Friday, April 08, 2016

Stop the hand-wringing: Gov. Rick Scott really is that word ... by gimleteye

The viral video has already been watched more than 2 million times. For Huffington Post, Nadine Smith writes,
Some have suggested that the video of the woman in Gainesville chastizing Gov Scott went viral because she used profanity. I don’t think so. I think it struck a chord because, unlike all the focus-grouped messaging from disciplined talking-heads on the non-stop news cycle, this felt real and raw. She hadn’t stopped at a political rally to shut down the candidate. She wasn’t a congressman blurting out “You lie” during the State of the Union. She was someone at a coffee shop who was unexpectedly face-to-face with a politician who has mastered hiding in a fortress. A governor so unwilling to engage authentically or answer questions or communicate in something other than a sound bite that Morning Joe basically threw him off the air.



Smith is right. There is a bill of indictments against Gov. Rick Scott's two terms that is book-ended by two significant facts: 1) Rick Scott is running the least transparent government in modern Florida history. He has turned the executive office into a place as insular as the Kremlin. 2) Every single moment of Rick Scott's political life is scripted. He will not answer a question publicly if the answer veers off script.

By this, what Rick Scott is saying to Floridians is -- in two words -- Fuck you.

He did this when eviscerating decades of bipartisan consensus that pointed state regulators in the direction of growth management, he did this in permitting new nuclear reactors in Homestead virtually at sea level by Florida Power and Light, blowing off public opposition with scarcely a nod of his head, -- FPL is one of his biggest campaign contributors -- and he did the same with Amendment 1 moneys to buy sugar lands south of Lake Okeechobee, ignoring the will of the people as expressed by more than 75 percent of the popular vote in a state-wide 2014 referendum. He did the same with Fair Districts, siding with an entrenched status quo GOP majority that lied to state courts, spending well over ten million in supporting the indefensible and, finally, backing down after repeated rulings by the Florida Supreme Court. Scott is now trying to blow up the Supreme Court with the same legal dexterity he is deploying against women's rights.

Scott is not only shouting "fuck you" at voters, he is doing it from the high walls in Tallahassee; blocking out government in the sunshine.

Recently, Gov. Scott wrote an OPED in the conservative mouthpiece, Newsmax: "I believe that if we join together in a peaceful revolution, American exceptionalism can triumph again. Let's make the hard choices to have government live within its means. Let's be honest with the American people about what programs government can afford and what it cannot." Scott reached back to Jeb Bush's 2003 inaugural speech, "There will be no greater tribute to our maturity as a society than if we can make these buildings around us empty of workers; as silent monuments to the time when government played a larger role than it deserved or could adequately fill."

By now, voters get it: these are code words for making government the problem, wherever the problem is defined as blocking special interests from getting what they want.

Rick Scott isn't about whittling government down to size: he is about cutting programs that serve the disadvantaged, women, the environment, and whatever else he can cherry-pick so that regulated communities always have the upper hand over regulators.

For example under Rick Scott's administration enforcement actions against polluters nearly ceased. Between 2010 and 2014 — the governor's first term in office — there was an 85 percent drop-off in the number of environmental enforcement cases. What happened? Florida Bay is, according to one scientist, "on the knife-edge of collapse". Fish kills and water quality on both the east and west coast is so bad that citizens are mounting their own Arab Spring in Florida.

You can see what Rick Scott has done with your own eyes. We rate the indictment of Rick Scott: TRUE.


http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/when-civility-really-mean_b_9632602.html

When Civility Really Means Silence
Nadine Smith

A video of a woman angrily confronting Florida Governor Rick Scott in a coffee shop has been ricocheting across the internet. The quick and potent clip has drawn cheers as a courageous act of confrontation and criticism as a crass example of incivility.


But what is really meant by civility in this circumstance?

Imagine someone has attacked you and pinned you to the ground with their knee against your neck. As you cry out in pain for them to stop, it would be incomprehensible to you if a bystander asked you to lower your voice and stop shouting. You’d wonder why that person was not helping you. If they said “I would have helped but you are being so loud and you used profanity”, your mind would be boggled by the misplaced outrage.

When the knee is metaphorical but the pain is real, is it any more appropriate to chastise the injured for howling in pain, profanely or otherwise, at the responsible party?

I don’t generally yell at people or hurl profanity at them because I have other tools at my disposal that I have found to be more effective. But if the only thing available to me to change what is intolerable was to disrupt and call out, I would do it every single day with every breath available.

Some have suggested that the video of the woman in Gainesville chastizing Gov Scott went viral because she used profanity. I don’t think so. I think it struck a chord because, unlike all the focus-grouped messaging from disciplined talking-heads on the non-stop news cycle, this felt real and raw.

She hadn’t stopped at a political rally to shut down the candidate. She wasn’t a congressman blurting out “You lie” during the State of the Union. She was someone at a coffee shop who was unexpectedly face-to-face with a politician who has mastered hiding in a fortress. A governor so unwilling to engage authentically or answer questions or communicate in something other than a sound bite that Morning Joe basically threw him off the air.

I lament that we live in a world that exalts entrenched opinion over reason and facts, that rewards bullying over empathy. So I understand the discomfort expressed by a few of my friends who see her outburst as further evidence that the last threads holding our democracy together are being pulled apart from the left and the right.

But that analysis avoids any discussion of who holds power. These are not equal sides in a debate. The governor’s agenda has been uncivil and profane. His actions have cost lives.

Our children die as they fall through the shredded remains of our social safety net. The blocking of Medicaid expansion leaves poor people without health care. The words “Climate change” are banned but the tides rise nonetheless. Fish kills spread as pollution destroys our natural resources. Our state’s infrastructure crumbles around us. A multi-year backlog of rape kits goes untested due to lack of funds but the costly attack on Planned Parenthood moves like lightening.

What would you have said or done had Gov Scott walked into your coffee shop that morning? Most of us would have said nothing. Taken a picture and posted something (probably snarky) to Facebook.

But is that silence truly civility? Or is it fear, or apathy or, even worse, complicity? Feel free to discuss, civilly or otherwise.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Nicely put. Schale and Brian Crowley should stop shaming women.

Anonymous said...

Rick Scott will NEVER be a US Senator.

Anonymous said...

NEVER say NEVER. I was sure he would NEVER be a governor. Then, I was sure he would NEVER be re-elected.

To the post, I disagree with the idea that it's ok to call the governor an asshole. Just like I don't like the lack of civility to the President, whom I like, I don't want this lack of civility. Even though he's garbage, I think we need to behave. There are plenty of "forums" (virtual & real) in which we can discuss issues. We don't need to yell names at a Starbucks.

Anonymous said...

Asshole is impolite; Governor Asshole is much better. Or Sir F'Wad