Monday, March 23, 2020

Abbott Greenlights Local Absolutism (while dodging responsibility)

"Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him."
James 1:12

Oh good grief:
Gov. Greg Abbott took multiple measures Sunday designed to expand hospital staffing and capacity in Texas, but declined to issue a statewide shelter-in-place order — even as calls for such an action increased as the new coronavirus continued to spread across the state.


But he did not order all Texans to shelter in place, noting that there are still many counties in the state without confirmed cases and that he wants to see the full impact of an executive order he issued Thursday.

In the meantime, he welcomed local officials to take more restrictive action than he has statewide. Within two hours, Dallas County was the first local jurisdiction to do so by ordering all residents to stay at home if they were not doing certain essential activities.
The actual statute under which these alleged powers allegedly reside is insane: "The presiding officer of the governing body of an incorporated city or a county or the chief administrative officer of a joint board is designated as the emergency management director for the officer's political subdivision....An emergency management director may exercise the powers granted to the governor under this chapter on an appropriate local scale."  Meanwhile, Steve Adler and Sylvester Turner are going to determine "appropriate local scale."  What could possibly go wrong?!?

On a certain level you do have to stand in awe of how Abbott insulated himself politically.  Abbott gets his photo op.  When these local lockdowns predictably backfire, however, Abbott's going to shuffle off blame to the local officials.  In a cynical way, it's kinda brilliant.

Bottom Line: Woe unto all of us....

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