Issues & Insights

Governors We’d Like To See Recalled For Their Pandemic Responses

I&I Editorial

Few living Americans have ever seen the troubles we’re going through now. We’re not at war, nor are we enduring the moral equivalent of war. But we’re in a struggle. And for many, it’s been made worse by governors who have gone too far.

Gretchen Whitmer, the Democrat who thinks she runs, rather than serves, Michigan, might be the worse of the lot.

“She has,” say Andrew Fillat and Henry Miller, both regular I&I contributors, “exhibited a stunning dumbness that, even among politicians, is extraordinary.”

Her “decrees in the name of mitigating the spread of COVID-19 have been both bizarre and counterproductive, lacking common sense or any sort of scientific basis and eliciting widespread mistrust of her judgment,” they wrote last week in American Greatness.

Whitmer has treated the people of Michigan as if they are subjects rather than a free people. This is the politician who required stores to rope off non-grocery sections of their sales spaces, in effect banning “the sale of baby car seats, seeds, gardening tools and other supplies”; ordered “arguably the country’s most draconian and nonsensical provisions”; forbade Michiganders who have more than one home from traveling between their residences; has said she alone “has the right to decide when the state is in a state of emergency and when it is not”; ignored duly passed legislation that denied her request to extend her declared state of emergency; and has regarded protesters as misbehaving children rather than people who feel suffocated by her power grab.

Much of the resentment toward Whitmer, considered a possible pick as Joe Biden’s running mate, is based on her “one-size-fits-all approach – which,” says Hillsdale College professor Paul A. Rahe writing in Ricochet, “makes little sense given the fact that the epidemic has had no effect or next to no effect in many parts of the state.”

Whitmer’s counterpart in California has tapped into the authoritarian that simmers just beneath the surface of nearly every Democrat in the nation. When Gov. Gavin Newsom issued his stay-at-home order in March, the Los Angeles Times called it “an unprecedented action in modern California history.” At times, it’s seemed he can hardly contain the raw pleasure he’s taking in ordering the lives of the masses.

Since shutting down the state, Newsom floated reopening plans that included benchmarks so vague that they are almost meaningless. The ambiguity allows him to extend the process as long as he sees fit. It’s open-ended. That’s why Californians can read satirical headlines such as this one – “Governor Unveils Innovative 37-Step Plan To Reopen State Over The Next 10 Years” – and have a momentary panic attack because it seems like it could be real news.

Last week, Newsom brawled with Orange County, where residents had been enjoying their beaches in the Southern California spring weather. He disapproved and ordered all beaches in the county to be closed, even though police report “beachgoers (are) mostly keeping social distance.” A day later, he said “if we can hold the line and continue to do good work and just avoid the temptation to get back and congregate with people in ways where we can see an increase in the spread, we’ll get there much sooner than many people perhaps think.”

The statement was pure condescension. It was like a parent saying “if you kids behave and don’t go to the beach for just a few more days, you’ll be rewarded with a treat.”

To counter Newsom’s beach closure, the Huntington Beach City Council voted 5-2 to “to direct the City Attorney to pursue any and all legal actions” to challenge the directive, while the Dana Point City Council voted 4-1 “to seek a temporary restraining order blocking the order,” The Hill reported.

Also last week, Newsom issued a list of activities that will no longer be outlawed. It quickly drew derision. The Daily Wire reported that some of the newly permitted activities “raised more than a few eyebrows on social media for either being so specific or painstakingly obvious, such as the suggestion for people to avoid gardening in groups or giving permission for people to wash the car.”

“Good news, California! We’re allowed to watch sunsets!” tweeted Buzz Patterson, a Republican candidate in the state’s 7th congressional district, after the list was released.

Erin Cruz, another Republican running in California for the U.S. House, tweeted “Big Daddy #thugboy decided to ease your restriction. Be good little boys and girls.” 

A few others who qualify for dishonorable mention include:

  • Virginia Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam, who wouldn’t let 10 people flock together for church while at the same time allowing the entire General Assembly to gather to go over budget issues. The Justice Department intervened on the side of a church suing the state, saying “there is no pandemic exception to the Constitution and its Bill of Rights.”
  • Democratic Gov. Kate Brown of Oregon — a state virtually untouched by the outbreak — who late last week extended her stay-at-home order until July 6, beating Gov. Northam, who up until then had the distinction of imposing the longest lockdown in the country.
  • Pennsylvania Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf, whose administration set up a “snitch portal” to field complaints about businesses during the lockdown.
  • Andrew Cuomo, New York’s Democratic governor, who, says PJMedia, “had the worst response to the crisis of any governor in America.” He’s been “panicky, sometimes hysterical.”

