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This guy might be the most powerful man in America.

Sorry to call attention to him. He’s been keeping a low profile. Not an attention seeking guy like Cuomo or DeSantis. Kind of low key, gets the job done, speaks softly, carries a stick. He’s got a lot on his plate right now what with the PA Republican legislature grandstanding over Covid Restrictions.

He’s Tom Wolf, governor of Pennsylvania. He’s a resident of York county Pennsylvania. Yep, that’s the county that installed Trump in 2016.

Wolf is a Democrat and former accountant. I’ve been surprised at the clever ways he’s been able to fund stuff in the state, all legally, of course. But he sure doesn’t have it easy with these GOP state senators and legislators using Covid to make it look like he’s the cause of all the economic pain caused by Covid restrictions. They keep sending him bills to sign to open bars and restaurants without respecting all social distancing rules, Wolf vetos them, the GOP throws a fit and points fingers at him saying he’s to blame for all the tragic Covid fallout, Trumpers get infuriated. (Trumpers always get infuriated.)

About everything a Democrat does.

🙄

Nevertheless, our Covid case load is down, down, down. We are holding steady. Our spikes are few and far between. Allegheny county is down to about 42 cases/day. To do that, everyone was essentially grounded after the last Covid spike in June. Bars and restaurants opened, young adults went out and partied, many of them let their guard down, bars and restaurants weren’t paying attention, we got a nasty spike. Therefore, the establishments shall remain closed or with seating restrictions unless they can get creative and do outdoor seating. Al fresco dining and beer guzzling has popped up everywhere so, you know, this can be done. You don’t need a closed environment with people breathing on each other. I went to dinner a couple of weeks ago at an outside venue and it was delightful. I am also Covid free. There you go.

Same with school sports. Personally? I don’t have a problem with outdoor sports like track, football, soccer, baseball, field hockey, etc. If the school district follows all recommendations for social distancing and masking of spectators, go for it. That might have actually worked.

But that’s not what the GOP wanted. They wanted local control to decide how to conduct school sports so Wolf vetoed the bill. I suspect that’s because he knows the residents of York county a little too well. They’d pack those bleachers with maskholes and cheer twice as often as necessary because it’s they’re constitutional right to spread infection or some such selfish reason. If central PA started acting like responsible adults and agreed to public health measures at high school games, maybe things would have gone down differently. But I see no evidence of that. Wolf knows these people.

Commence Trumpers wailing about how mean Wolf is.

🙄

Anyway

The reason why Wolf might be the most powerful man in America is related to the scenario Bart Gellman laid out yesterday. The constitution does not prohibit the state legislatures from certifying a different set of electors than the ones that voters voted for on Election Day. The theory was that the GOP legislature would swap out the elected electors for Trump electors the second Trump declares premature victory in PA.

Well, apparently, they can’t do that, even though they’ve had talks with the Trump campaign to do that.

I can’t remember where I heard this yesterday (Lawrence O’Donnell?) but it turns out that in PA, the current state law is the electors are the ones that the voters elected and that’s that. No swapsies.

So, in order for Republicans to replace elected electors with state legislature selected electors that will vote for Trump, there would need to be new legislation allowing the legislature to do that.

It would be interesting to see that pushed through the statehouse. Exactly what perfectly innocent scenario are they going to argue would necessitate overriding the will of the electorate? It’s not like we’re never going to have an answer to who won Pennsylvania and must therefore need to have the state legislature intervene. We’ll all know the answer three days after Election Day. Well, if it’s a blowout, we’ll know sooner. But it’s not going to be like some other states where they’re still counting mail in ballots 3 weeks later. So, take an old cold tater and wait, guys.

Anyway, the bill can’t become a law until it’s signed by the governor (see schoolhouse rock). And I can’t see Tom Wolf being a meanie on whether you can get stinking drunk at a bar without public health measures while letting the PA Republican legislature decide to override the will of the citizens of PA on Election Day.

I could be wrong but I believe Wolf would veto that bill.

Whew.

5 Responses

  1. I could be wrong but I believe Wolf would veto that bill.

    He better veto it if they are stupid enough to do it. I have no doubt that he will wield the veto pen.

    • He seems pretty comfortable with it.

      • Agreed… at this point any Democrat who is swayed by Republican screaming just hasn’t been paying attention. Wolf has stared them down several times already this year.

  2. I am confident that Wolf would veto the bill. The bigger danger is the Supreme Court hearing cases filed by Republicans, and ruling that the House, state delegation by state delegation, must decide who wins. Or even ruling, in a manner similar to 2000, that the vote count on election night should supersede everything else–but this decision has no value for precedent, it only can be used this time, so Trump can win. They won’t say the very last part, but it is what they will be doing in such a case.

    I have seen some encouraging polls in states, but the last two major national polls are troubling. Emerson, given a high rating by 538, has Biden up only three points nationally, while another fairly high rated poll, maybe YouGov, has him up five. Two thoughts are that if Biden does not have at least a five-point popular vote margin, the electoral college effect, plus all the cheating, will allow Trump to win. And that it is possible that this country has fallen into a state of ignorance, stupidity, and brainwashedness, that it cannot recover from.. After all this in the last four years Trump is down only a few points in a national election?Do people not understand at all what the consequences of him being elected will be? in a rational country, he would be twenty points behind/ Today not one single Republican officeholder, except Scalise, has attended the service for RBG.

    Last night, I very inadvertently turned to CSPAN, and there was Trump doing one of his hate rallies in Florida, yelling about stopping schools from indoctrinating people, and the crowd was chanting, “We love you!” Worse than any dystopic terror movie one could ever have seen. We had better see some more favorable polls very soon, maybe the debate will help, but Hillary trounced Trump in every single debate, and it didn’t matter much. I was musing that not one debate moderator ever asked Trump one question about economics, deficits, Keynesian vs. Friedmanite any question where his complete sub-grade school lack of knowledge and comprehension would be shown. But they continue to protect his absolute ignorance, as if it would be mean to let everyone know how unutterably stupid he is, and that it doesn’t matter. Just in that way, notwithstanding so many other ways, the media has completely disgraced its calling.

    • My younger self would be horrified with me, but I have nearly decided that the media, especially the social media, will need to be regulated to prevent the growth of fascism in this country.

      “The Constitution is not a suicide pact.”

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