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Crist and Scott Aren’t Both Awful: Scott Wins That Contest By a Mile

| November 1, 2014

rick scott moral equivalencies charlie crist

A little wine would do him good. (© FlaglerLive)

By Adam Weinstein

I’m tired of false moral equivalencies. For a year or more, I’ve heard pundits and cynics flaunt the conventional wisdom about this governor’s race: Both candidates are awful.

It’s hard not to feel that way, after tens of millions of dollars in shade-throwing, half-truthing ads and stunts. Calling both guys in the race equally terrible is a fashionable way to signal your disappointment in the whole process, your wish that things would be different. It’s understandable.

But it’s wrong. These candidates are not remotely equally bad. You can’t be reasonable and think that any politician is nearly as toxic, deceitful, callous, inept, and flat-out godawful for Florida as Rick Scott.

Maybe you don’t understand or care how, two decades ago, Rick Scott’s health-care giant defrauded taxpayers and bullied doctors on a scale that would have made Bernie Madoff gasp, and that either Scott encouraged the schemes or was the most incompetently oblivious captain in the history of captaining. That’s fine. It was a long time ago.

But one of the benefits of the Crist-versus-Scott campaign is that we’ve seen both these guys in action. Or rather, we’ve seen Crist manage a major state, and we’ve seen Scott develop a reverse-Midas touch: Everything he contacts turns to a hypocritical sludge.

context floridaRick Scott has said he’s for women, but he had no qualms about slashing $1.5 million in funding to crisis counseling centers for statewide rape victims … during Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

He said he’s against deficits and government excess — that’s why he’s refused federal money to create jobs on an I-4 high-speed rail project or to expand health-care coverage for the state’s working-class poor — and yet he’scourting contracts for the still-grounded F-35 fighter jet, a $1.45 trillion mistake that even the Pentagon acknowledges as a boondoggle.

He’s for private-sector solutions to America’s health-care crisis — except when it comes to state health insurance for him and his family, obtained at a lower cost than most of his secretaries pay.

He’s for keeping us safe from infectious outbreaks like Ebola — yet he pressed for the early shutdown of Florida’s only tuberculosis-specializing hospital in 2012, amid the worst outbreak of the disease in Jacksonville and Miami in two decades.

An incumbent who’s “done more harm than any modern governor” is being falsely equated to one with a more reasonable record..

He’s for everybody voting — just not as easily as they did before he became governor.

He’s for affordable education, but not really if you’re a liberal arts major.

He has helped deregulate prisons, every form of insurance known to humanity, disabled care, barbers’ licensing,septic tanks, gunfights, grade schools, universities, and countless safeguards of Florida’s beautiful land, among other things. Most of these efforts have cost Florida taxpayers more money and headaches than they expended before Scott’s wrecking-ball ways.

Here’s how the Tampa Bay Times put it half a year ago: “Scott has done more harm than any modern governor, from voting rights to privacy rights, public schools to higher education, environmental protection to health care.”

The Times is too kind; that sort of makes Scott sound cruelly effective. He is not. Rick Scott is not actually convincing or competent at anything. Except perhaps making Floridians more burned-out and selfish.

Yes, Charlie Crist seems like a waffler whose warmth is a little off-putting, considering how many political rebirths he’s gone through. Perhaps you think he lacks character or integrity. I surely have my doubts. Reasonable people can disagree there.

But he’s no Rick Scott. And that’s a good thing.​

Adam Weinstein is a senior writer for Gawker specializing in politics, military affairs, and cultural criticism. A former editor for Mother Jones and the Wall Street Journal, he has written for Newsweek, the New York Times, and GQ. A Navy veteran, he worked for Multi-National Corps Iraq under Gen. Ray Odierno in Baghdad from 2008 to 2009.

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29 Responses for “Crist and Scott Aren’t Both Awful: Scott Wins That Contest By a Mile”

  1. JR says:

    That a boy, liberal Weinstien…keep the BS flying right up to election day. But it won’t do you any good, cause WE the People will still be voting for Rick Scott. You and you “traitor” Crist can go sunbathe together at one of Obama’s College Bath Houses !!!

    • Nancy N says:

      You don’t speak for “we the people” unless you elected yourself dictator of the state of Florida. You speak for yourself. THIS part of “we the people” cast my vote for Charlie Crist and will be dancing a jig if he pulls off the win on Tuesday. Rick Scott has to go.

      The fact that you’re throwing around the word “traitor” because someone switched political parties is ridiculous. The entire concept that this country is built on is that we have the freedom to think for ourselves and even – gasp! – change our minds about things. To call Charlie Crist a traitor for having evolving opinions and attitudes is downright un-American.

