It’s Essential We Quit Matt Bevin

Jason Starr Nelson

You may have seen the meme, or perhaps an article, which states employees quit bosses, not jobs. Perhaps you’ve seen the myriad of social media posts that list characteristics of strong leaders. Regardless, we all recognize a strong leader when we see one – unless you spend your days under a rock and only come out when you hear hateful rhetoric. It’s clear, Matt Bevin is incapable of leading Kentucky, and it’s time to quit him.

I question whether he even wants to lead, or govern. He appears to be only interested in self-promotion and helping special interest groups. The rich boy from New England has no real concern for working-class citizens of Kentucky.

For some giggles, let’s count ways Bevin has shown strong leadership. Done. That came to, zero. Now, let’s get more serious and consider his actual leadership.

Most recently, a prominent member of Bevin’s own party, Republican Dan Seum, who represents southern Jefferson County and Bullitt County endorsed Democratic candidate for governor, Andy Beshear. Oh, that’s more than a flesh wound. 

“This is not about partisan politics,” Seum stated in a video alongside Beshear. “This is about who is going to lead this state in the next four years. Today, we have a governor who has failed miserably in the pension issue and has spent the last year running around the state insulting everyone, including the four teachers in my family.”

OK, a one-off incident of party revolt. Wait, there’s more. When the republican-controlled house and senate passed a pension-relief bill for quasi-state employees, at the urging of the governor, Bevin shocked everyone, including members of his own party, when he vetoed the bill.

“I’m absolutely stunned,” Taylor Mill Republican Chris McDaniel, who chairs the Senate budget committee, stated in a Courier-Journal article.

McDaniel also said Republicans kept the governor well-aware of any changes in the bill and Bevin never expressed concerns. However, once passed, Bevin cited the exact concerns that critics of the bill stated prior to its passage. Republican Senate Majority Leader Damon Thayer and Republican House member Jerry Miller were others expressing shock.

Was Bevin even paying attention? Was this a publicity stunt? I’d love to spin on that hamster wheel during Bevin’s thought process. We may never know what drives his decisions (cough, greed and self-promotion, cough), but we do know these actions are not indicative of a strong leader.

On top of the fact that the left hand doesn’t seem to know what the right is doing, Bevin’s hateful rhetoric is no quality of an effective leader. He attacks and insults his critics, calls teachers thugs and blames them for alleged sexual abuse and murder of children. In our state, we’d simply say, “bless his heart,” when he speaks. You know that’s not a compliment.

So, to solve this pension issue, he calls a special session and takes forever to whip the votes needed for a bill that costs Kentucky $827 million and doesn’t do anything to deal with the unfunded liability. In fact, he cited the chances of HB 358 being defeated in court as one of the reasons for vetoing the first bill, and it turns out, this new bill could also face defeat in court. 

That special session cost the state at least $330,000 and Bevin’s proclamation attempted to limit the powers of the legislature and basically turn them into minions, rather than elected officials. Sound like a quality leader, or an authoritarian who lost his binky?

There are so many more examples of poor leadership, such as telling those in West Louisville to pray the violence away. Yes, we welcome prayer as much as any. In fact, I attempt to pray Bevin away every night. However, some actual governing on the topic would be helpful, too. 

Now, let’s give credit where credit is due. Bevin is a strong leader on the pro-life front, if you ignore the fact he endorsed a pro-life candidate in New England, and the fact that he cut taxes on the rich and passed that burden onto poorer Kentuckians.

This is one of those pieces that could go on forever, but attention spans being what they are and all, requires me to wrap it up. So, if people quit bosses, then people should also quit those political leaders who exemplify poor leadership. Bevin is the poster-child for poor leadership. Let’s quit him in November and turn to someone who has demonstrated the quality leadership skills we’re looking for – Andy Beshear.

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