Recent editorials from West Virginia newspapers:


Jan. 12

News and Sentinel on reforming West Virginia's economy:

It is difficult to resist the temptation presented by the New Year to breathe a sigh of relief and proclaim the events of 2020 nothing but a bad memory. This year is going to be different — better. We all want to believe that, even as we know deep down it’s not quite true.

World Bank Officials are trying to be measured in their predictions for 2021 as they warn both that our global economic recovery is likely to be more subdued than we would hope, and that the near-term outlook is uncertain. A new surge in coronavirus infections and delays in rolling out the vaccine could shut down even a subdued recovery before it truly gets off the ground.

According to its Global Economic Outlook, the World Bank says global economic output declined by 4.3 percent in 2020, the biggest contraction since 1945. Instead of painting a rosy picture, World Bank officials say “If history is any guide, the global economy is heading for a decade of growth disappointments unless policy makers put in place comprehensive reforms.”

Here in the U.S., the World Bank says the economy declined by a mere 3.6 percent, and should rebound by approximately 3.5 percent this year, if conditions remain right. However, “People at the bottom of the income scale were hardest hit by the shutdowns and recession and will most likely be the slowest to regain jobs and get vaccinations,” said David Malpass, president of the World Bank Group.

Were it not for Mississippi, West Virginia would consistently rank last in the nation in terms of median household income.

Lawmakers in Charleston and the Mountain State’s representatives in Washington, D.C., had better take heed of the World Bank’s warnings, then. Even if it comes, the rebound will not be as fast or dramatic in West Virginia as in other parts of the country. Proper planning, as well as brain storming initiatives and reforms now might make a difference. It certainly couldn’t hurt.



Jan. 11

The Intelligencer on a West Virginia lawmaker who resigned while facing charges of entering a restricted area of the U.S. Capitol after he livestreamed himself with rioters:

Ex-delegate Derrick Evans spared West Virginia ongoing national embarrassment when he resigned Saturday.

Of all Evans’ actions since Wednesday, when he rushed the nation’s Capitol with others upset over the presidential election results and even livestreamed himself inside the building’s interior, resigning from the House is the only sensible decision he’s made. Fellow delegates should be saying a silent thank-you that Evans’ actions — and what to do about them — won’t be the top agenda item when the House meets this week for its first gathering of 2021.

The Legislature has many important issues to deal with this year, and the criminal actions of a delegate would have taken time away from matters that could benefit West Virginians. It’s good that this aspect of Evans’ actions are dealt with.



Jan. 9

The Register-Herald on a U.S. congresswoman from West Virginia who joined the Republican challenge to President-elect Joe Biden's election win:

The trouble with Rep. Carol Miller is that she’s not always capable of thinking for herself – and certainly not for her constituents – especially on complicated policy issues. She prefers to hang out on the backbench of Congress and dutifully do what she’s been told.

She lets others do the hard work, the reading, the critical analysis, the homework. She will vote however directed by Republican chieftains just as long as the legislation is positioned to the far right side of the ultra conservative ledger and wins her votes back home. Miller is a dedicated foot soldier for President Trump, as if that needs to be said. She is a rubber stamp in search of perpetual re-election.

Since Election Day, we have learned that Miller’s cynicism extends dangerously beyond her ability to control its consequences. This past week, she joined a challenge of the certification of Joe Biden’s presidential victory. It was a sneering, contemptuous effort that, in part, led to the sacking of the U.S. Capitol by a criminal mob of President Trump supporters, to the death of five people in the attack, to the disruption of yet another democratic norm and to the attempted overthrow of our government.

On Insurrection Wednesday, Miller was playing political games – without a thought, of course – and people died. For now, democracy lives, no thanks to her.

The challenge to the certification of votes was no more than a specious maneuver set in motion by two ambitious Republican senators – Josh Hawley of Missouri and Ted Cruz of Texas – both thought to be considering runs for the presidency in 2024. There was no chance that their gambit would succeed. But that wasn’t the point. Challenging the votes, they figured, could win the support of the horde of white supremacists, fringe and nutty conspiracy fanatics, neo-fascists, and male chauvinists breaking through the front door.

Listen, we know how the 2020 election turned out – and we have known it for a good long while. The vote was counted and recounted in key swing states and then certified. We trust our election officials, here at home and across the many borders of our union. And we trust in those states, just like we do our own, to get it right.

There was no massive voter fraud as alleged by Trump and his band of oddly delusional lawyers. Even Trump’s own attorney general, William Barr, said the U.S. Justice Department had uncovered no evidence of widespread voter fraud that could change the outcome of the 2020 election.

And U.S. election officials said the 2020 vote was the most secure in American history.

All of that contradicted President Trump, who made unfounded allegations of widespread voting fraud and irregularities time and again – without providing a speck of evidence. We were just supposed to believe him – a guy who, according to a Washington Post database, lied over 25,000 times in his four years in office. That is more than 17 times a day the president was telling a lie to the nation. Credibility holds no office in the Trump White House.

Nonetheless, the president used these claims to challenge the vote counts in several key states. His campaign filed dozens of lawsuits. Sidney Powell, one of the president’s attorneys, spun fictional tales of election systems flipping votes, German servers storing U.S. voting information and election software created in Venezuela “at the direction of Hugo Chavez” – the late Venezuelan president who died in 2013.

But the barrage of legal action and Trump’s false claims – often bolstered by right-wing media and some of the president’s allies in the Republican Party – have undermined overall faith in the electoral process and in the safety and security of our nation’s elections.

But here is what happened: People were lied to repeatedly and they believed it. And never once did Carol Miller stand up from that bench in the back of the room to set the record straight.

Not once.

But what she did was join a losing effort to upset a norm of our democracy, to overturn the popular vote of the people and to give a key to the front door of the people’s house to an invading horde of deplorable human beings who are anything but patriots.

As such, Carol Miller will always wear the bright red label of a conspiring seditionist.