Rick Scott Out of Step, Killing Time on Fox

AP Manuel Baice Ceneta

“You’re Out of Touch”Florida GOP Sen. Rick Scott is as out of touch a guy as one sees in politics. Neither MAGA nor insurrectionary, Scott’s not particularly connected to the religious right, not particularly embedded with the corporate sector, and completely on the outs with Establishment Republicans after challenging Mitch McConnell. Rumor has it that Scott wants to run for President but that puts Scott on the long list of Republicans who want to be President but have no chance because they have no popular base. Scott made a ton of money in the hospital sector, bought his way into Florida politics, and has served both as governor and senator. However, he’s still pretty much just a rich guy who bought his way into politics.

Rather like Wisconsin GOP Sen. Ron Johnson who’s at least had the honesty to admit that “I don’t feel like my time here has been particularly successful.”

Back to the Future. What’s interesting about Rick Scott is that he’s like so many white conservatives in wanting to relitigate the New Deal and Great Society as well as ObamaCare and the Biden agenda. In the “11-Point Plan to Rescue America” Scott presented as chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, he proposed to raise taxes on 57% of Americans and kill Social Security and Medicare by subjecting them to reauthorization every five years. Needless to say, President Biden and the Democrats rejected the idea but GOP leader Mitch McConnell was just as emphatic: “We {Senate Republicans} will not have as part of our agenda a bill that raises taxes on half the American people, and sunsets Social Security and Medicare within five years.” Weakening or ending Social Security and Medicare are extremely unpopular ideas and just as unpopular now as when the George W. Bush proposed weakening Social Security in 2005 after his re-election. But Republicans like Rick Scott are just as determined to kill these popular social insurance plans as the religious right was to overturn Roe v Wade.

Of course, Scott’s been walking back his Social Security and Medicare proposals ever since he made them and here he is walking them back again on Fox News yesterday.

Fox News

National Treasure. It’s important to remember that Social Security was signed into law on Aug. 13, 1835 and is almost a century old now. It’s a tradition, and a treasured tradition at that, but it’s a tradition with which conservatives have never identified and the extended existence and success of Social Security continues to bother, alienate, and anger them. In the case of Rick Scott from Florida, it bothers him so much that he was willing to lose his position in Senate GOP leadership over a sure political loser. Sure, Scott is still in the Senate and likely to win re-election in 2024. But he’s also a kind of dead man walking around to giving impromptu interviews to Fox News where he talks about another political non-starter–balancing the budget.

People under-estimate the extent to which the anger and alienation of white conservatives has grown over a century of expanding liberal and civil rights traditions.

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