With state representatives like these, who needs enemies?
With nearly four days left in the Florida Legislature’s regular session, House Speaker Steve Crisafulli unexpectedly gathered up all his “Stand Firm” post-it notes, lobbyist business cards and ALEC issues briefings, then suddenly called the session quits and sent everybody home.
The political class in Tallahassee likes to call such adjournment of each year’s session by its traditional Latin name, Sine Die. But given the shocking way this went down, no such lofty labels are in order.
Republican conservative extremists led by Crisafulli flat out quit on the job. They refused to keep attending to the people’s business because they can’t solve healthcare expansion and budget standoffs with Senate colleagues.
Calling it Sine Die may make them feel better about it, a little linguistic self-affirmation that they’re still “playing by the rules.” But Live & Let Die is a much more accurate way to describe the message behind their madness.
The underlying message to any and all who dare question or quarrel with their unyielding extremism in opposing Florida healthcare expansion?
“Screw other conservative and moderate Republican legislators in the Senate whose top priority is to get all Floridians covered by health insurance, rather than help the House undermine the Affordable Care Act that millions of Floridians already depend on for so much – but still condone seeing attacked if it’s called Obamacare.
“Screw all you middle-class folks who’ve been paying billions in hidden healthcare taxes to help cover the cost of uncompensated emergency room care for nearly a million uninsured people in Florida. You never heard of ‘paying it forward?’
“Screw all you uninsured people too, you and your undetected diseases and out-of-control conditions that cost the rest of us so much once you drag yourselves to emergency rooms. Stop praying Obamacare will screen for, prevent, treat and manage your illnesses. Take some personal responsibility.
“Screw all you big-shots, all you big government, big business, big insurance, big healthcare, big religion, big media and other assorted big-shots who’ve joined forces to coerce us into expanding healthcare and saving three to six lives a day, saving taxpayers billions, creating thousands of new jobs and dynamic new economic growth. We don’t need Obamacare to do all that, not when we’ve got Gov. Rick Scott, a bona fide healthcare expert with years of experience in private sector healthcare solutions.
“And screw all you people who think the Koch brothers and ALEC are behind our obstructionist tactics. This is just good old-fashioned hardball politics we’re playing. And it’s music to the ears of our supporters, all the good, hard-working, church-going people who don’t ask for handouts, just for us to keep fighting off those dark forces and entitlement-seeking wolves at their doors.
“Most of all, screw all you good, hard-working, church-going people who don’t ask for handouts, but do keep asking why it’s so hard to ‘get ahead’ in Florida. Whether you be Republicans or independents, you ought to know we have to look out for ‘job creators’ first and foremost – um, unless they’re in the healthcare industry – and then take care of y’all by giving you your hard-earned money back with what we like to call ‘tax cuts.’ You know, 25 bucks a year off on auto tag fees, 45 off on cable TV and cell phone fees, real money going back in your pockets, it all adds up!”
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, there you have it, submitted for your approval or disapproval, your Florida House of Representatives.
So what are you going to do about it?
Daniel Tilson has a Boca Raton-based communications firm called Full Cup Media, specializing in online video and written content for non-profits, political candidates and organizations, and small businesses. Column courtesy of Context Florida.