Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer is getting big push back from conservative locals over her extension of a state stay-at-home order. Drivers caused a gridlock on purpose around the state capitol on Wednesday.
A convoy of motorists protested Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s pandemic directive, calling on state leaders to allow small businesses to reopen.
— ABC News (@ABC) April 15, 2020
Blowback against the Democratic governor is seen as all but right-wing. The Michigan Conservative Coalition and Michigan Freedom Fund organized the protest according to The Lansing State Journal. The MCC describes itself as an organization launched after the GOP “was headed left.”
A number of demonstrators were visibly Trump supporters and even displayed Confederate flags. Signs were also seen with the phrase “Live Free or Die.”
— Mikenzie Frost (@MikenzieFrost) April 15, 2020
Critics of the governor said that she was sinking small businesses. Vox associate editor Aaron Rupar remarked bitterly on the ostensible reason a couple of people had for engaging in the protest.
“You can’t buy paint,” said a man in an interview broadcast by Fox News. “You can’t buy lawn fertilizer or grass seed or — Come on!”
Another woman showed the outlet her graying hair.
“It’s time for our state to be opened up,” she said. “We’re tried of not being able to buy the things that we need, go to the hair dressers, get our hair done.”
these people have no problem with you dying as long as they can buy their lawn fertilizer and get their hair done pic.twitter.com/MJ8mmRwFFd
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) April 15, 2020
Even the governor’s office described the new extension as “more stringent.”
For example, from a press release:
A new section of the order imposes restrictions on stores in an effort to reduce crowds. Large stores must limit the number of people in the store at one time to no more than 4 customers for every 1,000 square feet of customer floor space; small stores must limit capacity to 25% of the total occupancy limits (including employees) under the fire codes. To regulate entry, stores must establish lines with markings for patrons to enable them to stand at least six feet apart from one another while waiting. Large stores must also close areas of the store that are dedicated to carpeting, flooring, furniture, garden centers, plant nurseries, or paint.
Not all of the criticism has been Trumpian. Rep. Justin Amash (Michigan, 3rd District), a conservative U.S. Congressman and Trump critic who ditched the GOP, argued Saturday that Whitmer’s extension will result in blowback and undermine “basic measures” like social distancing.
“If the governor wants to sustain her order that people stay at home, then she must do her best to ensure they can pass the time engaged in activities and projects that bring them joy and satisfaction,” he wrote. “Her latest measures do the opposite. People will not long tolerate extraordinary restrictions on liberty that contribute so little to safety. Eventually, even basic measures, such as social distancing, will be ignored as people grow restless.”
[Screengrab via WDIX.]
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