Living in California is cool. Not just because of the obvious stuff—like the weather and the coastline—but also because our state politicians excel at keeping us safe when we're getting a little too rowdy. It's why smoking has been banned in bars here since 1989. It's why we've got the strictest emissions standards in the country. And it's why we were one of the first 10 states to issue a mask mandate in 2020.
The problem with living in a state this sensible, however, is that politicians never have to cajole us into anything. Now, you might be thinking, "Isn't that a good thing?" And sure, it probably was last week. But that was before West Virginia governor Jim Justice introduced the internet to his English bulldog, Babydog. (Babydog!)
Babydog was brought out 34 minutes into a press briefing about West Virginia's response to COVID-19, and was promptly used as a bargaining chip. "If you won't do it for me, if you won't do it for your family, you've got to get vaccinated for Babydog," Justice said, attempting to make his sentient potato look animated. "She wants you to get vaccinated so badly. She's going to be the one to lead us through all these incentives. And without any questions, she'll give you a high-five right now."