Charlie Crist, Troll

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So in case you missed it last night, at the beginning of the Charlie Crist/Rick Scott debate, one of the most bizarre moments in recent political history unfolded when Florida Governor Rick Scott refused to take the stage because of controversy over a fan. Here is video of Fangate in all its cringing, awkward glory:

Let’s just acknowledge the blindingly obvious right off the bat: Rick Scott comes off looking terrible in this clip. In terms of the instant political theater, this was a major coup for Orange Charlie and you could argue a huge blunder by Scott.

But on the other hand, if you look at this about one very thin layer deeper, it’s obvious that Charlie Crist was playing the petty troll in this scenario. By the admission of all the moderators present, the rules did prevent the fan that Crist was using. These things are hammered out in extreme and excruciating detail by advance committees weeks and months in advance.

So it’s very easy to on the one hand say, “That idiot Rick Scott, obviously the debate is much more important, why didn’t he just ignore the fan and come out there and debate?” And indeed that was exactly Charlie Crist’s doe-eyed, “who me?” position on the matter.

But why isn’t it equally facially obvious that if it was so important for Charlie Crist to have a debate on the substance, why didn’t he just agree to ditch the stupid fan for the sake of the debate going on? Does the groin area of Charlie Crist really run so hot that he simply cannot be expected to stand behind a podium for an hour and a half without a fan to blow a cool breeze upon it? Never at any point during this sad debacle did Crist offer, either publicly or privately, to say, “Fine, if the stupid fan is that big of an issue, we’ll remove it and let’s have a debate,” which seems to be a relevant consideration since by the admission of all present, that’s exactly what the rules of the debate required.

It’s a trick so cheap and transparent that it’s no surprise to see Charlie Crist to be the first to successfully pull it off – a last minute flagrant violation of agreed upon rules on a point of seeming triviliality combined with refusal to comply with the rules when the violation is pointed out and daring …read more    

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