Who In The Hell Is Mike Shirkey?

Michigan Right-Wing Republican Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey once again showed his disdain for Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

While visiting the conservative Hillsdale College this week, which is in Shirkey’s district, he reached in The Occupant’s playbook to deride Whitmer and legislative Democrats.

According to Hillsdale’s college newspaper, Shirkey claimed Whitmer and her fellow Democrats were “on the bat-sh*t crazy spectrum.”

So says the guy who backs The Occupant, feels the impeachment process is “kabuki theater,” and lamented how “It hurts my heart to see our president under attack, but it also hurts my heart to see our institutions under attack.”

Call me crazy, but it appears the only institution Shirkey’s upset is under attack is the executive branch. He doesn’t sound all that concerned to give a fuck-all about every other institution under attack by The Occupant and Putin.

Shirkey wasn’t finished there. He declared, “My governor has the two Democratic caucuses fairly locked up. They sit around and wait for her to call them and tell them to do this or do that.”

Yes, Shirkey sounds well-grounded. Actually, he sounds like every Republican.

A number of Senate Democrats reminded voters–and Shirkey, in particular–how they’ve done anything but “sit around and wait.” If anything, it’s Shirkey and his right wing fellow Republicans who are sitting around and doing nothing.

Democratic state Senator Mallory McMorrow tweeted immediately:

Perhaps Senator McMorrow should introduce bills like taking Medicaid away from hard-working Michiganders. That would certainly get Shirkey’s attention because cruelty on the working poor is the point–like Jesus wanted.

What happened to the civility police? Oh, that’s right. They’re only around whenever progressives or Democrats say something…controversial.

Shirkey did eventually apologize for his statements, but you’ve still got to hand it to the right wing. They have the uncanny ability to simultaneously play bully and victim.

Oh, and I agree with Michigan Advance’s Editor-In-Chief Susan Demas who adroitly notes that Shirkey never called Rick Snyder, “my Governor.”

And lest we forget how Shirkey compared abortion to slavery.

Again, he sounds really well-grounded, and is every bit the misogynist that many of his fellow right-wingers champion on a daily basis.

Let us remember it was Shirkey and House Speaker Lee Chatfield who passed the budget bill while never consulting with Governor Whitmer or her administration. Shirkey and Chatfield refused to offer any real, honest solutions regarding Michigan’s roads. And on top of it, they inserted legislation to reduce funding for the new independent redistricting commission–a commission that won by a huge majority in Michigan in 2018! It was just another childish gambit by Republicans who are still having temper-tantrums that they no longer can gerrymander to solidify their corrupt power.

Then, once Whitmer decided to use her executive authority to line-item veto portions of the bill, and use her powers of the State Administrative Board to shift money around within departments, Shirkey’s office declared Whitmer to be “untrustworthy.”

And they don’t get the irony of that statement considering all of the bills he passed in the dead of night during Lame Duck sessions–oh, and the disastrous auto insurance “reform” bill!

Shirkey and his pals now will only agree to a supplemental budget bill if, and only if, Governor Whitmer agrees to sign legislation banning her use of the State Administrative Board.

They loved this board when Republican governors, like John Engler years ago had that power. But now that a woman has this same executive power, Shirkey and his fellow right-wingers want to take those powers out of her hands to, you know, teach her a lesson.

This blatant attempt at destroying the village isn’t a new phenomenon in right-wing Republican politics. Shirkey’s only following in the footsteps of U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who did everything in his power to obstruct the Obama administration.

Shirkey and his donors hope Michiganders will blame Whitmer. If you think it’s a failing strategy, just look at how Republicans got rewarded for their years of obstruction in 2016.

But here’s the part of Shirkey’s Hillsdale talk that really rubbed me the wrong way.

He claimed:

“I was too old for Vietnam and too young for everything else,” Shirkey said. “So I had to find some other way to serve. That is not to compare my career with the enormous sacrifices of our servicemen and women, but we all have an obligation to do our part to continue this experimentation of self-governance. And if not, shame on us.” 

However, as Zach Gorchow from Gongwer News highlights:

So, Shirkey’s a chickenhawk, which again, isn’t anything new in American conservatism. Ask Rush Limbaugh where he was for Vietnam. Or Terrible Ted Nugent! Or, of course, The Occupant with his bone spurs.

This is what we’re up against. Despite getting trounced at the polls in 2018, Shirkey and the donor class are hoping The Occupant, along with their two-years of complete obstruction, will be enough to squeak-out another victory for another two years.

We can’t allow that to happen because lives are depending on it. We voted for new leadership in 2018, and Shirkey is doing all he can to thwart the will of the voters.

Someone should ask the question, “Who in the hell is Mike Shirkey, anyway?”

Pat

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