In case your familiarity with initialisms is limited to the most used ones (WTF, BTW, TTYL, TYVM), let me start this post by explaining that SHTF stands for “shit hits the fan.”
I don’t like to curse, even in writing. But what kind of blogger would I be if I don’t explain rarely used terms? At least in my experience, people don’t usually say “the S is going to H T F.” Right?
Frankly, I would have preferred to entitle this post “When The S#!t Hits The Fan.” That way, I wouldn’t have had to start this post by cursing. But, it would have posed a problem for this post’s permalink and Twitter due to the hashtag.
But, as usual, I digress. Let’s talk about the Florida gubernatorial debate between Governor Charlie Crist (Florida’s Republican Governor from 2007 to 2011, now turned Democrat) and Governor Rick Scott (Florida’s current Governor), last night. Actually, let’s just talk about the first seven minutes, the time that it took Scott to decide that he was going to debate Crist after all, fan be damned.
If you’re not yet familiar with the story, here’s a recap:
Florida Gov. Rick Scott refused to go onstage for the first seven minutes of a debate Thursday night, because his opponent had a fan.
No, not a rowdy supporter in the audience. An actual electric fan.
Scott’s Democratic challenger, former Gov. Charlie Crist, had set up a small fan underneath his podium, apparently trying to keep himself from sweating under the Broward College stage’s lights. Scott saw the fan, a prop that often accompanies Crist at public appearances, as a violation of the debate’s rules and said he wouldn’t participate. [CNN]
Even with my aversion to cursing, I realize that sometimes it is the most pertinent and powerful way to bring a point across. For example, I like to say that Florida is the penis-shaped state that attracts all the [extreme, right-wing] dicks—and there’s no bigger dick than Scott (except perhaps former FL Republican Rep. Allen West). I usually excuse my use of “dick” (to myself) since it’s a nickname for Richard (come to think of it, Dick fits Scott so much better than Rick). But if I can put my puritanical upbringing aside and call Scott a dick, then for the sake of this post it’s actually better that I call him a shit.
It’s not just me who thinks this way about Scott, it’s millions of Floridians. Yet no one has expressed our disdain better than a Tampa Bay editorial, posted on February 28 of this year, entitled If Gov. Rick Scott Only Had A Heart. The editorial begins,
This time four years ago Rick Scott was a stranger to Floridians. Then he spent $73 million on his first political campaign and rode an angry voter wave to the Governor’s Mansion. For Florida, this has been a hostile takeover by the former CEO of the nation’s largest hospital chain. In three years 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. One more legislative session and a $100 million re-election campaign will not undo the damage.
By the way, that hospital chain mentioned above paid a record fine in Medicare fraud. Yet, here he is holding Florida’s highest office.
Now, tell me. How can the Governor of a state refuse to come out to the podium to debate his opponent because of an electric fan? Not that I’m one to justify him, but I think that he was upset on many levels: 1. He didn’t have a fan himself. 2. He didn’t have the forethought to have one installed considering the usual, bright lights found on a stage. 3. He’s jealous that Crist has a full head of hair, and that he’s completely bald. In any case, he may have committed the biggest political mistake of his life which now everyone knows as #FanGate.
Personally, I’m thrilled with this story. It shows just how petty Scott can be. But, even more interestingly, should Scott lose the election, we now have a real-life example of what happens when the SHTF.