Should Joe Biden pull a Lyndon Johnson and pull out of the 2024 Democratic presidential race Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer could emerge as a potential replacement. Democrats look to her successes and surmise that her party has a lock on the state thanks to her leadership.
Since she became governor in 2018, the Democrats have captured all three branches of the state’s government.
“Since then, Whitmer’s Democratic majority has allocated more than a billion dollars to support the auto industry’s green transition; quintupled a tax credit for poor families; repealed a law that made Michigan a right-to-work state; and enacted new protections for L.G.B.T.Q. people. After a forty-three-year-old local man went on a shooting spree at Michigan State University, in February, killing three students, some modest, if hard-won, gun-control measures were put in place,” Benjamin Wallace-Wells wrote in the New Yorker.
A Look Behind the Gretchen Whitmer ‘Miracle’
Critics note that the Whitmer miracle in Michigan is a façade.
“The case for Whitmer relies on her image as a relatable, business-friendly yet socially progressive executive who is effectively defending the heart of the Rust Belt from the dangers of Trumpist populism. A review of [Benjamin] Wallace-Wells’s piece, however, shows a governor whose program has been unsuccessfully tried before and whose state is just as purple as ever,” National Review columnist Alexander Hughes wrote. “Whitmer hopes her economic agenda will attract new residents to the state and shore up the Democratic Party’s electoral prospects.”
The Michigan governor hopes to revitalize Detroit’s flagging auto industry with green jobs and electric vehicles. That is not likely to be a recipe for success due to weak demand in the U.S. market. U.S. dealers report having an excess inventory of electric vehicles and that they have become a white elephant that no one wants.
“Michiganders have heard this pitch before. Former governor Jennifer Granholm (who has been rewarded for her mismanagement with a spot as Biden’s energy secretary) also pushed economic-stimulus packages with a focus on building up the green-energy industry. The results? Boondoggle projects that paid people to sit in inactive factories without arresting the state’s economic decline,” Hughes wrote.
If Whitmer were the Democratic candidate, there would be plenty to hold her to account for.
Whitmer Fights the First Amendment
Whitmer has become a leading voice in the push to force what many on the right consider radical agendas such as criminalizing speech.
Under her Democratic majority’s latest piece of legislation, ‘misgendering’ someone intentionally is a criminal act punishable by imprisonment for up to two years and a $5,000 fine.
The Michigan House of Representatives passed the bill on June 20.
“Even in that category of nonprotected speech, the states are not allowed to make what are called ‘content-based distinctions’ of speech,” Eric J. Segall, the Kathy & Lawrence Ashe Professor of Law at Georgia State University, told Newsweek. “There are two ways this law could be unconstitutional: one is that it goes beyond true threats; two, it kind of makes a content-based distinction in the statutes, and they’re not allowed to do that.”
The bill’s defenders say the legislation would not criminalize casual “misgendering.”
“People can say whatever they want, that ‘I feel frightened because somebody misgendered me,’” Washtenaw County, Michigan prosecutor Eli Savit told The Detroit News. “But that’s not going to cut it for purposes of this bill.”
On abortion, Whitmer has been an abortion-rights maximalist. She enshrined abortion rights into the state’s constitution and required employers to include abortion coverage in all plans that provide pregnancy coverage.
“Long-standing conscience protections have been stripped from employers who may now be forced to choose between violating their moral principals by providing abortion coverage or dropping their employee healthcare benefits altogether,” Right to Life Michigan said in a press release.
Whitmer’s ability to get a lock on the state legislature and pass radical legislation doesn’t mean she has remade politics in Michigan, which is prone to radical political shifts.
“… Americans shouldn’t accept the narrative that she has successfully rebuilt Michigan into a progressive utopia — nor should they allow her to take her agenda to Washington,” Hughes wrote.
John Rossomando is a defense and counterterrorism analyst and served as Senior Analyst for Counterterrorism at The Investigative Project on Terrorism for eight years. His work has been featured in numerous publications such as The American Thinker, The National Interest, National Review Online, Daily Wire, Red Alert Politics, CNSNews.com, The Daily Caller, Human Events, Newsmax, The American Spectator, TownHall.com, and Crisis Magazine. He also served as senior managing editor of The Bulletin, a 100,000-circulation daily newspaper in Philadelphia, and received the Pennsylvania Associated Press Managing Editors first-place award for his reporting.