With this week’s Democratic victories — local and statewide elections, Michigan’s Congressional delegation and all three ballot propositions, including protecting abortion rights and voter rights — it’s no wonder Trump flags around the state are flying at half mast.
Muskegon, where I live, picked Hillary Scholten for Congress, the first Democrat to represent us in decades. And our county commission flipped from red to blue.
That Woman From Michigan, one of the primary targets of the misogynist from Mar -A-Lago, is now a key national figure in Democratic politics.
With the Democrats in control of the legislature for the first time in four decades, it’s worth asking what’s next for our Governor. Her resounding victory — including Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist, and along with Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson and Attorney General Dana Nessel — gives Michigan a diverse frontline complemented by a Democratic majority in the (non-partisan) State Supreme Court.
Tudor Dixon’s failed campaign, well funded by the state’s most powerful political family, the Devoses, has demonstrated many of the reasons why Whitmer is instantly in the running for the Democratic Presidential nomination, should Joe Biden decide to step down in 2024. On every key issue,from abortion rights to Covid protocols to fixing the damn roads, Governor Whitmer has successfully served all Michiganders, even the ones who didn’t vote for her. To top it off, the United States Supreme Court has just dismissed an appeal of Michigan’s redistricting map, which puts an end to legal meddling with the process that put an end to Republican gerrymandering.
Michael Moore, who correctly predicted Trump’s ascent in 2016, has been arguing for months that the Democrats would benefit from a surge in younger voter registration, especially people focused on reproductive rights. The larger story is that, given Florida’s Republican “red guard,” it is integral for any Democratic presidential candidate to take Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin in the 2024.
Whitmer is uniquely positioned to accomplish this. She also benefits from a deep understanding of how to counter the do-or-die opposition.
Militant kidnappers, intent on imposing the death penalty on our state executive, are now in prison thanks to the combined efforts of Biden’s Justice Department and Dana Nessel’s office in Lansing. But that doesn’t change the fact that some GOP stalwarts, like the party’s leader, see women in power as an existential threat.
Unlike Hillary Clinton, plagued by a legacy of political controversy centered around her husband’s career, Whitmer has not been a direct target of Vladimir Putin and his anti-democracy underground. She is a great campaigner, committed to battling multinationals like the Line 5 lackeys from Enbridge, who risk a Great Lakes oil spill every day.
Beyond these impressive credentials, there is something else that puts her ahead of other would-be candidates As she has shown from her work in the legislature and the Governor’s office, Whitmer is not afraid to take on anyone who attempts to diminish women in elected office. In the past two campaigns, she has called Trump out for his disastrous approach to the biggest public health crisis in our lifetime and upended his attempts to turn Michigan red via a Rudy Guiliani-led team of second-string attorneys.
If you know anyone, anywhere, who is open to the idea of nominating a woman who can actually win the American Presidency in 2024, please have a look at what Gretchen Whitmer has accomplished in Michigan with an African American lieutenant governor, an openly gay Attorney General and one of the nation’s leading advocates for voter rights, who literally wrote the book on what it means to be an effective Secretary of State.
She has made excellent choices during her first term — free from any disasters like Governor Snyder’s handling of Flint Water and Unemployment Insurance — and Tuesday’s election results are a referendum on her leadership. By voting in a Democratic legislature, the electorate has made it possible for her to pass laws while continuing to work constructively across the aisle.
I wish her well in 2023 — and 2024.
Roger's play Old Heart adapted from Peter Ferry’s novel is back on stage May 20 and 21 at the Playhouse at White Lake in Whitehall.