      But not surprising. That is the insane lengths to which GOP loyalists are taking their religion for their party these days.

      • Schottey says:

        I’m with Nancy. Have been a Crist fan since long before I lived in Florida and continue to be one today.

        The Republican party Crist once joined is not anything like the Republican party of today. Even toward the end of his governorship, he was considered a more centrist/moderate, but his party continued to slide further and further right where he became a man without a party because he refused to cow-tow to tea partiers.

        He’s been truer to himself in switching parties than most Republicans have been during the same time period.

  2. barbie says:

    People sure do have short memories. Charlie Crist did a lot of good when he was governor of this state, and he had good polling across the board from both “sides” of the aisle. He was one of the best governors in the country on environmental issues. Anyone who would simply sit this one out, hiding behind the excuse that “they’re both bad” is dooming us all to four more years of Rick Scott. Our state cannot handle this guy anymore, and our treasured state beauty is threatened by him, because four more years of Scott means fracking for Florida and that will destroy the state’s economy as we know it, because it will destroy any ground it touches. Do your homework, people! You might think Charlie Crist is a slick operator because he’s thrown his lot to Democrats like Bill Clinton, or you’ve fallen prey to the “Conventional Wisdom” because of the guy’s fake tan, but look at the FACTS. He did the job before, and he did it well. Why wouldn’t anyone want to vote for that? What is wrong with you? GET OUT AND VOTE. And get rid of Pam Bondi while you’re at it.

  3. Rich says:

    Rick Scott is the true definition of slime and sleeze

  4. Frank Diliberto says:

    Crist will be what ever it takes to get elected. Remember why we voted him out last time.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Charlie flips and flops to whatever he believes benefits him. He changes parties and stances in a blink of an eye. How you could ever want that sleeze ball back in office reeks of ignorance. They are both awful, but with Scott at least you know what you have. With Charlie he may change tunes tomorrow.

  6. rickg says:

    How this guy who should be serving time is our Governor is beyond me. Hell yes I’m voting for Charlie… Heck if they ran Daffy Duck I would select him over Scott any day. All you R’s out there I hope you enjoy bathing in the sleaze that is Rick Scott.

  7. m&m says:

    You people who support Slime Ball Crist are asking for four years of nothing.. We had that traitor once before don’t you remember?? If he’s in for the next four years it be a continuasion of I LOVE OBAMA and OBAMACARE.. That’s scary..

    • Nancy N says:

      If you think Crist is a “traitor” for changing parties when the party changed so much that it no longer was accepting of his ideals, you are blindly following a political party as a religion instead of having your own ideals. Try thinking for yourself for a change instead of just blindly thinking what party leaders tell you to think. Freedom to think for ourselves is a fundamental value this country was founded on. Try using it.

      You can wave Obamacare around as a boogieman all you want but to many of us it isn’t a terrifying thing at all. In fact, to people like me for whom it is literally a lifesaving program, the terrifying thought is that hate filled people like you who only care about yourselves will get their way and the program will go away.

      • Johnny Taxpayer says:

        Your comments are laughable. Just admit your dislike for Rick Scott is what’s driving your vote for Charlie Suntan…you will pretty much support anyone who’s name is Rick Scott. Please don’t expect us to be so gullible as to by the lie that “Charlie didn’t leave the GOP, the GOP left him”… He’s “evolved” and done a 180 on every major policy position he’s ever had, which is fine, I suppose, but just admit that! “Bill Clinton should resign”, “Bill Clinton is one of the greatest Americans ever”… which is it Charlie?

        I ask for the thousandth time, how do you know this version of Charlie Crist will stick?

  8. jadobi says:

    All the Republicans stood behind Crist when he was governor, now you’re against him. Who’s the traitor? The one who aligns themselves with their beliefs or the ones who deny he was any good before. Secondly, he was governor during the biggest national economic downturn since the Great Depression yet somehow he is to blame? Scott is against the working man, which is who the majority of us are. I hope the more progressive republicans will vote the crook out instead of voting for all the republicans. Heck, look at our Republican Sheriff.

  9. Derrick R. says:

    Any Gov. That can sign off on the death warrants of those deserving criminals as Scott has done (supposedly more than the two previous ones. Has my vote. While then author may post his view points . One must note the absence of factual evidence to support his view. If as is written Scott did commit fraud why was he not arrested, tried & convicted?. I recently saw a local broadcast news fact or fiction segment which highlighted the writers claims on two points cited, & wouldn’t ya know it rated them false. So I am confident in knowing this acticle contains a host of BS.

