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The other day I wrote two post on the same day, one that went like this:
If you were a potential candidate running for office in one of two districts, and District A had a middle-class incumbent and District B had a rich incumbent, you might be more inclined to run in District A. And I think you’d be right. But probably for the wrong reasons…[rich pols are] in politics strictly for the game. And because all their upside is on staying in office, they might fight a lot harder and a lot nastier to stay in office.
Unsurprisingly, many GOP governors have chosen the latter path, especially those who might be running for re-election, even those who were conservative darlings before hand. So instead of just one big Dolchstoss from Roberts, we now have a running clown car of conservative Dolchstosses across America and a big juicy political target for Democrats.
Yet I did not sum one and one to compute the mythical “two” until Dave Weigel wrote this:
When Florida Gov. Rick Scott buckled and said he’d support Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion, I urged caution, because the GOP-run state legislature would get a say on this. It could always reject the expansion “and make Scott seem—for the first time in recorded history—like a centrist” as he faces a 2014 re-election campaign…Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker also preside over reasonably-safe Republican legislatures, which might have blocked expansion anyway.
Tom Corbett and Scott Walker come from not-uncomfortable middle-to-upper-middle-class-itude; but Rick Scott has a personal net worth in the nine figures and that’s after he blew eight figures seizing Florida. So think about it this way – if Corbett and Walker get re-elected they’re Presidential candidates; if not they’re sitting pretty on wingnut welfare or corporate boards and getting rich. Rick Scott is already rich, and probably doesn’t care about running for President. He wants to stay in the statehouse and is willing to buck his own party strategically to do it.
Obviously this isn’t a deterministic or even primary factor, but I think we forget too often that politicians are people and are looking forward to their own possibility trees.
You may recall, oh those many moons ago, when Chief Justice John Roberts decided that basic economics (not to mention basic decency) could inform jurisprudence after all and therefore PPACA could stick around, making him Dolchstoss-er of the decade as far as the conservative movement was concerned.
You may also recall that, in order to throw said conservative movement a bone, Roberts led the SCOTUS into tossing out the stick in the enticement mechanisms for the Medicaid expansion, meaning governors suddenly had a lot less negative incentive to accept the giant wad of federal money.
However, the law of unintended consequences seems to have fully kicked-in – rather than be any kind of political win for conservatives, empowering governors to make this decision has been totally miserable. When governors didn’t have a choice, they didn’t have a choice – but now that they actually have to choose, they are faced with refusing the money, which is irresonsible bordering on evil, or taking it and therefore inviting the federal vampire into their home. Unsurprisingly, many GOP governors have chosen the latter path, especially those who might be running for re-election, even those who were conservative darlings before hand.
So instead of just one big Dolchstoss from Roberts, we now have a running clown car of conservative Dolchstosses across America and a big juicy political target for Democrats.
Well done, your honor!