Say you're an embattled conservative governor in Florida. Say you want to go out and glad-hand with voters who hate Obamacare as much as you do. What's the stupidest place to do that? How about a senior center in South Florida, where Barack Obama won in 2012 by half a million votes?
That was precisely the pooch that Scott, a millionaire former health care executive who famously "oversaw the largest Medicare fraud in the nation's history," decided to screw on Tuesday. He ended up chatting with 20 retirees in Boca Raton and found out that, hey, they mostly like their Medicare and, hey, they mostly like the Affordable Care Act, in no small part because, hey, older folks in Boca Raton mostly are Democrats who think Scott is the debbil.
Scott is not the debbil. The debbil would know how to stage a political photo op without it blowing up in his face. Scott, who as governor has been bumbling his way through an incoherent policy miasma of tea party bile, business-lovin' deregulation, and conservative gun-caressing for almost four years now, is an unmitigated tone-deaf idiot who can't even figure out the optics of being a good Republican. Via the Sun-Sentinel:
Scott visited a senior center Tuesday to warn about cuts he said Obamacare is forcing in a popular version of the Medicare health program and to collect their horror stories.
What he found was a satisfied group with few complaints.
The 20 seniors assembled for a roundtable with Scott at the Volen Center were largely content with their Medicare coverage and didn't have negative stories to recount.
"I'm completely satisfied," Harvey Eisen, 92, a West Boca resident, told Scott.
Eisen told the governor he wasn't sure "if, as you say," there are Obamacare-inspired cuts to Medicare. But even if there are, that would be OK. "I can't expect that me as a senior citizen are going to get preferential treatment when other programs are also being cut."
Ruthlyn Rubin, 66, of Boca Raton, told the governor that people who are too young for Medicare need the health coverage they get from Obamacare. If young people don't have insurance, she said, everyone else ends up paying for their care when they get sick or injured and end up in the hospital.
Eventually, Rubin said, Obamacare will become more popular. "People were appalled at Social Security. They were appalled at Medicare when it came out. I think these major changes take some people aback. But I think we have to be careful not to just rely on the fact that we're seniors and have an entitlement to certain things," she said.
It gets worse. The olds flat-out disagreed with some of Scott's assertions:
"As I travel the state and I listen to seniors they tell me stories about how their plans are being changed, how they are losing their doctors, the coverage is changing, and so what I'm here to do is just hear your stories," he said.
Their stories didn't jibe with the governor's view. When Scott asked one woman if she'd seen any changes in her Medicare Advantage coverage. "Not really," she responded. A man said he was "very happy" with his coverage. Another woman said she and her husband are "very pleased." Another man reported "no problems."
And good old Ruthlyn even told the guv that he shouldn't be overly concerned with scaremongering seniors over Medicare: "This is the United States of America. It's not the United States of senior citizens." She also said "I think we have to spread it around," echoing some 2008 Obama shit that got him called a socialist.
This is a disaster. Not just because Rick Scott is wrong on Medicare and Obamacare and just about everything else he's ever done since the 1970s, when he first learned how to scalp his military comrades for soda pop at a handsome profit.
This is a disaster because Rick Scott is a moron who was too moronic to avoid South Florida altogether and do what other conservatives in the state know how to do intuitively: engineer an anti-socialism town hall with some old people in some old clapboard house in some cobwebby corner of rural Madison County where everyone will hold forth on the evils of "the Democrat Party."
It's an even bigger disaster for conservatism writ large, because Rick Scott has proven through his career that he's a salesman and executive with a brilliant acumen for making money, and his naked stupidity is bright shining evidence to the American public that the GOP's mythical heralded job creators and real men of profitmaking genius are probably all simple boobs who couldn't beat Tony Siragusa on a Wonderlic test.
(Sorry, Tony, but you're kind of an idiot.)
That probably explains why Scott's down 10 points in the polls to a guy nobody especially likes who has a fraction of the campaign money Scott has. Rick Scott is an albatross around the Republican Party's neck. Except even albatrosses know a thing or two about how the wind blows.
[Photo credit: AP]