It just happened. Florida has officially elected the man who oversaw the greatest Medicare fraud in U.S. history as its governor.
You might think I would welcome this sort of thing. I remember when I covered the 2000 recount thinking at the end of it, after the U.S. Supreme Court gave the election to George Bush, "Well, how bad can it be? Bush will shake things up."
How naive. We saw how bad it could be. Rick Scott thankfully doesn't have the power of the presidency, but as governor, especially with a GOP-stacked Legislature, he is going to do a lot of damage. Don't make a mistake: He will try to deny more health care coverage, dismantle the public school system, deregulate companies so they can rip us off with immunity, and allow greedy developers to take us further down into urban-sprawl hell.
Yes, Scott will be good fodder for this blog, but real people who will suffer more, and you can't cheer that.
It's on days like this that I think: South(east) Florida should secede and just make a state of our own. There's a South Carolina and a South Dakota; why can't there be a South Florida?
Inside, we escape this harsh electoral reality and imagine that for a moment.
Let's face it, things just aren't working out for us down here. We have a vibrant identity that is being smothered by the red part of the state. We're the redheaded (blueheaded?) stepchild of Tallahassee.
Hmmm. If South Florida (Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade, and Monroe counties) were a state, Alex Sink would have stomped Rick Scott in a landslide that would have sent his carpetbagging ass out of politics forever, à la Jeff Greene (hopefully). She won every county in South Florida in rout fashion except Monroe, where she lost by a mere 41 votes out of 26,148 cast.
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Dan Gelber would be attorney general instead of Tea Party/Sarah Palin convert Pam Bondi. I can't tell you how bad a vote that is. Gelber is intelligent, engaging, totally up on the issues facing the state, and a born public servant. Bondi is, uh, not.
And it's not like it would be a totally blue state. Allen West would still be a congressman and, yes, Marco Rubio still would have snared a U.S. Senate seat (he won in every county except Broward, where Rubio came in last and Crist won with 36 percent of the vote).
You're talking about a state of 6 million people or so, and we'd put the capital in a neutral spot. Maybe Hollywood? Build the dome on Young Circle. I see that Sun-Sentinel columnist Mike Mayo considered the idea back in 2005, but he wanted to bring in Southwest Florida, which doesn't work at all and makes the capital Key West, which is too remote. Mayo makes the mistake of listening to attorney Bruce Rogow, who told him with great authority and certainty -- as all big-shot attorneys like to do -- that it wouldn't be possible without armed rebellion. OK, so we'll just have to get another lawyer. If there's a will, there's a way.
C'mon, South Florida, let's get to work.