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Was New Mexico Governor’s Failure Just a Trial Balloon?

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
AP Photo/Andres Leighton

Most of the country couldn’t have picked New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham out of a line-up a few short weeks ago. Despite being such a devoted Joe Biden supporter that she was on the short list for vice president in 2020, many outside her home state had no idea just how tyrannical she could be.


Then she attacked the Constitution and people took notice.

For New Mexicans, this conduct is nothing new. The governor has trampled our rights without thinking twice regarding Covid and now guns. Next on her list is perhaps the most dastardly “emergency” of all: climate, and its ramifications are enormous.

As we all recover from the collective relief of Governor Lujan Grisham getting humiliated by a federal judge, it’s worth revisiting how we arrived at this moment in time. The public health emergency declaration is supposed to be used sparingly, but even with her party having super-majorities in both chambers of the state legislature, Lujan Grisham signed an un-imaginable 76 such orders since March 2020, or nearly two every month.

It’s difficult to describe the enormous failure of her leadership during Covid. Some of the lowlights include the elderly standing outside stores for hours just to get food because of her public health orders. At the same time, Lujan Grisham was using a staff member to run to the store and purchase alcohol and gourmet beef on her behalf. Even with all the public health orders, New Mexico still suffered the fifth highest Covid death rate in the country.

Things got so bad that the legislature brought bills to rein her in, but ironically, Lujan Grisham used her power to stop them. 

Then there’s crime. Since taking office more than four years ago, the Governor has signed a slew of bills attacking the 2nd Amendment and even told the state’s sheriffs to enforce her laws or resign. The question that is not being asked but should be top of mind: Doesn’t the fact she had to declare an emergency over crime prove each one of her bills is a glaring failure? Last year, New Mexico had the second-highest rate of violent crime in the nation.


Unfortunately, the left’s obsession with emergency orders doesn’t just apply to their failure on crime.

Just last month, Albuquerque-area Congresswoman Melanie Stansbury publicly declared, “The climate crisis is here. We need to declare a climate emergency NOW.” Lost in the sea of backlash Governor Lujan Grisham faced for her gun order is how environmental groups are now turning up the pressure on her to do more for their cause. From taking out digital ads, to producing insomnia-curing reports, New Mexico’s environmental community is demanding more from Lujan Grisham. Sadly, she only has one tool in the box.

Since the Governor now sees that declaring a power-grabbing public health emergency is the answer to everything, what might she do to pacify the one group of constituents who will still talk to her? 

Say it with me: a public health order for the climate. Sadly, the stars line up for it. And New Mexico is not alone.

Environmental activists are clogging the streets demanding President Biden declare an emergency for the climate. We are already witnessing members of Congress who are calling for it as well.

Unlike the failed gun health order, the climate emergency will not get abandoned in short order. To make matters worse, there is nothing like the 2nd amendment protecting us from draconian orders on climate from thin-skinned leaders facing falling polling numbers in need of redemption. 

Governor Lujan Grisham will want to be re-invited to those elite parties hoping they will look past the biggest political blunder of her career. What better way than to be the first to declare a climate emergency as a steppingstone back to Biden ally in good standing? 


Rest assured, if Lujan Grisham returns to the public health emergency well, the eyes of the White House will be upon her. After all, she’s not the only executive with sagging polling who could use an “emergency” to distract us.

Larry Behrens is the Communications Director for Power The Future and is the author of the new book, “Sabotage: How Joe Biden Surrendered American Energy Independence.” He’s also appeared on Fox News, Newsmax and One America News. You can find him on Twitter at @larrybehrens or email at larry@powerthefuture.com.

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