Who would have interaction in such a sweeping assertion of the federal government’s authority to inform non-public business the way to behave? None apart from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a person who fashions himself not solely as a conservative however a possible 2024 candidate.
“The COVID-19 vaccine is secure, efficient, and our greatest protection in opposition to the virus, however ought to stay voluntary and by no means compelled,” Abbott mentioned in a press release explaining his govt order.
However wait, you say. Aren’t Republicans like Abbott within the celebration that holds, as considered one of their core beliefs, that authorities shouldn’t intrude in people’ lives? That the federal government that governs least governs finest?
And following that logic, Abbott telling non-public corporations what to do is, actually, the precise reverse of that governing philosophy, proper? Proper!
How did we get thus far? And the way can Abbott justify what could be seen as a large authorities overreach if a Democratic governor had executed it?
The reply lies within the politics of our second, the place the enemy of your enemy have to be your pal.
See, President Joe Biden issued a vaccine mandate for federal staff and firms with 100 workers or extra final month in an try and up the variety of individuals vaccinated in an effort to mitigate the Delta variant of the coronavirus ravaging by the nation’s unvaccinated inhabitants.
Abbott is then making an attempt to forged himself as a warrior for particular person rights by, get this, telling privately held enterprise what to do. It is a remarkably un-conservative factor to do — justified solely by the distaste that the Republican base feels for Biden and his administration.
From a purely conservative standpoint, it makes zero sense. Utilizing the federal government to manage habits of people as a method to counteract utilizing the federal government as a method to regulate the habits of people is an actual doozy. This is not math. Multiplying two adverse numbers does not get you a optimistic quantity.
However that is what formidable Republican governors have been decreased to as they chase the ever-elusive celebration base, which stays fiercely loyal to the whims and prevarications of former President Donald Trump.
Abbott’s order is not even within the ballpark of recent conservatism. Slightly, it is virtue-signaling to a Republican base that can lap up no matter seems to be anti-Biden — whether or not or not it makes any sense as a chunk of Republican or conservative dogma.
It is, fairly actually, the other of the type of conservatism on which the likes of Abbott have constructed their careers.