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After acting like a king, Gov. Wolf is starting to speak like one, too

How dare you! How dare you try to think for yourself, decide for your local constituents and do what’s best for you your local community?

Those aren’t the exact words Gov. Tom Wolf used at his press briefing Monday — but it’s not that far off.

Wolf, who seems intent on presenting himself as a dictator rather than a leader, created the problem he’s now trying to quash with the heel of his jackboot. Wolf defined the end of coronavirus restrictions as based on facts and data — and eventually told us what that data is — but now that some counties are objecting to his timeline, he has threatened to ruin them, along with the citizens who reside there (and who have sacrificed, cooperating fully with the governor’s plan to flatten the curve).

When Wolf deigned a path to freedom for a small number of counties while others were left behind, we tried to understand. We knew why infected counties in the eastern half of the state were required to stay under orders, but could not understand why some rural counties were able to reopen and others were not.

And he didn’t tell us.

Now, when legislators and commissioners from a handful of counties who believe the facts and data support them as having cleared the bar, Wolf says no.

In fact, he said, that is cause to punish his subjects, like a feudal lord to whom the peasants have not paid their oath of fealty. He promised to go after licenses and certificates, shutting down any business that dares oppose him. He’ll end insurance coverage and deny federal — not state, federal — funds. And he reiterated his ill-advised plan to continue paying unemployment compensation to those whose jobs are available, in violation of state law.

State Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman, in a joint statement with state Sen. Joseph Scarnati, said it well:

“You can only govern to the willingness of the people to be governed. Gov. Wolf has lost that.”

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