West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey wants you to know he’s put the Biden administration on notice.
Morrisey led a letter from five other states to the new president to warn him of “executive overreach.” He’s standing up for your civil liberties, West Virginia, especially your constitutional right to own guns (something that has never been under serious threat, because every time even the slightest restrictions are mentioned, politicians pay a stiff price). Morrisey also has put Biden on notice that no new environmental regulations will go unchallenged.
As Talking Head David Byrne would say, “Same as it ever was.”
With a Democrat in the White House, Morrisey has reset to Obama mode. He’ll protect you from the liberal agenda — which, so far, consists of organizing COVID-19 relief and vaccination rollouts, and pursuing plans to ensure the climate doesn’t destroy humanity with reassurances that workers in the fossil fuel industry won’t get left behind.
That’s not to say there isn’t real concern over that latter priority. West Virginia is a state built on extraction, although how those industries have treated West Virginians in return is a multifaceted topic. Still, any new plan, especially one with the goal of eliminating fossil fuels by 2050, is scary for some.
It’s not like things are really booming for coal but, with natural gas, it gets more complicated. West Virginians should explore the plan and decide what they think. Republicans — and some Democrats — representing the Mountain State are going to shoot it down automatically. That’s nothing new, either.
Of course, there was none of this tough talk from Morrisey when the previous administration was rolling back environmental protections — putting West Virginians’ health in jeopardy — thinking that would bring the coal industry back. That plan didn’t work. More coal-fired power plants were retired in four years under Donald Trump than in Barack Obama’s second term.
It’s also rich that Morrisey would fire off a warning about overreach, when he joined a baseless, unsuccessful lawsuit to try and overthrow how crucial swing states counted their votes in the presidential election, eager to serve a delusional president claiming to win an election he clearly lost. The country saw where fostering those false narratives led.
Here’s the bottom line: Morrisey is going to run for something other than attorney general in 2024, be it governor or another go at the U.S. Senate. Readers might recall that one of Morrisey’s main criticisms of former attorney general Darrell McGraw was that McGraw had been in office too long.
Morrisey promised he would serve only two terms. That plan disintegrated when Morrisey failed to unseat Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., in 2018. Instead of keeping his promise, Morrisey ran for a third term and was reelected, benefiting down the ballot in a state that went for Trump by 68%.
Remember that anytime one of these missives about “standing up to Biden” comes out, it’s because Morrisey has higher aims and wants to stay relevant.