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Diane Roberts: Florida’s presidential hopefuls a bumper crop of crazy

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No fewer than four of the 2016 Republican candidates for president claim domicile in Florida. Five, if you count Donald Trump – and the head pelt-sporting Birther would hate not to be counted. Even if he’s not really running, just promoting his new book.

First there’s Jeb Bush, Miami resident, former governor, brother of the more famous (and far stupider) George W., fundraising juggernaut, part-time “Hispanic,” the “moderate” supposedly beloved of the Republican establishment.

Over the weekend, Jeb gave the commencement speech at Liberty University, the college founded by Jerry Falwell, burnishing his evangelical bona fides. He ignored the tricky subjects of immigration (after all, his children are “little brown ones”), gay marriage, and his own Catholicism, pushing his anti-choice record and lighting into Obama’s “intolerance” of Christians.

Jeb’s audience not only heard the whistle, they all got up on their hind legs and wagged their tails. He needs the votes of people who’ve talked themselves into the proposition that white Jesus people are America’s most oppressed minority.

Yet many of the white Jesus people prefer Marco Rubio or Mike Huckabee. Can it be the Iraq war? Jeb’s not only claimed that his brother is his adviser on foreign affairs, he says he, too, would have invaded Iraq.

Actually, Jeb would have invaded Iraq in the 1990s, back when he joined the neocon fraternity, the Project for a New American Century. Dick Cheney was chapter president, Paul Wolfowitz was social chairman and Donald Rumsfeld was pledge trainer.

Speaking of bottled water, Marcocito, Jeb’s one time protégé, former holder of Jeb’s ninja sword (not a metaphor, though it sounds like one) thinks the U.S. needs to get back into Iraq. We should never have left. Never mind those exhausted soldiers and the lack of a Status-of-Forces agreement to project them. We’re America, damn it!

Cuba, though, is another animal. A bad, bad animal who needs punishing. When Obama took Cuba off the “terror” list, Marcocito pitched him a hissy fit.

His family fled Cuba – OK, they didn’t flee exactly, they just kind of left. Before Castro. Before communism. We’d call them “economic migrants” if we’re feeling kind. Or “illegals” if we’re feeling Republican.

Marcocito is not a communist. Nor is he a scientist, as he keeps reminding us. Yet he’s confident that if global climate change exists – which is probably does – it’s not caused by humans. He’s not a scientist, but he’s sure of this, never mind the salt water in South Florida’s municipal wells and Biscayne Bay’s splashing over the road at high tide. Hey, what’s a little damp and discomfort compared to Holy Capitalism?

He’s not a professor, either, though he impersonates one at Florida International University, teaching an alleged class on alleged political science. He has no academic credentials, but he’s got something better: a pet billionaire called Norman Braman, who has not only bankrolled much of his salary, but is planning on chunking an obscene amount of cash at Rubio’s Super PAC.

And while we’re on the subject of people who have been to college but seem to have missed a few courses, how ’bout that Dr. Ben Carson! The renowned neurosurgeon is now a Floridian, having flounced out of Maryland. Too many taxes; too many Democrats; too few utter lunatics.

Some while back, it dawned on Carson that Fox News is always delighted to hear from a black man who will call President Barack Obama a “psychopath,” claim the Affordable Care Act is “the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery” and thinks homosexuality must be a lifestyle choice “because a lot of people who go into prison go into prison straight – and when they come out, they’re gay.”

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, weight loss guru, seller of diabetes snake oil and friend of patriotic animal-shooter and jailbait aficionado Ted Nugent, agrees being gay is just like swearing and drinking – a bad thing sinful people decide to do.

Just like Huckabee decided to build a $3 million Gulf of Mexico mansion in Walton County, right on the beach. The supposedly-protected beach, you know, with supposedly-protected dunes.

Ah, but we all know that the Department of Environmental Prostitution’s permitting “rules” can be bent or even rubbed out for those who have, er, influence.

So there’s the Other Man from Hope, Arkansas, sitting on his porch, sharpening his argument that Beyoncé (married to the father of her child) is a Harlot Destroying America, what with all that gyrating and such, while Ted Nugent (father of at least eight children, some actually legitimate), who once adopted a 17 year-old for, ahem, carnal reasons and who sings about making “the pussy purr with the stroke of my hand” is a patriot who happens to love the felines, as he prepares to vie with his fellow Sunshine Staters for votes.

Are you proud, Florida? Or just a tad suicidal?

Diane Roberts teaches at Florida State University. 

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