It's yet another one of those fine moments in the Scott administration's sordid history, which shows once again just how clueless this governor can be.
Despite the fact that it was passed unanimously by the House and Senate, riddled as they are with Tea Party favorites; despite the fact that it was favored by the Florida Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association, Scott vetoed a bill that would have required extra security measures at convenience stores, especially during those critical early morning hours when robberies were most frequent.
His clueless excuse for this veto: It increased regulations and would slow job growth. Really.
Well, now, wait a moment, I think I understand the point about slowing job growth. You see, in Scott's miserly personal economy, minimal-wage peons like convenience store clerks are expendable sawdust. What he means is, if convenience stores have extra security, then we won't have as much risk of these clerks being shot and killed in robberies. Which means we won't have a chance for someone else to have a job when they take their place behind the counter.
I believe that's a sort of grim humor of the type Alan Grayson used when he said the Republican health care plan was: "Don't get sick, but if you do, die quickly." The more literal truth is more likely that Scott is so indifferent to the health and safety of others in the service of his agenda that he simply doesn't care about the impact of his decisions.
This veto reminded me of a much earlier story in which Scott said he was proud of every job he allegedly brought to Florida, even if they were something Mike Rowe would be too hesitant to touch. The thematic comment by Scott came right here:
Critics fault Scott for his enthusiasm for low-wage, service-sector
jobs. But he brags about them. In Jacksonville, he trumpeted the
7-Eleven convenience store chain's plans to hire up to 800 workers at
"Who didn't grow up wanting a Slurpee?" Scott said. "Thank goodness for 7-Eleven."
That comment seems innocuous enough, but let's think about it for a moment. Scott's pride in bringing such jobs here wasn't expressed by the rate of pay they provided, or the ability they provided to assist the economy, or by the quality of the job. It was rooted in some vague memory of his own pleasure in downing frozen sugar water. He doesn't care about the people who have those jobs. He only cares about how they can serve his childish whims.
How was this man re-elected? I imagine it was by people with the same childish view of the world -- and the same perception that the rest of us are merely peons here to serve their whims, not human beings with lives of our own. And if a few of us get killed the process....well, it's just as Dickens put it a century and a half ago:
"If they would rather die," said Scrooge, "they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population."
Grayson wasn't the first to come up with that line to represent Tea Party ideology.