With our exile over and the restrictions finally lifted, we decided Monday morning to go for a drive. So, bright and early, the three of us headed out to the golf course. Don’t laugh. Major’s nose can whack a ball at least 350 yards. But we were in for a rude awakening when we arrived. No threesomes, they said. Well, we saw red. That’s … that’s … ’scrimination, we sputtered. They kicked us out anyway. And if you ever come back — they were laughing so hard they could barely get the words out — May the Fourth be with you.
These days, everybody’s a comedian.
Speaking of red, did you know the coronavirus is a hard-core Republican? As bright red as they come. Even a box of rocks would get its vote, provided there was an R next to it. But it’s also a dyed-in-the-wool Democrat. Bluer than blue. Voting for week-old road kill as long as a D was beside it. Just kidding, of course. There’s nothing partisan about COVID-19. Trump supporters and Biden backers are equally at risk. Equally susceptible. But giving the pandemic a whuppin’ it won’t forget? That’s blatantly political. The Michigan legislative majority says so. And they’re never wrong.
That’s why voters put them in charge.
Lawmakers have had plenty to say about Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s response to the pandemic, and gratitude’s not exactly been part of their vocabulary. Her executive orders, they complain, are too draconian. Too long-lasting. A cure that’s worse than the disease. None of it terribly surprising. Boundaries always lead to ruffled feathers. There was only one little problem.
Most people weren’t buying it.
So majority legislators a week ago turned to one of the oldest ploys in the book — the art of deflection. And wagged the finger of shame at the governor while accusing her of acting like the pandemic was a political issue. Hoping to distract folks from the political hijinks they were up to. And with a wave of their magic wand, they devised legislation to eliminate those onerous restrictions within just a few weeks, re-engage the economy, and ensure everyone would live long and prosper. Except for one thing.
It was all a farce.
Even if Gov. Whitmer had signed it — she wasn’t going to, but let’s pretend she did — none of it would have taken effect until April. Of 2021. And every lawmaker knew it. Meaning the whole thing was a waste of time. A pointless game of political gotcha. But it didn’t stop there.
What galls them more than anything is a 1945 law allowing the governor — any governor — to declare a state of emergency of unlimited duration without the Legislature’s by-your-leave. Never mind that it was passed by a more Republican-dominated House and Senate than exist in the current Legislature. Or that it was signed by a Republican governor. They never expected anyone would actually dare invoke its authority. That someone did clearly makes it unconstitutional.
Because lawmakers think they’re entitled to drive the bus, too.
Despite authorizing a court challenge last week, they didn’t file until Wednesday. But now, there’s a new No. 1 priority in town, Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey says. Repealing that troublesome emergency powers act through a citizens initiative the governor would be powerless to veto. Nothing political about that.
Nothing at all.
Battling COVID-19, flattening curves, safely re-opening the state for business, and resolving a $3 billion budget shortfall? Inconsequential and irrelevant. Broken hearts and tear-filled platitudes ring hollow when the real agenda’s a Blondie-inspired retribution.
One way or another, I’m gonna gitcha, gitcha, gitcha.
Will anybody remember come election time?
Talk Back with Doug Spade and Mike Clement is heard every Saturday morning from 9 a.m. to noon Eastern Time on WABJ, 1490 AM, Adrian, and online at www.dougspade.com and www.lenconnect.com.