The Boiling Resentment Behind The Foiled Plan To Kidnap Gov. Whitmer

Enlarge this image

People protest at the Capitol during a rally in Lansing, Mich., Wednesday, May 20, against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s stay-at-home order.

Paul Sancya/AP


hide caption

toggle caption

Paul Sancya/AP

Enlarge this image

Demonstrators carrying guns hold a rally in front of the Michigan Capitol to protest the governor’s stay-at-home order on May 14 in Lansing, Mich. Gov. Whitmer imposed the order to curtail the spread of COVID-19.

Scott Olson/Getty Images


hide caption

toggle caption

Scott Olson/Getty Images

Enlarge this image

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addresses the state during a speech Thursday in Lansing, Mich. Thirteen members of two militia groups face criminal charges after allegedly plotting to kidnap Whitmer.

AP


hide caption

toggle caption

AP

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addresses the state during a speech Thursday in Lansing, Mich. Thirteen members of two militia groups face criminal charges after allegedly plotting to kidnap Whitmer.

AP

«When our leaders meet with, encourage, or fraternize with domestic terrorists they legitimize their actions and they are complicit. When they stoke and contribute to hate speech, they are complicit.»

Trump fought back on Twitter that night saying Whitmer had done a terrible job handling the cornavirus and criticizing her for not thanking him for federal law enforecement’s role in thwarting the kidnapping plans.

And Republican Speaker of the state House of Representatives, Lee Chatfield, who briefly attended an April protest and mingled with protesters, responded in a statement Friday saying «we won’t overcome this by pointing fingers of or assigning blame» calling the alleged plan «evil» and urging «these terrorists should be prosecuted quickly.»

Whitmer’s ‘unchecked power’ undone

The resentment for Whitmer has been steadily fomenting in two spheres: one in the far-right groups and militias who frequent capitol protests and the other in the Republican majority of the state legislature.

Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey characterized Whitmer’s COVID-19 response as «one size fits all, heavy-handed, blunt force instrument of government.»

Shortly after a judge had heard and ruled on the side of Gov. Whitmer and her use of her executive powers that Republicans brought against her, Michigan began to reopen. Republicans appealed anyhow.

Then, late last week, Whitmer’s Republican critics in the state legislature got what they’d been waiting for since April — a ruling from the Michigan Supreme Court that upended her power.

In a 4-3 ruling, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled the 1945 law — the authority that underpinned the Governor’s hundreds of executive orders — was unconstitutional.

The court ruled that while «singular assertions of governmental authority» were sometimes necessary to respond to emergencies, and «the pandemic is clearly such an emergency» the governor did not have the right to continue to extend the state of emergency without additional authorization from the legislature.

In a video on Monday from the ceremonial office at the State Capitol, Gov. Whitmer addressed the ruling. Three days later, the alleged plot to kidnap her would be made public.

«The Supreme Court has spoken, and while I vehemently disagree with the ruling now it’s time for Republicans in the legislature to get to work and to start showing that they’re taking this crisis seriously,» said Whitmer.

The ruling cast uncertainty on the state of emergency, the statewide mask mandate, and crucial public health measures like limitations on the size of gatherings aimed at limiting the spread of the coronavirus.

That weekend, the Republican majority leader said he wouldn’t support a mask mandate and in an interview that the state should instead rely on «trusting people to do the right thing,» and that we should all learn «to live with this virus.»

This week the Director of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services stepped in with an emergency statewide order that mirrored some of the key COVID-19 precautions in the original executive orders like masks and limitations on gathering sizes, angering Republicans again.

Now public health officials across the state are preparing for a patchwork response with orders coming from statewide agencies and others from county health departments.

«I was stunned. I was shocked,» says Linda Vail, the Public Health Officer for Ingham County, home of the state capital. «Now it’s like, ‘What do we do to put back together all of the pieces that were in place to keep people safe and open the economy and all of those things?’ »

Vail says the attitude of some state Republicans that we need to learn to live with COVID-19 is naïve.

«What about the thousands of people in this state that died? They didn’t figure out a way to just live with it, did they? I mean you cannot just say ‘we need to learn to live with this.’ People are dying.»

For now, public health officials can make some stopgap measures but going forward it’s clear that Republican state lawmakers and Whitmer will be forced to work together on issues like unemployment benefits and renewing a state of emergency. The question is: Can they?

admin

Добавить комментарий