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Covid Gubernatorial Authority, The Beginning Of The End?

Lamont, Biden and Hayes

There are some reasons to believe that the contra-constitutional authority assumed by governors across the nation during a now ebbing Coronavirus pandemic is itself beginning to ebb as legislatures reassert their suspended constitutional powers and obligations.

Connecticut, as usual, has lagged behind other states.

Kentucky Republicans last January, according to a piece in Politico, kneecapped “Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear. They dropped legislation in January that placed new limits on the governor’s emergency executive powers, quickly passed the bill, overrode his veto and then fought him in court… In the months that have followed, lawmakers across the country — from Maine to California, Oregon to Florida — have proposed and, in many cases, passed similar measures to curtail the sweeping powers bestowed on their state executives.”

Woke lawmakers, according to Politico, “are only now realizing how much power they ceded to the executive — and are attempting to reassert themselves in blunt ways. If 2020 marked the rise of the authoritarian governors, 2021 may be the beginning of their fall.”

The plenary powers assumed by some governors during the pandemic were, depending upon their own actions, anvils around their necks. In the case of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, a natural propensity towards bullying was considerably augmented by the political powers thrust upon him by the pandemic. Months after Cuomo had created a deadly Coronavirus spreader by ferrying hospitalized patients infected with Coronavirus into vulnerable nursing homes, the man’s arrogance became impossible to ignore, even in the pages of the largely Cuomo-favorable New York Times. The straw – or rather straws – that broke the camel’s back in Cuomo’s case were allegations by several women of improper sexual behaviors. Suddenly, it appeared, the royal purple clothing that draped Cuomo was gone, and there the man in full was, parading clumsily before the public in apologetic beggar’s rags. The imperious Cuomo has vowed to run once again for governor, but the posture, as an Englishman once said of the act of coitus, has become “ridiculous,” and there are not a few Democrat politicians -- among them the supercilious Mayor of New York Bill de Blasio, not his birth name, and Green New Deal activist U.S. Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez -- waiting patiently in the wings for Cuomo to implode.

Politics, a sometimes treacherous business, is not for the faint of heart.

Here in Connecticut, Governor Ned Lamont, Cuomo’s fishing buddy, appears to have fallen into a pot of political honey. His approval rating before Coronavirus was exceeding low. In the midst of the pandemic, it soared like an eagle.

An early March item in a Hartford paper, citing a new Sacred Heart University poll, notes, “Lamont’s overall approval rating stood at 55.9%, almost double his 28.1% approval rating in December 2019 when his administration was still making its push for electronic highway tolls, a proposal that was deeply unpopular with many voters and ultimately rejected by the legislature.”

At the end of March, CT Mirror noted, the Democrat dominated State Senate, somewhat behind the trend, voted “for final passage of a bill that ratifies Gov. Ned Lamont’s pandemic declarations and extends his authority by one month until May 20.”

Like the road to Oz, the immediate future of Connecticut is paved with federal gold bricks, what some sour prognosticators call “temporary fixes” supplied by a generous President Joe Biden and Democrat leaders in the U.S. Congress Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, with Vermont socialist Bernie Sanders and New York’s amateur Leon Trotsky, AOC, applauding vigorously from the wings.

The problem is, as some are beginning to notice, all the temporary fixes, Biden’s manna from Heaven, for instance, are temporary. Member of the future generation in Connecticut – after all, you can’t abort everyone – will be forced to pay the bills passed along to them by the most irresponsible, debt-soaked President and U.S. Congress in the nation’s history. But, by that time, all the Democrat heroes of 2021 will have been moldering in their graves a good long while, safe from future ballot box repercussions.

The Politico piece does have a sunny side. “Cuomo’s ability to issue new Covid-related diktats” has been limited by New York’s Democrat legislature; “in Ohio, Republicans last month successfully overrode party-mate Gov. Mike DeWine’s veto of a bill that gave lawmakers say over numerous emergency and health orders”; and Ohio Senate President Matt Huffman threw down a gauntlet in an interview.

“We can’t leave it up to one person — no matter how much we like him or her — and everyone else who was elected has to sit on our (sic) hands,” Politico quoted Huffman. “That’s not how it’s supposed to work in a republic.”

One can almost hear elementary school kids in Connecticut, who will be asked to heft the bills of current irresponsible legislators, asking in some bewilderment, “A republic, what’s that?”

“The future,” Yogi Berra once said, “ain’t what it used to be.” Nor, sadly, is public education.

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