Flexing unearned influence has exposed the thirst for control of their citizens.
In Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf caught a whiff of his constituents working up the desire to step out and start living their lives once again. The idea of citizens exerting their freedoms and basking in the normalcy of liberty was too much for him to stand. On Monday he sent out a tweet storm, delivering a series of firm commands of how he intends to clamp down on those who might dare get the idea of doing things.
‘’Today I am announcing consequences for counties that do not abide by the law to remain closed,’’ said the Wolf cub in his opening salvo, the concept of federalism trickling down to the local level becoming an insult to him. He threatened to cut off non-compliant counties from federal relief aid if they dared defy his executive order and grant the voters the choice to decide for their own lives and livelihoods. He then extended his punitive promises further.
He went on to threaten businesses that might open in defiance of his iron-fisted decree, telling them they could be cited, they might see their liability insurance threatened, and bars and restaurants might end up with their liquor licenses revoked. As threats go, Wolf could see this becoming a rather neutered one; if an establishment is facing foreclosure all together then running the risk of the governor’s tantrum-like wrath could be one worth taking.
This governor, as we know, is hardly alone, as the petulant Pennsylvania tyrant is part of a widespread mob of Democratic governors who have been intoxicated by the sudden discovery of power they can impose on the citizenry. Wolf does this with the comfort of no reprisals, as he is in the final stretch of a term limit regime -- he is operating comfortably with a lame-duck Napoleanic complex. Others, however, may have a reckoning ahead, and the wider Democratic party repercussions could be felt later this year.
In Michigan, Gretchen Whitmer has attempted to parlay her oppressive dictates into becoming a vice-presidential contender. She has gone so far as to extend her stay-at-home orders another month in a state with mounting anger towards being kept from their businesses, with a legislature fighting back at her power grab. Whitmer, like so many of her Democrat demagogues, is freely imposing rules which have no bearing on public safety.
Gretchen has been bolstered by a fawning press corps, operating under the belief that her tactics are warmly received. She initially was combative with President Trump over relief aid supposedly denied to her state only to have it revealed that her office had failed to fill out the basic paperwork to apply for FEMA aid. She has forced most businesses closed, and even went so far as to mandate that those stores remaining open had to limit what items were available for sale. The locals are becoming fed up.
Protests have been staged at the state capitol already, and the pushback in her state is growing. She thinks that it is a strong move to go after a local business that is defying her executive order, but the local law enforcement divisions are resisting the command to shut him down. It has not occurred to Whitmer that in a state where the people want to return to life, the optics of her bringing the force of government down on a 77-year-old barber are not a good look for her. A judge also thought so, overruling the governor’s order to close his shop down.
Her neighbor Wisconsin is also seeing legal opposition to an oppressive governor. Governor Tony Evers saw himself getting swatted on the snout by the state Supreme Court when it ruled that his extension of the stay-at-home order for another month needed to be overturned. Evers was full of hysterical bromides as a result, proclaiming everything was being thrown into ‘’chaos’’, and declaring of his state - ‘’It’s the wild west’’. His summation at the power that was stripped from him was that ‘’It’s a bad day for Wisconsin’’, but the citizens seemed to disagree. Within hours of the ruling bars and restaurants were flung open, and they saw themselves packed with residents.
Other states have had a tougher go of it with dictatorial leaders. Maine Gov. Janet Mills stripped the business license of a restaurant that defied her order to keep businesses closed -- until June. In Colorado Gov. Jared Polis came down on the restaurant that dared to open on Mother’s Day, to national attention, closing it down in the name of science. In every case, the establishments opened to packed crowds, filled with people willing to be in these businesses while these Democrats invoked death and doom as a promised result. To get a real feel of the tide shifting we only need to look to the west.
In California, where cowing to idiotic political mandates is considered good manners, even there we are seeing a fed-up citizenry. Beach closures have been met with protesting crowds, and skateboard parks that were moronically filled in with sand were converted into dirt bike tracks by the area youths. And more than a small shop owner, automaker Elon Musk has come out and defied the business closure, all but daring the authorities to come and arrest him. Instead, they backed off.
These Democrats resorted to the short-sightedness of their temporary power grabs. They could exert their influence and peacock around with inflated importance as the press was busy castigating GOP leaders who took less authoritarian approaches. The risk they do not see is that more than a bothered constituency inside their state borders is the result. Tens of millions are out of work, unknown millions more are under varying degrees of duress, and most are eager to move forward with our lives once again.
Those frustrated by this crisis are made more so by these political opportunists, and it is something of a revelation. It has been a common refrain that this shutdown and its removal of liberties by the government has opened the eyes of many to the negative impact of too much government. Now factor in that those newly skeptical minds are seeing this overreach consistently from the same party, it will register in their minds come November.