Dear Governor Snyder,
I hate to break it to you, but it’s over. You had a good run, sir, but the time has come. You need to resign the office of the governor immediately and ride off into the sunset.
I understand your side of the argument, even if I don’t agree with it. I understand the hubris that goes into thinking you can ride this out. I understand not wanting to go down in history as the guy who poisoned an American city and resigned in disgrace. I understand that you’d be letting down the Republican Party, who have supported you tirelessly and who count on you to champion their agenda. I’m willing to give you the benefit of the doubt in assuming that you had good intentions when you were elected, and that you planned on enacting a recovery plan for Michigan. I understand feeling like you failed, and like you let everyone down.
You did let everyone down.
Because I’m a cynic, I also understand that, initially, the people calling for you to resign sounded like the cheapest and least credible of political hacks, hoping to score points off your resignation and hold you up as the embodiment of their worst fears of what a Republican administration would be. I held out for quite a while. Unlike a certain celebrity, I don’t want to see you put in front of a firing squad. Unless it becomes clear you did something actually illegal, I don’t even want to see you arrested.
But it’s become clear you’ve lost control of this crisis. A few months ago it looked like the City of Flint and the Mott Foundation were going to bail you out and everything would be back to normal. That hasn’t happened. The Flint Water Crisis has ballooned to the point where it has made Michigan a source of nationwide pity and scorn.
Your bailout does appear to be coming now, in the form of $80 million in assistance from the federal government. What started as a ploy to be cheap and save a few bucks on water conditioning chemicals has now turned into a full-fledged disaster with a hefty price tag, both in dollars and in human lives. So far the administrator and spokesman for MDEQ and the regional administrator for the EPA have taken the fall for you, but as you said the other night, the buck stops with you.
At the risk of speaking to you like a five-year old, the concept of government itself is pretty simple. There are some things that it’s impractical or infeasible for the people to do on their own, so we band together in this thing called government to do those things together. Together we all pool our resources, and in return we get things like police protection, a fire department, and yes, clean, drinkable water. You failed at the most basic task of a governor: ensuring the safe and efficient delivery of government services to the people of Flint. It is unconscionable that, in the year 2016, the people of Genesee County cannot rely on their government to provide clean, safe drinking water that they paid for. As much as you try to deny it, that’s on you.
You’ll have some cover Friday afternoon as all eyes will be on the blizzard bearing down on the Eastern Seaboard. I’m sure I don’t need to explain the concept of the Friday Afternoon News Dump to you. Around 4:00 p.m. you have an opportunity to slip your resignation letter under the door and grab a flight out for a long vacation with your family.
I suggest you take it.
[Caricature by DonkeyHotey from photos by Anne C. Savage for Eclectablog]