The Governor Has No Robes On

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Well, King Charles is at it again. A few people dared to disobey his coronavirus order so he is going to punish all the rest of us. He now orders outside gatherings to be dropped from 100 to 50.  So if you have a wedding coming up and planned everything around the guidelines — too bad. And if you go ahead with it, the Governor is going to fine you, to boot.

The part that bothers me the most is the almost gleeful approach to enforcement — as if our police have nothing better to do than break up a wedding reception with 75 people that are there by their own accord.  Ugh.

Incidentally, I’m not attacking Charlie Baker as a person. I’m frustrated with his tyrannical decrees, the lack of checks and balances, and the randomness of who is on the naughty list and who Santa Baker deems to be good little boys and girls.

Here’s an example:  A few days ago Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Baker (that’s one of those uber-fancy little dogs) decided to decree that Massachusetts residents couldn’t go to Rhode Island for anything but official business.

Hmmm, maybe since he killed our economy he is now is trying to spread the love? So — no out to dinner, no shopping, no beach.

Initially I thought I might be O.K. with it – until I started reading the specifics and began thinking of various scenarios where he is attempting to deprive Massachusetts residents of their personal liberty.

Now, I have said for some time that we build a wall on our southern border — Rhode Island not Mexico. They talk funny, steal our jobs, can’t drive worth poop, and add to the congestion on our highways. But that was just in jest.

This pronouncement from the governor, however, is supposed to be for real. While the governor on Friday, August 7 dialed back his poorly-thought-out order, graciously allowing activities like grocery shopping, he still kept in place other restrictions, including what he called “recreation.”

So, let’s look at his highness’s royal proclamation:  if I’m a Rhode Island resident and happen to work in Massachusetts, I have no restrictions at all. I can go to the beach, party, lick shopping carts in the grocery store, whatever, and still come to Massachusetts every day to work, mingle, go out to lunch. I can live in an apartment building in Rhode Island that has Covid-19 running rampant and I’m still good to come to the Bay State. It’s O.K. for me to work in Massachusetts restaurants handling the food and breathing on patrons.

Or worse:  What if this rabid Rhode Islander is working in a nursing home? The king of Massachusetts has proclaimed that this rogue state is such a high risk that it is verboten for our citizens to enjoy, but we will let those people come here and deal with our most vulnerable?

Hmmm.  You can’t have it both ways, Governor — it’s either truly a hotbed of pestilence jeopardizing our safety and you should send the national guard to the border to protect us from the zombie apocalypse … or it’s a political stunt meant to further control your subjects as you continue to chip away at our freedoms.

Don’t answer that one right away. Instead, ask yourself why the Massachusetts resident that pays taxes that keep our state running is treated like a pariah by our own government that we fund.

Let’s say I go to Newport to visit my daughter the Marine before she ships out to her next duty station. According to these rules, even though I’m not going in public and am just visiting with her and then coming right back home, I theoretically either have to quarantine for 14 days or get a test (and quarantine till the results come back in). If I don’t, then Baker’s Stasi could come and round me up, levying a $500-a-day fine for daring to ignore his order.

By the way, this isn’t just bad public policy. I firmly believe this is unconstitutional, and I’m trying to find an attorney to help me file suit in federal court — so if you know someone, please let me know.

But let’s talk about other real world situations. I have a friend who has a boat at a slip in Rhode Island, because it is the closest marina to his home in Massachusetts. He typically goes down, drives to the pier, walks down to his boat, and goes fishing with his kids. Usually never sees another person — and certainly never comes closer than 6 feet to one. If one of his neighbors would rat him out to the Governor, all of a sudden he could be found to have committed some sort of a high crime — think about it, 10 days at $500 a day = $5,000. You can throw a Molotov cocktail at a cop in Boston and burn out his cruiser and your punishment isn’t nearly as harsh.

What about the family that is fortunate enough to have a second home at the beach? Through no fault of their own, and despite their doing everything right — wearing masks, social distancing, no parties, lots of hand washing and sanitizer — Charlie can just randomly take their property rights away? How is this right or fair? And how is this America, that one man has this much power?

If President Donald Trump tweeted such a thing in the middle of the night, we’d be hearing about how it was the rise of the Fourth Reich — but here we just let it happen?

Next thing King Charles will be levying a tax on our tea — and we will just smile and say he knows best and is doing this for our own good.

That’s ridiculous. WE THE PEOPLE should be able to live free and not be told that if we have the audacity to go for a bike ride that crosses over an imaginary line we must surrender that freedom.

If you think I’m being overly dramatic, consider how the government overreach has continued to grow. Remember when we just needed to suck it up for a couple of weeks and be team players so the hospitals wouldn’t get over run and then everything would go back to normal? This is NOT back to normal.

Now, if some people throw a party with a ton of people not wearing masks and doing all sorts of other irresponsible things during this emergency situation – fine, hammer them. But if you tell me that if I follow all these CDC, Fauci, DPH, WHO, WEbMD guidelines then I will be fine but King Charles Duane Baker IV will punish me anyways — then it isn’t about the guidelines and safety. It is about power and control.

I’ve had so many people reach out with 100 other scenarios that are being affected by this big government power play, and I am frustrated that I have nothing to say to them except the King thinks he is smarter than us commoners and he is saving us from ourselves — freedom be damned.


Shawn Dooley is a Massachusetts state representative who lives in Norfolk. A Republican, he represents the Ninth Norfolk District, which includes the towns of Norfolk, Wrentham, and Plainville, and portions of Medfield, Millis, and Walpole. This article is adapted from a commentary he posted on his Facebook page. It is published here with permission.