.

  66. 66
    terraformer says:

    There is a reason that the show “Cops” is almost always filmed in Florida.

    I grew up there, and the only good thing about Florida is that you can leave after you visit.

  67. 67
    fuckwit says:

    Yep, you’ve identified the wedge issue that the Rethugs and Karl Rove have discovered, have focus-group tested and refined, are flogging enthusiastically, and will continue to do: drones, NSA spying, and government power in general.

    They need to turn Democratic voters, particularly young people, AGAINST the government. They need government hate in order to accomplish their goals. They have found these particular wedge issues do this swimmingly well.

    Here’s how it goes: the Rethugs are traitors whose goal it is to destroy the United States Government, preferably from within so that they can get rich on those $150k/year salaries in the meantime. They intend to replace it with corporations owned by the 1%, and religious fundamentalists (many of the churches of whom are, in fact, large corporations anyway). It’s all privatized, all the time, essentially, a hostile corporate takeover.

    To do this, they need people to hate and fear the government. They cleverly ignore the fact that the government IS US, so they do of course have to get us to hate each other too. Doesn’t work so well with Democratic constituencies– we are largely immune to the racist, sexist, homophobic, and anti-immigrant appeals that work very well with their own core constituency (white christian men).

    But they have found a large contingent among us who are civil libertarians, and here’s where they get to have some fun! They can get us to hate and fear the government by ramping up the hysteria (Americans just love moral panics and hysteria for some reason) about drones and spying. Karl Rove has seen the path to the future of his party, and it lies through Rand Paul, Glenn Greenwald, and Jane Hamsher.

  68. 68
    ruemara says:

    I have family down in Florida. More effective at keeping me away than the gators & the snakes.

  69. 69
    PaulW says:

    @rikyrah:

    I dunno why people seem to hate Crist. Before he jumped out of the GOP he had a decent track record – people seem to forget he stopped the Jeb Bush approved voter roll purges that hurt the Black/Hispanic voters, for one – and while he may seem like a flip-flopper at least he does so for the right reasons (because a lot of people are screaming at him about how bad a bill was, for example) and not the wrong ones.

    If anything, Crist is a far better choice than Scott. Then again, that 2-ton alligator knocking on that door is a better choice than Scott.

  70. 70
    PaulW says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    So that’s why the Democratic Party in Florida is so f-cked up.

    Here’s the thing: let Sink primary vs. Crist. Let Crist get Nelson’s backing to let Sink know she’s fighting a losing battle. Get every Democrat, Moderate and Indy voter to recognize that the objective here is to get that goddamn Medicare Fraud out of the Governor’s office. Can we at least focus on that.

    ANYBODY BUT SCOTT.

  71. 71
    Paul in KY says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Don’t look too closely at the grass.

  72. 72
    Redshirt says:

    @MomSense: Remarkable. The man is a lout. I’d be more concerned if it wasn’t so obvious he’s an idiot, surrounded by idiots, fooling few.

    That said, it’s incumbent upon us voters that he does not get a second term.

  73. 73
    Ted & Hellen says:

    It’s not that the electorate is particularly discerning. It’s just that Baby Doc comes across as such an arrogant, smarmy prick.

    Right wingers say the exact same thing about Obama.

    How is this kind of sneering, tribal, brainless bullshit anything but the mirror image of their troglodyte style of engagement?

  74. 74
    Paul in KY says:

    @Commenting at Balloon Juice since 1937: You can eat them. Lot of meat on a 15 foot snake.

  75. 75
    David Hunt says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    No. He has shown far too little respect for civil liberties for him to be someone I’d want there. Don’t get me wrong on this. I voted for him both times and thank FSM that he’s POTUS rather than Romney or McCain, but civil liberties is one area where I’m disappointed in him and it also happens to be the most important area for a Supreme Court Justice IMHO. So while I’d prefer him to any interation of Federalist Society Alumni that any GOP POTUS would nominate, he’d be low on my list of candidates. Correction: wouldn’t even be on my list of candidates

  76. 76
    Paul in KY says:

    @Redshirt: The Democratic candidate will have to whomp on Cutler to get those votes over to their side.

  77. 77
    Mnemosyne says:

    @gvg:

    I think they debunked the “zig zag” thing on “Mythbusters.” But IIRC alligators (and crocodiles) are ambush predators, so they won’t actually chase you to try and eat you. They may chase you to try and get you to leave their territory.