The New York Post reported that former New York Gov. George Pataki, a Republican, said Cuomo’s nursing home policies have been “a disaster” during the pandemic.

“Thousands of people’s lives might not have been lost except for these tragic policies,” Pataki said.

State laws allow for all of these governors to be recalled or impeached, and all deserve what the laws permit. They’ve abused their power, and violated the public trust. They should be drawing unemployment checks rather than executive salaries.

— Written by J. Frank Bullitt

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  • You can add North Carolina’s Cooper to the list. NC is a diverse state and there are counties with zero deaths yet citizens are still under house arrest. I need a haircut desperately but am unable to get one. To everyone however the governor got his hair cut during this crises somehow. I guess some animals are more equal than other animals.

  • You should add Governor Roy Cooper of North Carolina to your list.

  • You left out Larry Hogan of Maryland, who is punishing every county in the state for the results of the unlawful csanctuary policies of places like Montgomery county and Baltimore…

  • The governors who should be recalled are the ones who opened their states too early and ended up causing thousand of unnecessary deaths from Covid19 not the ones who acted according to the best practices suggested by the medical professionals. Egged on by Fox news opinion hosts Limbaugh Hannity Ingraham Pirro and the rest and cheered on by Trump those governors who decided that their economies were more important than lives will ultimately pay the price in spades

      • Mike above is exhibit A of approximately 60 million Americans who are genuinely cheering on the deaths of 60 million other Americans, it is what they say, they preach, and they cling to with a level of bitterness and hate that transcends the human soul…

    • What governors opened their states too early? What thousands of deaths?

      Are you watching too much CNN and MSNBC?

    • Your understanding of the virus is sorely lacking. The bending of the curve was to prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed. The virus will kill who it intends to kill regardless of our social distancing policies, it will make its way through the population, its just a matter of how soon. While we can argue whether or not the original orders were appropriate or not, we can at least understand we were dealing with things we didn’t know and with models which while proven faulty after the fact forced the president and the governors to react. At this point, there is no longer any scientific facts supporting lockdowns, in fact if we delay in re-opening society we face these prospects – not opinion, but fact:

      – Deaths due to economic distress, estimates based upon current unemployment reports suggest 75K-100K deaths.
      – COVID delayed deaths, we know chemo and other cancer related treatments and surgeries have been delayed or cancelled due to govt policies which will kill people. Having worked in the industry I have yet to hear any doctor, nurse or administrator suggest otherwise.
      – A converging of the upcoming flu season with the next wave of COVID, even assuming this will be the third COVID wave and not the second, and therefore hopefully less virulent.
      – The current death toll is fortunately not quite as high as is recorded, though it will be significant regardless. Medicare is paying for the COVID code, so hospitals are utilizing it whenever they can; health departments are asking for more COVID coding so they can track; and some are using it for political reasons, like De Blasio in NY. If we were using standard flu designations we would see 25-30% fewer COVID deaths.

      • How true… hospitals here in Michigan have laid-off thousands of medical staff due to lack of patients. NONE of them even came close to 20% capacity.

    • Oh – and I forgot. Immunization of children is apparently way down. When coupled with illegal alien immigration where we have seen outbreaks of polio-like diseases and cholera, pediatricians are suggesting a significant uptick in measles, mumps, whooping cough and the like. This will kill some of them. All because of COVID.

      • one correction
        there is no such thing as an illegal immigrant
        in the US code the proper term is illegal alien

        an immigrant is someone who has entered legally, who wishes to become a citizen, learn the language and obey the laws

        someone who enters with the intent to change the language. Laws and customs to what they bring in is an enemy invader

    • I’ll bet you’re on either a government pension or have a government job.

    • This person is a time traveler from 2024. They betray this by speaking in the past tense about states that just opened up this week and speaking about thousands of deaths in the past tense that have not happened (and will not happen).
      Someone find this person. We MUST have that technology!!!!!

    • You mean like those truly judicious ones such as Cuomo, who authorized and supported the mandate that positive Covid patients be admitted to Nursing Homes (our most vulnerable). You my friend, are a moron.

    • Darn Mike, you’ve been drinking GALLONS of that Chinese News Network Kool-aid 🙄

  • You forgot New Mexico governor Michelle Lujan Grisham. She is chasing the goals of making sure nobody gets exposed, a vaccine for everybody, and universal testing. She will keep every New Mexican on lock down until those lofty goals are achieved….or else. Never mind the inconvenient facts that most that are exposed do not have symptoms, the bulk of those who do have minor symptoms, and the risks are limited both to those with preexisting conditions and in certain geographic areas, everyone must comply. Essentially she is Whitmer Lite, and makes Cuomo look like a beacon of stability and leadership.

    In fact, a friend of mine in the New York area compares her and de Blasio as “being special.” And he does not mean that as a compliment.

