It seems impossible to review the careers of these #BadRedApples in the year 2020 without taking a look at their response to COVID-19. Yet so many Republican Governors seem to be taking their orders directly from Donald Trump, I find it best to just get it out of the way up front, rather than repeat the same pitifully obnoxious story post after post. That said, here are a few quotes from Republican Governor of West Virginia Jim Justice on how Donald Trump is handling the pandemic.
Justice says that while he is concerned about having enough testing, “the Trump people have done a magnificent job.” In response to criticisms that Trump could have acted faster, he says, “We’re not always going to be perfect, but it’s just not fair to not sit back and assess the job as a whole, or try to cherry pick some specifics of what’s been done in a ‘Monday morning quarterback’ way.” Justice wants to stress unity, saying, “We’ve got to have a common force. I think our president’s done a great job…For those that criticize him, it’s unfair and they ought to have their ass kicked.”Forbes Magazine, March 2020
That pretty much sums up West Virginia Governor Jim Justice: “Unity! Let’ all work together… unless you’re against me in which case I’ll beat the hell out of you.”
I knew nothing about Jim Justice when I woke up this morning. It was a post to my FB Group YouCantBeatBlue from member Jason A., notifying me of tonight’s Democratic gubernatorial debate between Justice challengers Ben Salango, Dr. Ron Stollings, and Stephen Smith (streaming at 7pm Eastern time on May 19, 2020) that I became aware of him.
Jim Justice, who stands 6 feet, 7 inches tall, is a coal industry tycoon worth over one billion dollars (that’s about 34,285 fully operational ventilators to you and me). No, he didn’t make all that money himself. He inherited it when dad passed away in 1993. Not that that means he hasn’t increased the wealth since then. It only means he started slightly ahead of you and me, enough that in 2009, he sold some of his coal business to the Russian company Mechel for $568 million, but that’s probably a story for another post.
Justice was a member of the Republican party until 2015, when he decided to run for Governor of West Virginia, at which point he switched to the Democrats. He then beat Republican nominee Bill Cole to win the Governor’s race in November 2016. Then, nine months later, the overgrown coal-wealthy billionaire turd promptly rejoined the Republican party while speaking at a – wait for it – Donald Trump #MAGA rally.
You can see the despicable moment for yourself below. BONUS: check out the woman behind Justice’s left shoulder. That Republican enthusiasm (dare we call it “malignant malice”?) is what we True Blue voters are up against this November. You know, that MAGA-cap window licker’s gonna be up bright and early on Election Day, so we’d better be as well!
Needless to say, as much as Jim Justice has decided to look out for Donald Trump by “turning his back on the Democratic party,” and his big-dollar campaign contributions to President Hydroxychloroquine, Trump is returning the favor for “Big Jim” as he’s taken to calling him (I hope to God that’s referring to his height and not about something else).
Trump has sent two lieutenants from his personal goon squad, Bill Stepien (a survivor of Chris Christie’s “Bridgegate” scandal) and Justin Clark (noted for working “closely with Jared Kushner on prison reform“), to join Justice’s 2020 re-election campaign as “advisers.” Trump and Justice have apparently gone hunting together as well. I hope none of you are praying to God for a “Dick Cheney” moment between now and November, because not only would that be wrong, it would also distract God from my requests that all of KellyAnne Conway’s hair fall out of her head, and that CBS bring back Knots Landing.
So, do I need to go on about this guy? Morning Consult’s 2019 Fourth Quarter Ranking of Governors had Justice with 43% approval and 44% disapproval ratings. Then in January 2020, Morning Consult named him the “Least Popular Incumbent Facing Reelection,” citing the following:
- Instead of taking on the “full-time responsibility” of governing the state, Gov. Justice is AWOL at the state capitol and “almost never meets with his cabinet.”
- Justice has used his office to line his own pockets by fast-tracking legislation benefiting one of his properties and remaining heavily involved in his business empire, even taking time to defend it in court.
- Meanwhile, West Virginia has the worst economy in the United States.
- Sure, West Virginia’s infrastructure might be ranked last in the country, but Jim Justice doesn’t care – he commutes by private jet at taxpayers’ expense.
- Justice is so unpopular, he’s facing bipartisan calls for him to resign from office. Even his own party has given him a vote of no confidence.
Based on all of the above, it’s clear that West Virginia Governor Jim Justice, despite his deep political convictions and leading man good looks, is one #BadRedApple who needs to be shown the door in November.