The meddlesome ingrates on the Michigan Supreme Court later affirmed that Whitmer couldn’t simply rule without legislative consent. That stripped away many of her powers, though she circumvented this by continuing to issue edicts through the health department rather than the governor’s office. The result has been the protracted abolition of any serious democratic deliberation over Michigan’s coronavirus response. Everything has been done through the royal prerogative of Her Majesty the Governor, who seems to regard her Republican opponents as might a mad queen about to reach for the trapdoor button.
The old saying about absolute power corrupting absolutely notably does not exempt strong independent women with Dr. Fauci pillows in their offices. And so Whitmer’s reign has brought with it an endless if predictable series of hypocrisies and abuses. Michiganders couldn’t see their families, but their governor could march socially undistanced at a Black Lives Matter rally. They couldn’t go boating, but her husband could try to leverage his position to get a marina to put out his boat during a lockdown. They were to sacrifice for the sake of Michigan’s elderly, yet Whitmer still won’t release all the data on the deaths of those same seniors. As with Andrew Cuomo in New York, she issued an order that strong-armed nursing homes into taking COVID patients, yet unlike Cuomo, she’s received little national scrutiny for it.