WASHINGTON — A key Republican senator this week called on President Joe Biden to resign, something that once was done scarcely. But Sen. Rick Scott has no regrets.
The gloves are already off with six months to go before the midterm elections.
There was a time when a member of Senate leadership saying a sitting commander in chief is unfit for office would have been a big deal. Such calls were saved for times of war or impeachment or scandal. No more.
In a telling sign about the country’s deeply divided politics, the Florida Republican’s remark was mostly an afterthought in the age of Twitter and prime-time cable programming. Both are avenues for all sorts of bombastic statements. Both have made us collectively numb.
“In the private sector, when you have a CEO that doesn’t have the ability to deal with something, they resign. They go and do something else. Joe Biden ought to do the exact same thing,” Scott told reporters Tuesday.
For those who might have forgotten, Scott has some experience here, resigning in 1997 as CEO of Columbia/HCA hospital group. After his departure, as PolitFact puts it, “the hospital company was fined $1.7 billion for Medicare fraud.”
With the Senate moving toward a Wednesday procedural vote on a Democratic-crafted measure that would have codified abortion rights and the landmark decision Roe v. Wade expected to be overturned in a few weeks, the former governor’s remark was just another paragraph in most news articles.
But in another period, it would have landed with more of a thud. Consider that Scott is no average freshman senator. He is a successful former governor of a state with one of the country’s most robust economies. He is a member of the Senate GOP leadership team. And he is the National Republican Senatorial Committee chair.
Scott is also not the sort to harbor many regrets.
“No,” Scott said Thursday when asked by CQ Roll Call if he called for Biden to step down lightly, before ticking off his gripes with the 46th president’s performance on matters like record inflation and high gas prices.