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February 26, 2013 9:52 AM Agony of the Florida Tea Folk

By Ed Kilgore

As you might imagine, Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s decision to support the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion (at least for three years) has not only brought down scorn on him from national conservative groups, but was particularly painful to his back-home Tea Party supporters, many of whom probably found him attractive in the first place because of his history of battling anything remotely like universal health coverage. The Tampa Bay Times’ Adam Smith quickly concluded Scott’s relationship with the Tea Folk is broken beyond repair:

With his Medicaid decision this week, Scott officially and forever cast off his image as a tea party standard-bearer. Just glance at most of the recent comments on his Facebook page if you have doubts.
“Agreeing to expand Medicaid in Florida is your ‘Charlie Christ hugs Obama’ moment. Very disappointed in your decision… . Be proud to call yourself a RINO (Republican in Name Only),” wrote Jackie Soler-Gonzalez.

Smith also reports Scott’s jilted fans are actively looking for a primary challenger. After all, it worked when Charlie Crist strayed off the right-wing reservation.

Crist, of course, is the likely Democratic candidate for governor in 2014. So you could have “true conservatives” battling not one but two of their former political allies in what is already looking to be one of the most expensive political races in the history of the planet. It could get really crazy.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.

Comments

  • Josef K on February 26, 2013 10:08 AM:

    Can't we sell the damned pennisula back to the Spanish?

    Actually, strike that thought. The Kingdom of Spain hasn't done anything to deserve that. Guess we Americans will just have to endure.

  • c u n d gulag on February 26, 2013 10:13 AM:

    The FL Teabaggers are thinking of primarying Gov. Scott from the RIGHT?!?!?!

    What, they've got a shaved, rabid, orangutan all lined up?

  • bleh on February 26, 2013 10:17 AM:

    What a surprise. The sociopathic moneybags wing of the Reublican Party selling out the lunatic medievalists. And in this case probably with a hefty chunk of financial conflict-of-interest mixed in.

    How many times has THIS episode been rerun?

    The Dems should work to exploit this, especially by pointing out that the rubes have been suckered again, which will just enrage them further. But it will only work if it's done subtly, so that they blame the money-cons. Remember, they hate the Dems far more, and all the time.

  • walt on February 26, 2013 10:24 AM:

    I wouldn't get excited about Scott being primaried. First of all, he's still very far right himself. Secondly, he has a ton of money. But most importantly, he's already established the emotional nexus with the Tea Party rubes through deranged governance and rhetoric (ditto: Jan Brewer of Arizona). Maybe there is some cognitive dissonance with his apostasy on Medicaid, but it's a policy detail, not a cultural totem. Scott has enough crazy glue between himself and the base to ensure their continued support.

  • boatboy_srq on February 26, 2013 10:30 AM:

    what is already looking to be one of the most expensive political races in the history of the planet

    This is the only saving grace the Teahad has: funneling big Teahadist dollars into places like FL, where Teahadist policies are doing the most damage.

    Governor Voldemort, OTOH, seems compelled to p### off absolutely everyone: Progressives, so-called "moderates" who didn't take his campaign rhetoric at face value, and now the Teahad for failing to adhere absolutely to Teahadist Orthodoxy (by refusing to accept that ever-fewer revenue dollars would immediately spawn Teahad Nirvana and make all right with the Wingnut World).

    It makes one wonder whether there is anyone nasty enough to make the Teahad happy.

  • Zorro on February 26, 2013 10:36 AM:

    "Be proud to call yourself a RINO (Republican in Name Only),

    Wouldn't that be a TINO (Teabagger in Name Only)?

    -Z

  • Zorro on February 26, 2013 10:41 AM:

    It makes one wonder whether there is anyone nasty enough to make the Teahad happy.

    Not without violating Godwin's Law.

    -Z

  • Bruce K on February 26, 2013 11:15 AM:

    Wow, just think of all those red-meat conservative governing decisions Scott will make between now and the election to make up for his apostasy! Lots, I'm sure.

  • JohnH on February 26, 2013 2:12 PM:

    It makes one wonder whether there is anyone nasty enough to make the Teahad happy.

    There isn't. Both Genghis Khan and Hitler would be considered RINO's and lightweights to these nasty, dull-minded and vindictive people.

  • Zorro on February 26, 2013 3:43 PM:

    Thank you, JohnH, for proving my point re: Godwin's Law...

    -Z

  • JohnH on February 26, 2013 4:06 PM:

    Thank you, JohnH, for proving my point re: Godwin's Law...

    Technically it's not a violation of Godwin's Law; I wasn't comparing the Teahad to Hitler at all. That's why I threw Genghis Khan in there; you could substitute any other historical far-right lunatics for the two of them and the point would be the same: that these people are so nasty, bitter and hateful that (it would seem) no one is far-right and savage enough to gain their approval.

  • Zorro on February 26, 2013 4:11 PM:

    True 'nuff, JohnH, and, in this case, if we said "at least he made the trains on time," that would, in and of itself, be proof that he wasn't right-wing enough.

    -Z

  • boatboy_srq on February 26, 2013 4:51 PM:

    @JohnH/Zorro:

    "He made the trains run on time? That Soshulist!"

    And you know full well some Teahadist would point out that, since it was the National Socialist Party, that made them cryptoLeninists so they don't count.