He's grateful for the governor

By BERRY CRAIG

AFT Local 1360

Kirk Gillenwaters is counting Andy Beshear among his blessings this Thanksgiving.

“Hundreds of Kentuckians are alive today because of the actions the governor has taken to fight COVID-19,” said Gillenwaters, a veteran Louisville labor activist and president of the Kentucky Alliance for Retired Americans.

“He didn’t politicize the pandemic. He listened to the experts to provide a safer environment against COVID-19 for the citizens of Kentucky.”

The deadliest pandemic in a century has killed more than 260,000 Americans, including more than 1,800 Kentuckians.

Taking their cue from President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Mitch McConnell, Trump's top toady, Kentucky lawmakers have played politics with the pandemic. Instead of pitching in to help the governor, the Republicans apparently are planning to curb Beshear's constitutional powers when the General Assembly convenes next month.

Meanwhile, a far-right wing, Trump-tilting group is emailing a form letter to legislators urging them impeach "dictator" Beshear over his COVID-19 orders.

That dog won’t hunt with Gillenwaters, or with the state Supreme Court which ruled 7-0 that Beshear’s COVID-related emergency regulations pass constitutional muster. (The high court has yet to address a related suit from Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles. Doubtless Quarles, a likely GOP gubernatorial contender in 2023, is eager for an early edge on the competition by scoring points with the GOP's powerful rural right-wing base.) 

Anyway, after the high court ruled in his favor, Beshear said he was “grateful, not for a win, but for the sake of Kentuckians.” The governor added that an adverse ruling, “would have eliminated every single safeguard we have here in Kentucky to keep you safe.”

Like Trump, McConnell and Washington Republicans, Kentucky GOP lawmakers operate under a simple rule: If a Democrat is for it, we're against it, and the public--everybody but rich folks--be damned.

Anyway,  if GOP senators and representatives do try to take a sledgehammer to Beshear's lawful powers as governor, you can bet they'll see the governor's legal eagles in court again. As attorney general, Beshear himself notched a pretty fair winning streak in courtrooms.  

Ask Gov. Matt Bevin. Beshear was Perry Mason; Bevin's barristers, a bunch of Hamilton Bergers. Beshear turned Bevin into a one-termer, to boot.

“You can imagine the s**t show we’d be in if Matt Bevin were still governor,” Gillenwaters said. I can indeed. Hence, Andy Beshear is among the blessings the Craig family is counting this Thanksgiving too. 

Melinda, Berry IV and I are also heeding Beshear's plea to help prevent Turkey Day from becoming another superspreader event.  We'll chow down in Mayfield and FaceTime with our offspring in Louisville.

"This year, we are blessed with the knowledge of how we can protect one another during Thanksgiving, and we're blessed to have the knowledge that if we don't do this right, some of those family members won't be here at Christmas or at next Thanksgiving," Beshear said on MSNBC this morning. "If Thanksgiving is truly about being thankful, now let's be responsible with the information that we have, and let's do what it takes to protect one another."

The Craigs three say "amen" to the Turkey Day Eve counsel from Gov. Beshear.