Where politics and faith dance in the shadow of the windmill.

Governor Roundheels

What else do we call the Governor who for the best of positive reasons, still refuses to say “No?”

Well, perhaps “weak” is another word.

As Dave Murray notes in today’s Press

It appears Gov. Rick Snyder doesn’t like to say “no,” at least when it comes to bills crossing his desk.

Staffers say it’s a different approach to the job, the result of a relentlessly positive approach. Fine. But the role call of failures begins to make one wonder.

First, there was the DRIC and with it the failure to off-set the lobbying efforts of the Mouron family. This was not simply a political failure, a defeat, but a failure of the economic vision for a more vibrant Michigan. As has been clear, the new Michigan is seen as a logistics center, facilitating the border traffic with Ontario manufacturing, the auto industry, and much of the industrial heartland. Moreover, logistics offer the possibility of large-scale, post-auto employment — exactly the sort of work that Detroit and Michigan could use. So the failure is significant.

What this relentless positive spirit has brought has been a refusal to stand up to his own presumably pragmatic roots. As Murray notes, first there was the anti-labor measure, stopping the MEA from deducting dues from pay checks — a bill beloved by the radical Right, but expressly against Snyder’s wishes. Then there was the motorcycle helmet law, a measure that puts the State on the hook for increased medical bills. A life style bill made all the more inexplicable by the large number of voters against the measure. Another minority position.

These three alone, suggest that relentless optimism is little more than another word for a certain moral weakness.

What he misses here is that the easy going nature then creates the doubt elsewhere. If he will not be able to say yes to common good ideas (through the veto), can his advocacy for such agenda items as better schools mean anything? Will he be able to protect these causes?

Of course Republicans believe that all this is better understood as the fruit of good communication? But if the Governor gives it away on the first date, what sort of political virtue is there in this communication? Michigan needs better.


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April 2019
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