Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) went on a Twitter rampage on Wednesday as he posted a thread lashing out at wasteful government spending and “petty tyrants” like Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who has faced criticism for her handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In his “Festivus Grievances” thread, he took aim at Whitmer, comparing her to a character in the Harry Potter series. “Speaking of what they petty tyrants do for themselves, I would like to congratulate Governor Whitmer of Michigan on her new role as Head of Hogwarts,” he tweeted.
Speaking of what they petty tyrants do for themselves, I would like to congratulate Governor Whitmer of Michigan on her new role as Head of Hogwarts. pic.twitter.com/yiRMF7yFda
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) December 23, 2020
The tweet included a picture of Whitmer with an image of Dolores Umbridge, one of Harry Potter’s most hated villains. In the novels, she is an evil professor at Hogwarts and shows herself to be a capricious, sadistic, and corrupt authoritarian figure. She wields her power in a dictator-like fashion as she torments the school’s students.
Paul followed up with other tweets slamming “petty tyrants” who used the coronavirus as an opportunity to enact restrictive measures that devastated many Americans.
“We could sit here all day and talk about petty tyrants both thinking they should run your life, and then thinking the rules don’t apply to them. No one in government who shut down a business lost a paycheck. Think about that.”
“They have no skin in the game. Close the schools? No problem? Close your restaurant? Don’t worry. Here’s $600.”
It only takes a cursory glance at Whitmer’s actions this year to see why the Umbridge comparison is apt. After the COVID-19 pandemic occurred, her administration, like others, quickly jumped on the “let’s put everyone on lockdown” bandwagon. However, it became clear that Whitmer planned to go further than many of the others.
She issued sweeping orders restricting Michigan residents, requiring larger stores to shut down sections containing products she decided were “non-essential.” She also banned gatherings “of any size.”
Part of her orders involved compelling large retailers like Walmart to shut down gardening and plant nursery sections. Whitmer came under fire for prohibiting residents from buying seeds to plant gardens in their homes.
Callie Gafner, a worker at a small garden center, told Michigan Radio that “banning fruit and vegetable plants does not help limit the spread of COVID-19.” She said: “If you’re growing them yourself, you’re reducing the contact between people because you’re not going anywhere. You’re going out in your own garden and picking them up rather than going into the store and coming into contact with how many people?”
As RedState’s Nick Arama noted: “So, anything that you might try to do at home to make good use of your time, like fixing anything or planting anything, you’re out of luck. Stay at home, sit in your corner and comply.”
Whitmer’s restrictions became so onerous that thousands of Michiganders participated in a car-bound protest at the state capital earlier this year. How did the governor respond? By threatening even more restrictions ostensibly to mitigate the potential spread of the virus due to the protest. “We might have to actually think about extending stay-at-home orders, which is supposedly what they were protesting,” she threatened.
But even worse was the controversy that erupted when it was revealed that Whitmer’s husband may have used her position to benefit himself. He reportedly asked a boat contractor if his status as Michigan’s “First Gentleman” would enable him to get his boat in the water before Memorial Day weekend.
Detroit Free Press reported that Whitmer’s husband made the remark in jest. “Whitmer said her husband regrets what he said and she called on Michiganders to show kindness and empathy as the state deals with the COVID-19 pandemic that will be around for some time,” they wrote.
State party chairwoman Laura Cox blasted the governor and her husband. “How many times has Gov. Whitmer’s husband told this ‘joke’ to gain special favors from businesses? The only joke here is that Gov. Whitmer doesn’t seem to understand how serious it is for a family member to misuse your office,” she said in a press release.
Gov. Whitmer is one of several Democrat politicians who have imposed draconian measures amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and it doesn’t seem like they plan on stopping anytime soon. Indeed, even though a vaccine has been developed, they will likely find every excuse necessary to continue lockdown orders and mask mandates. The question is: When will the people finally become fed up?