Is this the next escalation in the war between Joe Biden and Ron DeSantis?
Joe Biden announced this evening that he is looking into whether he can institute a national mask mandate for all the schools in the nation. Given his rhetoric prior to illegally extending the eviction moratorium, it's probably safe to assume he plans to move forward here as well.
— New York Post (@nypost) August 10, 2021
President Biden said Tuesday that his administration is examining whether he can order universal masking in public schools, overriding Republican governors in states like Florida and Texas.
“I don't believe that I do [have that power], thus far,” Biden told reporters during an event in the East Room of the White House. “We're checking that.”
While Biden doesn't sound confident, this is exactly the type of tone he took prior to extending the eviction moratorium. He claimed he didn't have the power originally. Yet, under pressure from the left, he did so anyway admitting that it was likely illegal. Look for him to do the same thing here, with the likely idea being that by the time any challenge makes its way through the courts, the Delta wave will be waning. In the meantime, children would be forced to suffer for no reason whatsoever. There is no science behind masking children.
Of course, all of this is a response to Ron DeSantis, who has taken the fight directly to Florida school districts that refuse to abide by a state order forbidding mask mandates. Biden has found himself locking horns with an opponent who is always a step ahead. Now, the president figures he can use a blunt instrument to even the score.
But I'm skeptical any such edict would work out very well for the White House. That kind of violation of rights from the federal level will only feed the already coming backlash in 2022. Further, how is he going to enforce it? By withholding funding that directly affects the ability of children to attend school? Yeah, good luck with winning the messaging battle over that.
Here's the thing, I think Biden truly understands he doesn't have the power to do this. Yet, he's completely beholden to the far-left ideologues who actually run his administration. This is a man who disappears for days on end, showing up half out of it and obviously incapable of doing his job. He's not calling the shots here. If his handlers say to make this move, he'll make the move.
As a practical matter, Biden and his Democrat allies would do much better to disengage here. They are not going to beat DeSantis in the political arena. In fact, all they are doing is elevating him and making him a greater threat to their future power. Every rant on MSNBC, every anti-DeSantis trend just makes him stronger.
We'll keep you updated on where this goes.