By Michael E. Miller
By Allie Conti
By Keegan Hamilton and Francisco Alvarado
By Jake Rossen
By Allie Conti
By Kyle Swenson
By Chris Joseph
By Michael E. Miller
Mayan Prediction: A struggling lord will fall and take mankind with him.
Florida Reality: The walkers shuffled their feet in the moonlight sheen, their empty faces glowing red and blue in the glaring lights of an abandoned cop car. There were tens of thousands of them: packs of people now hardly recognizable as human, dressed in pajamas and Crocs, drained by hours of waiting in line. They lurched slowly down the streets, from Brickell to Broward County, Homestead to Hialeah. Occasionally, one creature would crawl in front of another and anarchy would ensue. But mostly they just slouched toward the polls, driven by some strange demonic hunger for democracy. "Baaaallots," they moaned. "Baaaaaaaaaaaallots!"
Somewhere in Tallahassee, a weisswurst-pale giant reclined on a throne made of small plastic piss cups. The lights were off, but with his bulging, bat-like eyes, Rick Scott could see the strife consuming his kingdom. The state was going to hell, and it was all according to plan.
The scene wasn't a nightmare, of course, but Election Night 2012. South Floridians were zombified by ballots thicker than The Brothers Karamazov and lines longer than the crapping queue at Sun Life Stadium, not to mention the choice among local candidates as distinct as gonorrhea and the clap. The plebiscite panic was, therefore, a fitting finale to a year in which Floridians were abandoned by their elected leaders and goaded into turning on one another like Gambian pouched rats (which, incidentally, are taking over the Florida Keys).
The Mayans had warned that the 13th era would come to an end with betrayal by an incompetent leader. Florida had no shortage of those in 2012. From the governor's mansion on down, politicians screwed us over and over in their personal pursuit of power. But it took a pelotero-purchasing psychopath to really bring South Florida to its knees.
Scott certainly seemed to be trying to dismantle Florida this year. The Medicare fraudster entered office promising to create 700,000 new positions by 2017. Instead, two years into his tenure, the state has barely broken the 100,000 mark. It probably didn't help that Scott's job czar, Hunting Deutsch — whose name sounds more like a scheisse porno than a politico — quit earlier this month after reporters discovered he'd collected unemployment checks for months while jaunting around Europe on vacation.
It also didn't help that a federal judge blocked Scott's attempts to drug-test state workers as unconstitutional. His previous urinary crusade — demanding that welfare recipients piss into a cup before receiving benefits — somehow passed legal muster, only to cost Floridians thousands more to administer than it saved them.
Then Scott passed the buck in the wake of Trayvon Martin's slaying by neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman. The governor stocked a 19-member panel full of gun enthusiasts and then waited for them to tell him that the state's controversial "Stand Your Ground" law — Zimmerman's defense — was A-OK.
Scott's omnibus voting bill was even more catastrophic. The law slashed early voting from 14 days to eight, including the Sunday before the election when Democratic-leaning black churches usually took their parishioners to the polls to vote. Meanwhile, the guv watched Republican legislators load the ballot with long-winded attempts to kill the separation between church and state.
So what did Scott say when the restricted voting schedule led to some people waiting eight hours — a full shift, but not at jobs the governor promised — to cast a ballot? "Oh gosh, it's exciting," he said as voters lined up like the undead behind him. "People care about this election. That's what I wanted all along."
Scott wasn't the only politician riding us like Slim Pickens in Dr. Strangelove, straight down toward Armageddon. The title of Disastrous Dear Leader could just as easily go to Connie Mack, Allen West, or David Rivera. The Republican Party's three wise men all lost their wits — and their seats — in November.
Connie Mack seemed to have the Senate seat locked down until voters were reminded that the handsome candidate used to be kind of a douchebag. He got into random road-rage fights, was thrown out of bars, and once nut-punched Atlanta Braves outfielder Ron Gant during a bar fight. Then, on Election Day, he encouraged his Twitter followers to Instagram their ballots, which just happens to be a federal offense. Mack lost to smiling septuagenarian Bill Nelson.
Then there's Allen West, a man so insane he once fired a pistol next to the head of an Iraqi detainee, allegedly requires his wife to be his personal "porn star," and dashes off one-word responses ("Nuts!") to the American Muslims he ludicrously blames for 9/11. Despite spending a record $18 million to try to retain his House seat, West lost to Democrat long-shot Patrick Murphy. Then West demanded a recount and murmured about fraud for two weeks before conceding with a resounding eat-a-candy-bar-out-of-my-ass-I'm-out-of-here type of speech.
This year also turned out to be the swan song for David Rivera, a politician so shady that he forever endeared himself to local reporters. After a long and — insert antonym of illustrious here — career, in which Rivera was caught living off secret campaign donations, lying about being a spy, and breaking 11 ethics laws while in Tallahassee, he kicked the corruption up a notch in 2012.