Gretchen Whitmer left thrashing after tangling with Tudor Dixon in Michigan debate

It's been a bad show for Democrats in midterm debates around the country — in Pennsylvania and New York last night, and earlier in Arizona, Florida, Texas, and more.

Even the Democrats think so:

Michigan's gubernatorial debate was right there in with the losses. 

Incumbent Democrat Gov. Gretchen Whitmer was left thrashing after her debate tangle with GOP challenger Tudor Dixon.

Whitmer failed to defend her record, failed to advance a new vision for the state, and let out whoppers that were instant campaign ads for Republicans as the final days ahead of midterm itself closes in.

That was probably her biggest gaslight, or gaffe, if you will.  Challenged on her execrable COVID response, which involved seeding nursing homes with COVID patients, banning the purchase of garden seeds, banning trips to coastal cabins to wait out lockdowns, and worst of all, closing schools for as long as 18 months, she blithely claimed that schools had been closed for only three months on her watch.  According to Michigan state school data, there are 1,443,456 students enrolled in Michigan's schools.  The report doesn't say if these are all students in every kind of educational institution or home school, or just public school students, but either way, every last parent and student in that number would know very well that school lockdowns went well, well, well above Whitmer's claimed three months' duration.  They went on and on and on, subject to the ravings of teachers' union radicals. 

Her own state's official website tells an even more unflattering Gretchen-lockdown story:

Kindergarten enrollment in Michigan public schools dropped from 120,133 in fall of 2019 to 106,539 in fall of 2020. This year, kindergarten enrollment has climbed to 114,744. Pre-kindergarten enrollment also declined during the 2020-21 pandemic year, dropping from 47,614 in 2019-20 to 31,853 last year. This year, 43,470 children are enrolled in pre-kindergarten programs.

The number of reported students to have left public school to be homeschooled jumped from a pre-pandemic average of around 1,500 per year to 13,233 in fall of 2020. This year, the number of students reported to have exited their public schools for homeschooling is 4,583.

Enrollment declines overall in Michigan mirror the demographic decline of children 5-12 years old over the past decade, Howell reported. For more than a decade, broad demographic trends were mirrored in enrollment, which was gradually falling, on average, 0.8% each year.

"The drop in enrollment during the first year of the pandemic is beginning to reverse course, but it has not evenly returned to a pre-pandemic level for all groups of students," Howell said. "The brightest spot is the significant increases seen in pre-K and kindergarten, which had experienced the largest declines in fall 2020. It is too early to suggest a pattern has emerged, but we are eager to see how enrollment figures move as the pandemic winds down."

To claim all of a sudden that Whitmer's utterly totalitarian lockdowns — and hectoring scoldings — and forced mask-wearings — and isolation of children, which hampered their normal social development, including speech — was just a little 90-day affair is a claim she's going to have a hard time weaseling her way out of, as angry parents and students of those 1.4 million enrolled students know otherwise.

There were other failures, and Dixon seized upon them well — on her marching to defund the police, which has left Michigan as steeped in crime as other blue-run states, and which Whitmer denied she had embraced at all, despite the tape.

Dixon also jumped on Whitmer for her flip-flopping stance on energy, where an energy pipeline in the north has been on-again, off-again as Whitmer embraced the green agenda, and now the Michigan winter is on.

Dixon also hammered Whitmer on her failure to fix the tax situation with seniors, which Whitmer blamed on Republicans in the Legislature for not embracing her bill.  Whitmer had shut out a Republican proposal.

The news that Michigan's roads remain a mess is another one that will hurt Whitmer — she ran on a promise to "fix the damn roads," and now that she's served a full term, she's running on that same slogan.  What, exactly, has she been doing during her miserable term that has left her state weaker and poorer?

Elections are won, not just with bad Democrats with bad records that are badly defended, but by having good candidates on the other side.  Without the latter, Democrats stay in power forever.  Dixon did a good job forcing Whitmer to answer for her hideous record as governor.  Whitmer was able only to deliver insults such as "conspiracy theorist" in return, which has the strength of a popgun on armor.  Not surprisingly, polls are now showing Dixon a point or two ahead of Whitmer, in what has been considered a fairly "safe" blue state.

Whitmer's debate performance and Dixon's willingness to fight may have sealed Whitmer's fate now.  It couldn't come to a more oppressive and arrogant governor.

Image: ABC7 via YouTube video, screen shot.

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