    We also have a famous alligator in the Los Angeles area who now resides at the Los Angeles Zoo. He foiled all attempts at capture (including a much-publicized attempt by the late Steve Irwin) and was ultimately captured by a maintenance worker who discovered Reggie sunning himself on an island and closed the gate on him.

    ETA: Zoo life’s not too bad for him — he even has a girlfriend.

  78. 78
    Mnemosyne says:

    @David Hunt:

    It’s hard to say, though — Earl Warren was one of the driving forces behind the internment of Japanese-Americans in WWII, but he was a strong champion of civil rights on the Supreme Court. I’m not sure you can predict what someone would do as a SCJ from what they did while working in other branches of the government.

  79. 79
    japa21 says:

    Of course Florida is not the only state with alligators. My son was based at Ft. Stewart outside Savannah and we would go visit on ocassion. Walking around the base, you could easily come across one sunning itself. First couple times it caused a little discomfort for my wife, but we got used to it and knew enough not to go up and try to pet them. They would hold a fishing contest for the kids on base at a pond they would stock just for the event. Big signs warning not to go into the water and not to feed the alligators. But didn’t stop a lot of people from going.

  80. 80
    Paul in KY says:

    @Mnemosyne: They (a big one) will sprint to try & eat you also, but sprint is no more than 10 – 15 yards at most. They can move pretty fast & usually have the advantage of surprise.

  81. 81
    Another Halocene Human says:

    You say lack of pony production; I say Alex Sink ran as a Republican. And I gave her money.

    Seriously, she did nothing to inspire the D base and quite frankly a lot of D voters questioned why she was so quiet, perhaps hiding a secret R agenda?

    The D brand in Florida is lousy, the D party in Florida is a joke, and the D politicians range between grifters, backstabbers, quixotic sorts, cryptoracists, and corporate whores. I can’t name a good deal of good, decent Democrats in office in this state. Maybe a few downstate but they’re overshadowed by buttholes like Jeremy Ring and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz.

    I hope Crist runs and we can coalesce around him as a party. He’s a known quantity and did a lot of progressive stuff while in office, honestly, good liberal stuff, despite being an ostrich about Citizen’s and the state budget. “Ya don’t know what ya got til it’s gone.”

  82. 82
    Another Halocene Human says:

    But the Florida Democratic Party (of which I am a proud member) is a hot mess, and fault lines are emerging that could result in yet another epic fail.

    QFT, although I’m not a member–fuck them and the crooked hoss they rode in on. Member AFL-CIO of Florida, fighting for YOU whether the dumfux in this state know it or not.

  83. 83
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Redshirt: My dearest hope is that LePage is permanently damaging the GOP brand in Maine.

  84. 84
    Mike in NC says:

    We spent a week in Tampa back in November and it reminded me a lot of northern Virginia, including endless sprawl, construction delays, and traffic from Hell.

  85. 85
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Betty Cracker: Bill Nelson? Ma fois. Ou mon oeil. bqwhatever.

  86. 86
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Commenting at Balloon Juice since 1937: the native Florida snakes are scarier.

  87. 87
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @PaulW: Sink is a loser and apparently a sore loser at that. She can’t slink off fast enough imo.

    Now, does anybody have an opinion about Nan Rich?

  88. 88
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Paul in KY: Wouldn’t choosing a Blue Dog kind of demotivate the Dems, or is my election math bad? I just can’t see 27%ers voting for any Dem, and the Indies (embarrassed Republicans) are probably hoping to swing Dem voters and quite frankly the glibertarian platform is going to sound better than the Blue Dog platform, and neither does jackall for poor people of which Maine is replete.

  89. 89
    Paul in KY says:

    @Another Halocene Human: I thought Cutler was the non-Dem, non-Repub. You won’t make any hay against the 27% (who I guess will vote Repub). Whatever Democratic candidate (Blue Dog, Proto-Commie) will have to run hard against Cutler to take his/her votes.

    That was point I was making.

  90. 90
    DFH no.6 says:

    @fuckwit:
    Careful, now, we’re supposed to be trying for comity here.

    As a dyed-in-the-wool drone-loving Obot I will gladly work (and have gladly worked) with anyone, including fucking firebagger emoprogs, to elect more (and hopefully better, though that’s not always feasible) Democrats over any – and I mean any – Republicans in any office.

