With this weekend’s demonstrations apparently having not resulting in the desired outpouring of frustration, anger and commitments to open wallets for the campaigns of Donald Trump and his acolytes, several restless Republicans have decided to cook up more schemes for thumbing their noses at Governor Inslee.
Franklin County Commissioner Clint Didier — a failed Republican candidate for statewide and federal office — put together a resolution on April 20th to “…end the Stay at Home Emergency Proclamation…” and pronounce it unconstitutional (something that legislative bodies ironically have no authority to do).
In Gbbons v. Ogden, decided all the way back in good old 1824, the United States Supreme Court stated that a given state has the ability to regulate interstate commerce within its jurisdiction through its power to quarantine.
Back when Ebola was a grave concern in 2014, Professor Michael Dorf, a Constitutional scholar at Cornell University, gave a more extensive explanation of the decision and what’s come to pass since which is worth reading.
(This activity of the Franklin County Commission is concurrent with the announcement by Franklin County Sheriff J. D. Raymond, also announced today, that he would not only decline to enforce Governor Inslee’s stay at home orders, but also any guidelines ”that infringe on your constitutional rights.”)
Didier appears more interested in rallying the troops, fundraising, and getting news coverage than he is in actually practicing civil disobedience.
Meanwhile, in Cowlitz County, officials took the more sensible approach of lodging a request to Governor Inslee that asks him to modify his orders to permit a greater number of activities, particularly hunting and fishing.
What vocal right wing activists and elected officials don’t seem to want to acknowledge is that we’re not dealing with just any contagious disease.
This virus (SARS-CoV‑2) is capable of killing twenty to thirty times more people than an average outbreak of influenza. There is no vaccine available.
And many people who have the virus have no idea that they have it.
Even it were possible, returning to the past would not make people whole. We can’t forget that before COVID-19, income inequality and climate damage were problems that were going unsolved. We cannot forget that our economy was in no way made more resilient after the Great Recession that began twelve years ago.
We cannot forget that our society has suffered from structural weaknesses for decades that have gone unaddressed, with tremendous ramifications.
No one should fall victim to false canard of economy versus health.
We must collectively recognize that by making responsible choices, we can save most everyone and can have an economy to which we can return.