Sununu: The Wizard of Oz
For many voters, including some Independents and even Democrats, Chris Sununu may appear to be competent and moderate. Many hours of television coverage during this pandemic have given the governor plenty of opportunities to project this illusion. Yet, when we think more deeply about our situation, what is it that our governor has done? He has done what you and I would expect any competent governor to do. He has listened to health experts and followed their advice, but only up to a point. And this is where Sununu pulls the curtain to hide his wizardry and signal to those watching closely where he truly stands.
Unlike every other New England governor, our governor did not issue a statewide mask mandate even though state, federal, and global health experts have stated time and time again that transmission of Covid-19 is significantly reduced through the wearing of masks. Who else famously and disastrously flouted the wearing of masks? Our president. All of us must remember that Governor Sununu has stated clearly that he is “a Trump man through and through.” Wearing masks was not “Trumpian.” Nor is taking clear and effective action against climate change. Nor is supporting public education. What IS Trumpian is appointing a Commissioner of Education who believes that our public tax dollars should support private education.
This governor has proudly vetoed 79 pieces of legislation between 2019 and 2020, a record number which in 2020 included 18 bipartisan bills. Each of these bills represented long hours of hard work by Republican and Democratic legislators alike. The governor admitted that he did not even read all the bills he rejected, but simply said that he would “err on the side of the veto.” In so doing, he effectively silenced the voices of legislators on both sides of the aisle as well as the voices of all their constituents. He did what his president does routinely: he trampled on our democracy.
Governor Sununu would like you to believe that he is a competent, moderate leader. He is not. He is a political Wizard of Oz, projecting an image that he would like you to accept, but behind the curtain, with the stroke of his veto pen, he is effectively silencing the voice of voters like you and me.
What is the point of electing representatives and senators who listen to our concerns, then develop legislation which responds to those concerns, if the legislation produced is nullified by Chris Sununu, a political partisan determined to force upon all of us a political philosophy which does not respect the democratic process?