On the day after hundreds of angry Michigan citizens entered the Capitol building in Lansing—some of them visibly armed—to protest Democrat Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s stay-home order, she extended it without legislative approval, possibly setting the stage for a legal confrontation.
More than 2,250 miles to the west, a group of citizens in Washington State, including gubernatorial candidate and anti-tax crusader Tim Eyman will file a federal lawsuit against Democrat Gov. Jay Inslee for his extended statewide shutdown. Eyman sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General William Barr, inviting him to join the lawsuit.
In his letter, Eyman writes, “On behalf of the non-essential citizens of WA, I urge you and your office to join us in our efforts to Open Washington Now. Please Mr. Barr, Inslee is not listening to the people who are suffering under his rule. We need your help to convince the judiciary to rein him in before he causes irreparable harm to our lives, liberty, and livelihoods.”
Joining Eyman are Franklin County Commissioner Clint Didier and four other citizens.
At a protest in Olympia recently, between 2,500 and 4,000 people gathered on the capitol campus, some of them carrying firearms as well.
The question is inevitable: Are these the first serious signs of a citizen revolt? According to CBS News in Detroit, some of the protesters in Lansing were carrying signs that read, “Shut down the lockdown,” and “Tyrants get the rope.”
Gov. Whitmer appears to have ignored the protesters, extending business closures to May 28, according to the Washington Post. Critics say she lacks authority to do this, especially without legislative approval.
Inslee’s shutdown was to end Monday, May 4 but he is also expected to extend that during a press briefing Friday afternoon.
What about neighboring states? Inslee recently announced he is part of a coalition of western states including Oregon, California, Nevada and Colorado trying to coordinate “re-opening” efforts. So far, there have not been huge protests in other states, but that could easily change with improved weather. It’s easier to protest under sunny skies than in downpours.
The national economy is hurting, millions of people have lost their jobs, the stock market is continuing its roller coaster ride as nervous investors overreact to every news byte, and frustration—at least in some regions—appears to be reaching the boiling point.
Only in South Dakota, where Republican Gov. Kristi Noem refused to shut down “non-essential” businesses during the pandemic panic, did grateful constituents actually hold a parade in her honor earlier this week. According to Newsweek, Noem is one of a handful of governors “not to issue an order shuttering non-essential businesses” while the COVID-19 outbreak continues.
Is there a lesson in that?