    Top that off with the fact that she looks like a deer in the headlights during her press conferences, can’t function without reading from a teleprompter, and her medical expert starts his portion of the briefing by explaining that his data is really no good, but then spends 15 minutes explaining his data as the rationale for the governor’s decisions.

    They are in charge in New Mexico only because Moe, Larry, and Curley were busy.

  • Whitmer reached back to an old law to declare that she has un-reviewable, unlimited power to declare states of emergency, thus overriding the Legislature. Has this action been challenged in the Courts? If not, why not?

    • Why not in court? Simple, because nearly every member of the Michigan Bar is a profound Democrap. The few that are not, are silent for fear of damage to their career as a Professionally trained LIAR = Lawyer.

  • What about my Governor, Pritzker? While Whitmer may be incredibly dumb, he is a complete boob.

  • Surprised this column did not include Larry Hogan from Maryland, his blatant lie about the number of protesters this past weekend shows he is beyond out of touch with reality, he is truly an addict to making sure his face is on a TV screen almost every day. He is an example of an alleged Republican politician who’s almost every action and utterance from his lips are as leftist and Democrat driven as his counterpart mentioned in this column!!!

  • I had been planning for years to open a store selling pitchforks, torches, and ropes, but the right’s insistence on rushing to re-open states made me realize that Darwin Awards would be a much more lucrative business for the next few months.

  • Please add WA Gov. Jay Insley (you know, the cat that ran for POTUS on climate change as “the existential treat to humanity”) who has extended lockdown to May 31st and a “four phase dashboard” (available on his website for chuckles).

  • In the last 30 years, a total of two (2) governors have been recalled or impeached. I’m not holding my breath.

  • If you want to ignore social distancing, write DNR on your forehead so medical staff won’t waste their time treating you when you get the Trump Virus. Given the early pandemic models showed over 2 million dying, the governors took appropriate precautions (per the CDC). No governor wanted to have a NYC style pandemic in their state. As time has gone on, states have adjusted. However, keep in mind that the CDC is recommending reopening only after two weeks of declining infections. So far, few states have hit that threshold. So, social distancing continues.

    And remember, 6 weeks ago, less than 100 people had died from this in the US. In the month of June alone, the CDC is predicting over additional 100,000 deaths. This ain’t over by a long shot.

    • So you hope, the tone of your comment infers…

      Just curious, if you genuinely have inside you, your concern for the million or more who die from suicide, reckless substance abuse, and unchallenged violence from those empowered by lack of law enforcement consequences, will you be so outraged then, or just covertly smiling that people keep dying for leftist causes?!

      I’ll answer for you, people dying is irrelevant as long as Trump is gone; sad, pathetic, and hideous to cling to as unbridled desire…

    • The social distancing rules were put in place to protect the hospitals by slowing the rate of spread. Whenever you open the virus will speed up its spread. Waiting to open means nothing. It just makes the deaths from lock down policies increase. We can hope the medical folks are better prepared this time, and I imagine they will be. But the virus is going to make its way through the population, probably before any reasonable timeframe expires. As I noted above, the death tallies are inflated for reasons noted. But right now our mitigation efforts can reasonably be concluded to have put over 100K in jeopardy of death (meaning they will happen) due to economic distress, delayed or cancelled medical procedures, and halts to child immunization. Considering the fact that these deaths will impact a wider range of age of deaths; we are going to get, due to the lock down actions, more deaths than what COVID will accumulate, and more life years lost based upon the ages of the deaths due to COVID vs stay in place orders.

      So how is that science? Why are we staying locked down? One, politicians are cowards, this we know. No one wants to be a statistical anomaly. The other reasons I’ll leave to each’s imagination.

    • Well Bob, (can I call you Bob?) From your comments regarding DNR for those who want to resume their respective lives I am sure you preach the same message to those who engage in risky activities that are not necessary so that ” medical staff won’t waste their time treating” them. Since the “early models showed over 2 million dying,” that also supposedly included extreme social distancing in their criteria, which then, oops got revised down to 200,000, oops, 80,000, oops, 50,000. We had to shut down to ensure our health care system does not get overwhelmed, to allow the system to ensure enough ventilators and masks are available, to slow the spread of the virus, to ensure nobody anywhere catches it. Whatever. If you want to continue social distancing, do so. Nobody will stop you. The adults realize this is life, life is messy, has no guarantees, and involves risk.

  • Small correction on Oregon Governor Kate Brown. She extended the state of emergency here in Oregon, not the stay-at-home order. The stay-home order, which is separate from the state of emergency and was issued March 23, and does not have a designated end date. That being said, she should be recalled for at least a half dozen other reasons.

