One of Joe Biden's handlers should really reign him in. He made a series of remarks today that ranged from head-scratching to anger-inducing. At one point, Fox News' Peter Doocy pinned him down on his previous statements on vaccinations and masks, noting that the president is now saying the opposite. That led to a flailing claim that he didn't say what he said while insisting the science on masks has changed when it simply hasn't.
But one comment involving the vaccines may be Biden's most ill-advised yet. After being asked about businesses and local communities mandating vaccines, the president opened the door for federally ordered, mandatory vaccinations, not just for government employees, but for all Americans. He noted that he's not sure if he can do it, though.
— Disclose.tv 🚨 (@disclosetv) July 29, 2021
That certainly sounds like this isn't just an idle thought exercise but that Biden is actively looking to mandate vaccines and would do so if he could. He claims that the DOJ has green-lit “local communities” to mandate vaccinations, a contention that is highly suspect. Just because the DOJ says something does not make it legal, and I do not believe a city can mandate vaccinations anymore than the federal government can. But that will be something tested in the courts if the issue gets pushed.
What's so dumb about this is that even if Biden wants to do this, there is no reason to throw the idea out there right now. Throwing that bomb into an already tenuous political situation will do nothing to encourage vaccinations. Rather, it's going to cause more division and backlash. Besides, there's absolutely no way to enforce a vaccine mandate dictated from the federal level so why even suggest it when it's only going to hurt the cause more?
The answer is likely partisan politics. Democrats seem to care much more about looking down their noses at the unvaccinated than actually convincing them to change course. When Biden called people who are unvaccinated stupid the other day, that wasn't a brilliant bit of persuasion. In fact, it only caused people to recoil. But the opportunity to sneer at those dirty unvaccinated masses was too good to pass up. By bringing up a federal mandate here, Biden gets to play bogeyman for people he hates. In the end, he knows he's just pushing buttons.
In short, I think this is a bluff, and that while the media will squee at the idea, Biden isn't going to try to act on it. If he did, I'm not sure what would happen, and I say that in as reserved a fashion as possible. There's a sizable part of the country that would likely not oblige and things could get ugly. If that's a path Democrats want to go down, they will regret it.