MADISON — You’ve heard the adage: you don’t know what you have until it’s gone.
It doesn’t apply to Andrea Palm.
Wisconsin was pretty sure what it had in the former Department of Health Services (DHS) secretary-designee under Gov. Tony Evers. Palm was a power-grabbing, liberal elitist health czar who, without a second thought, extended the statewide lockdown. Her heavy-handed measures deprived Wisconsinites of their liberty, their livelihoods and their faith in measured government as she snidely defied the constitution.
Palm, who took the post with Evers after years as an Obama administration health bureaucrat, came from a culture of abusive, overreaching government. So her unconstitutional actions during the pandemic, while stunning, shouldn’t have surprised anyone paying attention to American leftist politics over the past dozen years or so.
A new email obtained by Empower Wisconsin, however, shows just how tone deaf and disconnected Palm was from the suffering going on around her, particularly if that suffering didn’t fit into the far left’s script.
Even as Kenosha’s business districts were still smouldering from the fires set by rioters, Palm fired off an agency-wide email on “Advancing Equity.” It was crammed full of Woke language and promises of a ‘cross-divisional’ equity committee. It said nothing about the disorder, the violence, the insanity that Kenosha had just endured. Of course, it made no reference to the fact that the damage rioters wrought could have been greatly averted if Tony Evers had only been a leader instead of a radical left politician.
“The fact that Jacob Blake’s shooting occurred in our own backyard – granted, something that we have seen too many times before – makes this especially painful, including for many of us at DHS, and particularly for our Black colleagues and colleagues of color,” wrote Andrea Palm, then-DHS secretary-designee, in the email, dated Sept. 2.
Palm was referring to the black man who was shot on Aug. 23 by a Kenosha police officer. Blake had repeatedly resisted arrest during a domestic incident. Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley, after an extensive investigation, later ruled that the officer acted in self-defense because Blake, who was wanted on a felony warrant, was armed with a knife. Blake repeatedly refused police commands to drop the weapon.
The shooting set off protests that quickly devolved into riots in which scores of businesses, government buildings and homes were damaged, looted, and set on fire. Dozens were burned to the ground. When it was all over, two people were dead, several were injured, including a police officer, and Kenosha businesses had sustained more than $50 million in damage.
None of that information, or even a passing reference to the pain a Kenosha under assault was going through, can be found in Palm’s political message to her staff.
Instead, Palm went full Woke on the kind of “equity and inclusion” initiatives the Evers administration would prioritize, even as DHS faced a historic health crisis.
The Republican-controlled state Senate was poised to reject Palm’s confirmation as DHS secretary and send her packing before the bureaucrat accepted a No. 2 post in Joe Biden’s Department of Health and Human Services. They had had more than enough of the secretary-designee.
You’ll excuse the lack of tears when she departed. Palm is the kind of highly partisan bureaucrat made for the expression, ‘don’t let the door hit you on the way out.’
Her tone deaf email to DHS staff on Sept. 2 punctuates why Palm should have been shoved out long ago. It also makes her Empower Wisconsin’s Tool of the Week.