Rick Scott Can’t Stop Doing You Favors

Two days ago, Rick Scott claimed he helped avert the shutdown of the federal government. It’s funny for two reasons, beyond the obvious fact that it’s a boast so comically disproportionate to reality that even the kid on the elementary school playground who says he had sex and that his dad is a spy and an NFL player wouldn’t even touch it.

One, this claim represents Scott dipping back into his campaign playbook, one that consists of at most three gambits. This one is called, “Save Florida by running against Washington DC.” The major idea emanating from his gubernatorial campaign seemed to be that Barack Obama was a really crappy Florida governor. By electing him to run Tallahassee, Florida would put a stop to all the bullshit that Washington does. The entire pitch sounded like a babysitter knocking on your front door and explaining how her taking care of your kids on Fridays would make sure that your supervisor at the Tropicana plant, Mr. Rentzell, would stop getting into their closets and making a mess out of their Legos.

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Teaparties, Race and a Union Rally in a Tiny Tampa Park

Thanks in part to union demonstrations and outrage in Wisconsin, as well as Florida Governor Rick Scott’s criminal and imperial dismissal of the obligations of office, bizarre disdain for even bipartisan legislation and ruthless de-funding of public services, even Floridians have evinced anger strong enough to drag them out in public. Last Tuesday, thousands of citizens organized in dozens of cities across the state for simultaneous protests against Scott’s fiscal war against the Florida school system and his ideological war against unions and collective bargaining.

Labor union members face potential physical intimidation and the elimination of collective bargaining rights in this country. The funny thing is, if anyone should be wandering around with Hitler signs, it’s probably them and not the teapartiers. The first things the Italian Fascists and Nazi Party did was attack socialist and communist parties, burn down workers’ meeting houses, destroy labor unions, criminalize their labor activity, and fold existing unions into state-administrated and -sanctioned unions whose rights to bargaining and free assembly were drastically curtailed to serve the interests of plutocracy. They accomplished this through a partnership between national corporate interests — I.G. Farben, Krupp, all the good guys — and on-the-ground populist thuggery, uniting the bottom-line interests of the top with the economically pinched, racialized, nationalist interests of the bottom. (Sound familiar?)

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