Time for an update on GOP Mississippi Governor Tater Tot Skeeter Bite Reeves, known on his birth certificate as simply "Jonathon Tate Reeves," and what he is not doing to fight coronavirus. He's been readin' Bible to Mississippi, and he's been sayin' for extra damn certain AIN'T MISS'SIP' GON' BE SOME KINDA ROOTIN-TOOTIN' HIGH-FALUTIN' DICK-TATER-SHIP LIKE CHINESE NORTH KOREA, BET YOUR BOTTOM DOLLAR, WOOOOOOOO-EE!

At least we think that is what he is saying, he's so stupid-looking we can't bear to unmute the sound when we watch him on video.

But you know that thing where Republican governors and state legislatures hoot and holler to anybody who will listen about small government and the tyranny of the federal government, but when bluer (smarter) cities in their own states try to exert local control, and in so doing offend the governor's sensibilities, their commitment to small localized government just goes out the window? Happens a lot when educated southern cities try to get rid of their fucking Confederate participation trophy statues and monuments.

And it's happenin' with coronavirus, and TATER AIN'T GON' HAVE IT. Out of one side of his mouth, he's saying Mississippi ain't gonna be no goddamn North Korea, but out of the other, he is saying "MAH TRUCK, MY RULES!" like that other absolutely darling GOP Mississippi gubernatorial candidate. And in this case, his "truck" is the entire state of Mississippi.

As in other GOP-controlled states, the mayors in Mississippi have been mostly going it on their own. If you're not familiar with the state, it's actually lovely, and there are lots of more liberal college towns with smarter people in them, like Oxford. Tupelo, where Elvis was born, is charming as southern-fried fuck. Tupelo's mayor issued a stay-at-home order to protect the citizens of that town. Oxford, Vicksburg, Clarksdale, they've all taken action in the absence of any leadership from the state government.

Well, Tater is not about to have his authori-tah questioned — but not like in that Chinese North Korean way! — so he has issued a superseding executive order that is the weakest-ass most pissant thing you ever have seen. Does it null and void orders from Mississippi's city mayors? It sure is written that way!


From the order:

Pursuant to Miss. Code. Ann. § 33-15-31(a), § 33-15-31(b), § 33-15-11(c)(1) & § 33-15-11(c)(4) any order, rule, regulation or action by any governing body, agency or political subdivision of the state that imposes any additional freedom of movement or social distancing limitations on Essential Business or Operation, restricts scope of services or hours of operation of any Essential Business or Operation, or which will or might in any way conflict with or impede the purpose of this Executive Order is suspended and unenforceable during this COVID-19 State of Emergency.

"Suspended and unenforceable."

Tater's order doesn't include any kind of shelter-in-place provision. It doesn't close the restaurants, but does say that they need to be able to keep diners under 10 at a time. It says any "essential" business is allowed to stay open, and in order to keep Mississippi as non-Chinese-North-Korea as possible, it defines "essential" as pretty much any fuckin' thing you can think of. Gun-makers and sellers? Essential. Religious places? Essential. Anything where you have an office to go to? Essential. And you sure don't have to abide by any "fewer than 10 people" restriction, at "office." Heck nope! And not at "department store" either, because essential.

Our point is that it is so very broad.

The Jackson Free Press reports that, after Reeves's executive order, which came down Wednesday, they've gotten reports that Jackson-area businesses have "scuttled plans for work-from-home and ordered their employees back to work on-site." Because fuck their health and fuck their Nana's health, and if they or Nana dies to keep Donald Trump's beautiful economy going, oh well. Tell St. Peter when you get to the pearly gates that Tater sent ya!

Now, to be very fair to Governor Tater Spit, it is possible that he and/or his staff are just particularly bad at writing executive orders, because Mississippi Today reports that the mayor of Oxford, Robyn Tannehill, said that after a bunch of chaos and confusion over What The Precise Fuck Is Tater Doin', her consultations with the governor's office have suggested that they can keep their better, stronger policies in place. The mayor of Vicksburg, George Flaggs, says his restaurants are still closed, and that the curfew he put in place stands.

Tater clarified in a press conference today that municipalities can do what they want, as long as their order does not "conflict" with Tater's order. (Is he walking back his original order? Or just realizing he wrote his order real bad? WE REPORT, YOU DECIDE.) But what he wants to make sure you know that the mayors DUNNOT CANNOT SHALL NOT do interference with what Tater says is an "essential service."

We don't to give you the impression that Governor Tater isn't focused on what's really important, besides how that is completely and obviously the case. He, like other redneck red state governors, is also calling for NO-BORTION DURING THE TIME OF CORONAVIRUS!, defining abortion as a "non-essential" or "elective" procedure. Fuckin' asshole.

Got that? Tater issued a shelter-in-place order for fetuses, but not for actual living, breathing human beings who might die of coronavirus.

As of this very moment, according to the Johns Hopkins map, there are 485 confirmed novel coronavirus cases in Mississippi, so it's gaining steam. Of course, nobody knows what the real number is, because we're still not fucking testing anywhere near enough. Next door in Louisiana, there are 1,795 confirmed cases, with much of the outbreak in New Orleans. It looks like New Orleans is becoming the next big epicenter for the outbreak, because we guess Trump's Chernobyl didn't have enough Katrina on it.

But sure, Tater, it's fine. No need to do anything crazy and Chinese-like. Just rub your fuckin' Bible on people some more, that'll fix it.

[Tater's Executive Order]

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Evan Hurst

Evan Hurst is the senior editor of Wonkette, which means he is the boss of you, unless you are Rebecca, who is boss of him. His dog Lula is judging you right now.

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