An open letter to the soon-to-be-former governor of Michigan
Yo Mr. Snyder:
Your first campaign for governor was impressively banal. In the heat of a Tea Party year, you promised competence and nerdiness. What you’ve provided is an extremism cloaked by a nearly unprecedented lack of charisma.
You’ve been a consistent rubber stamp for the far right as you raised taxes on seniors and the poor, as you took local control away from predominately African-American communities, as you cut education and sent more taxpayer money to unproven for-profit charter schools.
When it came time to pass the most radical attack on organized labor in recent Michigan history, you helped it happen in days, abandoning any process that would have stopped this unpopular, unnecessary measure that will shrink the wages of all Michiganders.
In doing this, you paid back the powerful interests that helped you get elected and prevented a primary challenge. And you revealed yourself the way Mitt Romney did in the 2012 GOP presidential primary — not as an extremist yourself but as something worse: a willing puppet extremists use to accomplish their agenda.
Your hope for re-election is entirely based on the success of President Obama’s auto rescue. So after he won the state again by nearly 10 percent, you decided that you had better accept the billions in Medicaid expansion our state is going to pay for anyway. Again, the president was offering you a chance to do something you have failed to do on your own, a chance to create jobs.
This was a smart decision. It was your one chance to confuse centrists into thinking you were something resembling the competent nerd you promised.
But what you ended up showing us is that in Michigan the Tea Party doesn’t know it’s supposed to serve the millionaires. In fact, they think it’s the other way around. You do their bidding nearly all the time. But the one time you needed the Tea Party, they left you dangling and cost the state millions.
When Medicaid expansion almost passed in spring, you were in Israel. You came home to demand a vote, which happened about half a year later. When the Senate could have had voted to put the law into immediate effect, you were in China.
The cost to tax payers? $7 million a day, plus the cost of your travel.
That’s over $600 million that could have been spend on schools or roads — gone. In addition, nearly half a million Michiganders will go three more months without health insurance. All because you were out of the country. Or, more likely, you were out of the country because you knew the Republicans in the Senate wouldn’t listen to you anyway.
That’s your legacy, Governor Snyder. That’s why it’s time for you to spend more time boring your family and friends.