    I think you (and rda909 back there at 15) have the right of it, and too many in our always-fractious coalition are currently falling into what is – to me – the obvious fascist-sponsored media trap of continual Obama “scandals” (NSA and DRONEZZZ! Over America! just the latest) whose ultimate purpose is absolutely not to regain lost civil liberties, or spark some non-existent “national debate about the Patriot Act”, but to continue the decades-long meme of “gov’t is the problem” and thus help the fascists’ efforts towards electoral wins in ’14 and ’16.

    But falling into this trap as I believe they may be, I’ll work with anyone who wants to defeat the real enemy (firebagger emoprog clue: the real enemy is not Obama or his legion of drone-loving Obots).

  91. 91
    David Hunt says:

    @Mnemosyne: Good point. I was making predictions based on what he did when he got power, but all presidents use whatever power the office has and tend to push the boundaries to see if they can expand them any further. It’s the nature of the office. It’s entirely possible that if he were out of office making judgments on how much power the executive and legislature should have when he wasn’t in either of those branches, we might see something very different. Still, I’d hope that there’s a bunch other choices for SCOTUS before we start looking at ex-Presidents. Ex-Presidents end to have vast opportunities to prosper in public life if they can manage to avoid leaving office in disgrace.

  92. 92
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Ted & Hellen: First of all, it’s hilarious that YOU of all people have the stones to accuse anyone else of a “troglodyte style of engagement.” Christ man, have you looked in the mirror lately?

    But since you wrapped an actual question in your usual brainless, sub-tribal bullshit brickbat, I’ll answer it. My point wasn’t merely that Paul is a smarmy, arrogant prick (though he is); it was that even a knob like Paul could conceivably become POTUS if people who don’t want to remake America in the image of Ayn Rand’s master-race bodice-rippers won’t leave all this “firebaggers suck” and “obots blow” bullshit behind, at least temporarily.

    It’s not exactly cutting edge analysis, but I’m not surprised you missed it, focused as you are on your post-irony, post-self-awareness, sub-tribal trolling routine. Now, go shag the pointy end of a rabid badger, you scrofulous twatwaffle.

  93. 93
    LanceThruster says:

    Is it just me, or does it merely look like that gator wants a hug?

  94. 94
    jamus4 says:

    Truly wonderful prose, I just read it aloud to my teenager:

    Some might dismiss Scott’s election as just another example of Florida insanity, like face-eating zombies, airborne fish attacks and fatal roach-eating contests. Maybe, but I think Florida is a better microcosm for America than is generally acknowledged.

    Florida has left-of-center coastal enclaves, heavily armed yahoos and religious fanatics in the interior, a growing immigrant population, simmering racial tensions, a politically powerful “Screw you, Jack, I’ve got mine!” elderly population and disaffected, jobless young folks who have been robbed of their future and birthright by nature-despoiling greed-heads.

    Is this not America?

  95. 95
    Chris says:

    @cmorenc:

    This. Another reason why if anyone can win as a Republican in 2016, it’s Christie.

  96. 96
    Josie says:

    @Betty Cracker: Betty, how do you feel about Sink’s attitude? Doesn’t it seem like she already had her shot and didn’t do very well with it?

  97. 97

    @Josie: Pretty much. I voted for her, of course, but thought she was the wrong candidate and ran a shit campaign. I’m not excited about anyone who’s allegedly in the hunt, but I’ll vote for whichever hairball FlaDems eventually horks up. Le sigh.

  98. 98
    Josie says:

    @Betty Cracker: Lol, well, it could be worse. You could be in Texas, like me.

  99. 99
    Dolly Llama says:

    I know this thread is probably as dead as Ulysses S. Grant, but tell me Rick Scott isn’t a dead ringer for the monster robot on the cover of Queen’s “News of the World” album.

  100. 100
    Redshirt says:

    @Another Halocene Human: The Paulites took over the state RNC back in 2010. We’ve been in wacky land ever since.

  101. 101
    Sondra says:

    Brava Betty for a fine summation of our lovely State and our Democratic establishment of which I too am a proud(ish) member.

    Actually I think there is a chance that Charlie Crist might run again as a Democrat but he is having a hard time with the hard core – stop laughing, we have a hard core of Democrats – sort of. Anyway, they have a hard time accepting a convert to our party which is not smart for at least 3 reasons.
    The first is that even though we outnumber Republicans which makes us a blue state for sure, we have a very bored bunch of voters who can’t be counted on to show up at the polls.
    The second reason is that we could attract more interested independents if we didn’t publically act so dorky.
    And third, people liked Charlie and that would help get out the vote.
    What? Too logical for our party. Sigh.

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