  • You left off our moron here in IL. While stating he will jail all violators, his wife and kids fly to FL in their private jet for some R&R. His response? It’s none of your business what his family does and he is offended that this would be asked. Also, he continues to be elegantly coifed while barring all haircuts for the public. As the mayor of Chicago explained re her own (ineffective) beauty treatments: She’s more important than you.

  • The article made my morning. I live in CA and cannot believe how Gov. Newsom has reacted to the Corona Virus. He had an opportunity to rise above the hysteria and be a statesmen. But his true colors came out. Isn’t it ironic that all of the governors on the list are Dems? And that Democrats are supposed to be for the people but these governor’s have implemented the most draconian of measures in response to the virus.
    I look forward to signing the recall petition for CA governor Newsome. He can kiss his political future good bye.

    • The only kiss goodbye the likes of these Democrat tyrants, well, I know what the kiss with the largest impact would be, but, doubt I can be as brutally candid here as I would like, let’s just leave it at this: people who think they are immune from consequences usually don’t see them coming…

  • I’m so unhappy with this list. I believe Washington has absolutely the dumbest governor in the country and I don’t understand why His Witlessness is not included. Last week, Jay Inslee actually said “We decided not to eliminate the aerospace industry” in Washington. Imagine that: the governor is going to allow Boeing to continue to build airplanes. Since he has all the personality of a breadfruit, that’s not hubris; it’s stupidity. I truly think that quote alone entitles him to be included on the list.

  • The problem is that Barack Obama made good on his promise to transform America fully. Do not think that these governors do not have the support of an increasingly far leftwing electorate, driven by feminists with their infantile belief that life must be all bliss, all the time, and must be free of any risks whatsoever. Just imagine what American life will be like in 2030 with the surveillance state completely in place and Chinese-style social credit schemes watching everything you do and say.

    From that perspective, perhaps more than recall or impeachment is required to preserve whatever freedom we have left.

  • Nice try. Governor Whitmer has a 63% approval rating. That’s up 21% since late 2019.

    • Perhaps the poll should have talked to someone other than her staff, her family, and the Governess.

    • The only poll that matters is the one on election day. Any other poll is skewed to get the answer that the pollsters want. And also, a lot of people don’t even answer polls because they usually have something better to do…like work.

      • and there are some of us who consider lying to pollsters to be a civic duty

  • Don’t forget to include Governor Boss Hogg Pritzker of Illinois who wants Federal money to establish a coronavirus army.

  • The tyrant Governor General Mills of Maine has to be included. 30 restaurants closed for good yesterday. Sunday River Brewing is saying FU and is open.

  • In Virginia,Northam’s tactics are referred to as,’The War of Northam Aggression’.

  • Add Mike DeWine to the list . He’s the darling of WaPo and NYT . Just like Kasich .

  • You left out Inslee of Washington State! He’s been the worst!! Draconian, condescending, clear as mud, and moving the goalposts each week! It’s as if he wants to kill off small businesses who embody the most independent minded individuals in the State. I have come to literally hate this man!

  • Complain all you want, but if the Dem supports abortion, they are untouchable, despite being a tyrant.

    • I think being in support of abortion even after birth reinforces the tyrant title, your point is either sarcasm of poor form, or, being a gleeful advocate of abortion makes you untouchable, to be in the company of honest caring humans…

  • They should be drawing unemployment checks rather than executive salaries
    most of them should be in gen pop making license plates

  • Add The LiL’ Marxist Governor Laura Kelly of Kansas! Went after churches with a vengeance
    who chose to meet over her Constitution trampling edicts.

  • How in the world could you miss Jabba the Hut Pritzger of Illinois?

  • Recall isn’t enough. Bring back tar and feathering and running them out of town on a rail.

  • Your order not to use all caps to emphasize a word sounds as arbitrary as anything ordered by those abusive governors. No one is forced to read comments.

    • Unlike abusive governors, we can’t order anyone to do anything. But we do have our own rules. I see from your comment that you are able to play by them.

  • Michigan’s one term Governor Whitless was elected only because Millennials got recreational weed on the ballot. They came out is force, and they vote “”D” for more free stuff…

    then she decrees that I can not from my own property go by myself on my own fishing boat to catch a fish, yet she allows my neighbors to line up by the hundreds to buy weed.

    Serious disconnect with her. RECALL her now !! sign the petition at “change DOT org”

    • Why the blue states aren’t fighting to reopen, most are paid to just stay high in their homes…

      The movie Idiocracy is really a documentary about America 2020…

  • Laura Kelly in Kansas has largely flown under the radar, but was one of (if not the) first to shut down schools statewide. She’s thoroughly demonstrated her qualifications as a reactionary clown, and can’t be separated from the governor’s mansion soon enough.

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