  10. Groot says:

    Yeah, Scott is probably worse than Crist but Obama is worse than Scott. So, for the first time in my 62 years I voted Republican. Now, if Hillary runs and I agree with her platform, I may flip back. But this time, Sorry Charlie, I voted Republican and I’ll keep doing it until someone represents my interests as well and not just the interests of the lower and under class and has a remote handle on foreign policy. .We all deserve better.

    • Jeff says:

      Don’t forget Scott CUT state employee’s paychecks when the pension system was already sustainable.
      I am glad I took down his campaign signs and threw them in the trash!

    • Nancy N says:

      You must be a one percenter because those are the only people whose interests Rick Scott represents – the interests of rich people like him and his cronies.

      You’re right – we all deserve better. The 99% of us deserve to have someone who looks after OUR interests instead of just the interests of his billionaire friends.

  11. Loyce Allen says:

    I am in agreement with this article 100% Let s all just say no to slime and sleeze by flushing SCOTT down the drain. Come on People, let s do this. a vote for him is a slight to you, healthcare, women s rights, voters rights, equal pay for women, education, the list goes on and on. say no! to SCOTT! Vote Crist for Governor!

  12. Diane Hartnett says:

    I applaud Charlie Crist for doing whatever it takes to seize an opportunity to make a difference! We need more candidates running for office based on trying to represent the general constituency, rather than the Political Party’s interests. That is part of what’s terribly WRONG with our nation. Elections seem to be a contest of ” Which Party holds the most power and money to win the race?”, not “Which candidate has proven loyalty to the people and the issues?”. Candidates should model themselves after Crist’s courageous exhibition of loyalty to the people, NOT to Party affiliation. I am registered Republican, but, if another candidate seems right for a particular office, you can bet I won’t just cowardly vote Party affiliation.

  13. Anonymous says:

    And I think some of the above comments speak for themselves. Some people are willing to vote for a known sleazeball with a criminal record to continue to be our Governor despite all the harm he’s already managed to do–just because they hate Obama (guess why.) Sort of like, I don’t like your shoes so I’m just going to shoot myself in the foot (again.)

  14. confidential says:

    Charlie got mine, my family and my friends vote!

  15. Al says:

    It is a no brainner, that most of you people vote for the lib….Palm Jersy! Can’t stand you know it all people!

  16. Carl says:

    I`m sorry but anyone that votes for Scott or any other member of the Republican party that is not filthy rich , is a fool , they should be charged with aiding and abetting in the fleecing of the United States of America and the vast majority of her people, your a traitor plain and simple ,either that or a complete Moron , might as well help someone rob your own house , write your atm code on your card and leave it by machine , that is the exact same stupidity as voting Republican if you are not rich.

  17. Carl says:

    Right on Nancy , my G/f would be dead if not for ACA, getting rid of the pre existing condition which Republicans were handsomely paid to keep in place for decades led to the Government shut down they had to re-coop the bribe money they lost when that loop hole went away .Why do you think they appealed it 55 times, and forget all the money they made , millions died without insurance, it was blood money , Bush started a war for it and Scott refused to expand medicaid for it….. they are SICK with Greed the whole racist party. How can anyone deny a baby born with an inherent decease medical treatment , Republicans can and have for decades, cancer patients , Aids patients , they are the scum of this earth and I only wish I could watch them all burn in hell one day!!

  18. Bruno says:

    Vote for RICK…..Give Charlie the “KICK” !!!!!

  19. Anonymous says:

    Amazing how the vitriol come from both the right and left. I don’t like either guy!!! But I voted for the one who IMO is not just in politics for his own good ya know that guy who ran as a R when he thought it was to HIS advantage as a independent when he thought it was to HIS advantage and now as D because he sees it as HIS advantage. Verry few politicians are in it just for you or I but this guy has shown its all about HIM.

  20. I/M/O says:

    For a Trial Lawyer to put up a campaign ad advising that his opponent took the 5th 75 times while knowing full well that a person cannot answer one question when invoking his/hers 5th Amendment Rights was simply one of the dirtiest campaign ads ever aired.

    Come on Charlie your a Trail Lawyer for pete’s sake. You know how the 5th Amendment Right works. Answer one question you have to answer all questions. You cannot pick and choose which question to invoke the 5th on.

  21. Shawn says:

    Well he won re-election so I guess you have to take the good with the bad. Sorry Charlie!!

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