Republicans Caught the Bumper When it Comes to COVID

Like a dog barking and chasing cars Republicans have managed to sink their teeth into more than they bargained for with a deadly resurgence of COVID, and they know it.

The Kentucky General Assembly has whittled away at Gov. Beshear’s emergency powers with legislation passed in the latest session, and the state Supreme Court has upheld those laws leaving Republicans with a problem on their hands. 

To be clear, Gov. Andy Beshear, D-Kentucky, can still execute executive orders in times of emergency, but they are limited to 30 days unless the Republican-led legislature extends those orders. 

Beshear is contemplating calling Republicans back in a special session and setting the agenda for lawmakers to pass measures to protect Kentuckians. What those measures will be is anyone’s guess, but many in the GOP have signaled an unwillingness to pass mask mandates in the state. 

Republicans are now faced with owning a problem they were simply campaigning on. The rise of the latest COVID variant could very well mean that Republicans will own any spread and death associated with the virus. 

What’s even more interesting is that Republicans have picked the one issue which does not poll terribly well for them. The COVID safety measures enacted by Gov. Beshear I’m told poll very well, at least funnily enough that’s what many in the Republican Party tell me. 

It’s normal for dogs to bark and chase cars, whether because of natural predatory instinct or for just plain fun, and it’s normal for politicians to make statements and pass legislation for political gain. But what happens when they sink their teeth into an incredibly difficult problem with a popular solution? We’re about to find out. 

Behind the scenes, there are many plans in action, and I’m not saying Republicans won’t bring new ideas to bear. Beshear should have included more Republicans in his plans from the beginning, and likely avoided this whole fight.

The best possible outcome is Republicans working hand in hand with Gov. Beshear to protect Kentuckians because at the end of the day that’s what they are all sent to Frankfort to do.