Backlash: Michigan Lawmakers May Strip Gov. Whitmer of Her Powers

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Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has gained national fame and popularity within the Democratic Party for her handling of the coronavirus crisis. Jumping to the front of the line among governors willing to use the COVID-19 platform as a blind from which to take shots at President Trump, Whitmer has even put herself in contention for Joe Biden’s VP slot.

But while liberals may be pleased with the brash Michigan governor, conservatives have grown weary of her act. They’ve accused her of using the coronavirus as an excuse to exert total control over the state’s residents, enacting a shutdown that goes well beyond what most other states have found necessary.

Whitmer’s somewhat absurd lockdown orders are as inconsistent as they are draconian. She refuses to let people run their motor boats, but she feels that abortions – which use up valuable Personal Protection Equipment – must go on during the pandemic. She accuses her protesters of being aligned with moneyed conservative groups…and then she hands a no-bid coronavirus contract to a firm operated by a dedicated, Trump-hating Democratic consultant.

Republican lawmakers in Michigan have seen just about enough.

They called a special session of the legislature on Friday where they will discuss the possibility of creating an oversight committee which may, if they find cause and authority to do so, strip Whitmer of some of her powers in an unprecedented strike against Michigan’s executive branch.

“The House and Senate will convene tomorrow to create a special oversight committee on COVID-19 to examine our government’s response,” tweeted the state’s House Speaker Lee Chatfield (R-Levering) on Thursday. “Michigan needs to handle this pandemic seriously yet properly. It’s what the people deserve, and we will see that it happens.”

This week, Whitmer attempted to offer an olive branch to her critics, insisting that she would take a 10% cut to her annual salary ($159,300) while unemployment runs rampant throughout the state. That’s a nice gesture and all, but it doesn’t really get to the heart of the problems Michigan residents have with her, now does it? No one is outside her home protesting that she makes too much money. They want her to ease up on the lockdown.

On that, though, she isn’t budging.

“I know it’s not easy, but the price of losing loved ones is what’s at stake.”

Rather than buckle to the pressure, Whitmer announced Friday that she would extend Michigan’s stay-at-home order until the middle of May.

We don’t have a lot of confidence in the legislature’s ability to strip Whitmer of her powers, but if they can keep the pressure on, maybe they’ll finally see some sanity from the governor’s office. Or maybe Biden will pick someone else as his running mate, and Gretchen can stop trying to audition from Lansing.