Over on Balloon Juice, they call it Peak Wingnut. The belief - long since disproved - that at some point the mass delusional conspiratorial rumor-mongering of the Far Right would be so over-the-top that everyone and their grandparents would completely dismiss it and the Far Right would be discredited forever and barred from polite society. You may notice we've yet to reach Peak Wingnut and probably never will (if Hillary wins in 2016, it will only change from racial nuttery to gender nuttery).
Considering what we've got as governor of the state of Florida, I prefer to call it Peak Asshole. And we've yet to reach that as well.
Even after Rick "Medicare Fraud" Scott went to the federal government to beg for Medicaid money - just not Obamacare Medicaid Expansion, because God forbid we get anything with Obama's cooties on it - and getting his sorry hide dismissed for refusing the obvious, we're still getting the stupid out of him as well as the lack of accountability.
Scott has just sent out a letter to the state agencies regarding the budget impasse within the Florida Legislature, and informed those agencies to start planning for the possibility of a full-bore state shutdown. Per the Tampa Bay Times:
...Scott put agency heads on notice, giving them until 5 p.m. next Monday to identify services that must continue when the fiscal year ends at midnight June 30 and, in the absence of a budget, agencies could not spend money and state employees would not be paid.
In letters to agencies, Scott laid the blame for a potential shutdown on the Senate...
Okay, I gotta interrupt here. THE SENATE WANTS TO PASS A BUDGET. Blaming the shutdown on them when it's THE HOUSE THAT SPLIT TOWN THREE DAYS EARLY LIKE LAZY BASTARDS is the height of hypocrisy and blame-gaming.
Back to the report:
"It is possible that Florida Senate President Andy Gardiner and the Florida Senate will not agree to any budget without the specific expansion of Medicaid (at a cost to state taxpayers of $5 billion over 10 years)," Scott wrote. "Therefore, we are requesting your agency prepare a list of critical state services our citizens cannot lose in the event Florida is forced into a government shutdown on July 1st."
Scott is making it clear that any budget with federal Medicaid expansion money is unacceptable to him. His allies in the state House will most likely deny any compromise attempt.
By sounding the alarm of a shutdown, Scott may be trying to rally Floridians to support the view he shares with the House that a debate on health care must take a back seat to a more urgent matter of passing a budget.
Bullshit. Health care is part of the budget itself. It HAS to be part of the budget. Take away any provision of health care funding and we will see hospitals and nursing homes close their doors.
But Scott could also be seen as calling out his fellow Republicans for behaving irresponsibly. Talk of a shutdown could heighten a public sense of dysfunction in a state government controlled by Republicans at all levels.
Dear Rick "Asshole" Scott: It takes two to have an argument. Blaming the Senate for YOUR intractable irresponsibility is denial of the worst kind.
Scott's hardball tactics Thursday cost him support from one of his few staunch Senate supporters, Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater.
"I have great respect and admiration for the governor," Latvala said. "But I think it's unfortunate that they're taking this approach in trying to solve the situation between the House and Senate. Raising the specter of a government shutdown is not necessary at this point, and it's meant to put political pressure on the Senate… It's hard for him to be a broker for a solution when he takes one side like this."
I doubt Scott has any friends left in the Senate, the way he's been using them as a scapegoat for his political ambitions and short-sighted betrayals.
Part of me still thinks this whole thing is kabuki, that Scott is just playing the part of an Obamacare Refusnik down to the last minute so that he can play the martyr when a deal gets made including the much-needed Medicaid money. On the other hand, the Republican Party has become so radicalized over constant campaigning to the far right that Scott may well fear any deal would hurt his 2018 Senate hopes. There's still that factor from the federal shutdown I noted before, how the Far Right are convinced that the "doom-and-gloom" over a budget impasse / default is all a librul myth, and that if they stick to their guns they'll get the "small government" they've always hoped for.
I am extremely pissed off. I would love to see Rick "Not My Fault, Screw Everyone Else" Scott get burned over this. I would love to see the whole state FINALLY fucking wake up to the horrors of one-party Far-Right-Wingnut rule. I would love to win one of the state lotto tickets before the whole thing gets shut down. Unfortunately, I know my luck's not that good. I know we're screwed as a state. Barring outright arrest warrants issued for Scott by any of the various judges calling on his sorry ass to answer to the law, we're stuck with this crook for another three years.
Insert more curse words here if you like.