While scolding Americans yet again on COVID-19, President Joe Biden continues to turn a blind eye to hypocritical supporters who flout best practices. By doing so, he gives the recalcitrant fresh reason to Just Say No, prolonging the pandemic.
Author Stephen R. Covey said, “If we keep doing what we’re doing, we’re going to keep getting what we’re getting,” and Mr. Biden is stuck on rinse-repeat.
Compare Mr. Biden‘s amnesty for friendlies to Bill Clinton, who tore into activist Sister Souljah for saying Black people should take a week off from killing each other and instead kill whites. It was classic Slick Willy triangulation, showing Bubby would buck his base for good policy.
It’s like that old Vulcan proverb: “Only Nixon could go to China.”
But when Mr. Biden‘s haughty weather ambassador, John Kerry, was caught maskless in First Class, did Biden make an example of him? No. So Americans said, “If Lurch doesn’t have to wear a mask on a tarmac in Brookline, why should I wear one at The Cottage Bar in Teaneck?” So much for Science™.
Now New York City is demanding vaccine passports to walk into their bars, but you don’t need a passport at all to cross our southern border. Already this year, a million untested, unvaccinated foreign nationals have raced across like contestants on Supermarket Sweep. According to Axios, one-third rebuked vaccines, yet they were seeded into our communities positive or not. Who can criticize a U.S. citizen for exerting that same opt-out to control her body?
Lori Lightfoot. Muriel Bowser. Gavin Newsom. There’s a long list of friendly Democrats caught flouting the rules without comment or consequences. When Speaker Nancy Pelosi went maskless for a photo-op, she didn’t surrender to the Capitol Police or pay a $500 fine. Just let a backbencher from Iowa try that.
Barack Obama presented a perfect Souljah opportunity with plans for a Martha’s Vineyard bash worthy of Ozymandias. President 46 could have chided No. 44 and taken credit for the cancellation. Instead, Mr. Obama pulled the plug after public outcry, gaining Mr. Biden nothing. In a town obsessed with “optics,” that superspreader event was a “bigly” opportunity missed.
So Americans continue their tradition of balking at government orders, served up ample reason not to do what they don’t want to do anyway. Shrugging at vaccinations and masks continues to be an act of resistance, the sort of dissent we were told defined patriotism during the George W. Bush years.
You can’t reverse that switch now and say it’s patriotic to do as Washington says, not as it does. Politicians may whipsaw positions like that. Average citizens, not so much.
Mr. Biden‘s own veep, Kamala Harris, expressed this defiant impulse in her debate with Mike Pence, saying she wouldn’t trust a vaccine from La Menace Orange. Now the flip-flop’s on the other foot, and the only reaction has been to falsely blame Trump supporters for “denying Science™”
That may be good rhetoric, but not good governing. It also ignores the vast numbers of minorities, public school teachers, government employees, and other key Democratic constituents who’ve passed on the poke. Doubt knows no color. It’s just part of the human operating system.
African Americans have a particular wariness born out of the FDR-era Tuskegee experiment, leaving men with syphilis untreated. To overcome this concern, descendants of victims have banded together to encourage their community to vaccinate, a simple act of love more effective than any “do as I say not as I do,” Mr. Biden can muster.
From a career politician, you’d expect more, well, politicking. But in the U.S. Senate, Mr. Biden had the safest of safe seats since 1972, when he savaged incumbent J. Caleb Boggs as old and feeble. (Boggs was 15 years younger than Biden is now.) Uncle Joe served several terms there before riding Mr. Obama’s coattails straight into the Big Dog Chair, never once having to appeal beyond his base. So faced with reluctance, he seems increasingly befuddled, which is saying something for a guy whose brand has been Delaware’s answer to Barney Fife.
Mr. Biden often proclaims things aren’t political and that he cares about all the people regardless of party. But he practices no such high-mindedness to stop the spread, seeming clueless to the value of a Sister Souljah moment on COVID-19.
With the media so deep in the president’s pocket they’re finding the keys to his Edsel, each day is a chance to change direction. But if he keeps doing what he‘s doing, he‘ll keep getting what he‘s getting: Millions of Americans are just saying no to arbitrary rules and paying the price with their lives.
• Dean Karayanis is content producer for the Clay Travis & Buck Sexton Show, former Rush Limbaugh staffer, and host of History Author Show on iHeartRadio.