The COVID 180 to Come? - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
The COVID 180 to Come?
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A politically astute friend of mine presented me with a theory a couple of days ago I’m starting to think might be prescient.

“Late this spring or early this summer at the latest,” he told me, “you’re going to see Biden and his people dump all those restrictions and mandates and COVID will be over. Mark my words.”

His expectation was that Team Biden will be in such political trouble and things will be so tough for the president and his party with midterms looming that they’ll have no choice but to fold.

And since that conversation I’m starting to see reasons why our Branch Covidian political establishment could well flee the field.

Of course, there’s a problem if they do. Surely you, dear reader, have seen those terrifying Rasmussen numbers that marked Democrats in this country as contemptuous drones anxious to put their countrymen in concentration camps for failing to take the jab. COVID Karenism is now a sacrament of Democrat politics by popular demand among the faithful, and it’s risky to turn away from it.

Like trying to break up with that psycho girlfriend who tells you about that time she poisoned her ex, but I Would NEVER Do That to You.

When a large number of your supporters are James Hodgkinsons in spirit, it isn’t just the turnout and small-donor fundraising numbers that are disconcerting.

On the other hand, playing to the Branch Covidian faithful is starting to look worse. And there are items out there signaling the shift, and the whiplash it’ll induce, is coming. There is only so much of this people are going to put up with when Omicron is two days of the flu and a week of a cold:

And the policy consequences are beginning to trickle out. To wit:

The Biden administration’s COVID-19 vaccine-or-test mandate for large employers is officially being scrapped Wednesday, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

The federal workplace safety agency’s mandate has been forcing businesses with at least 100 employees to require vaccinations or weekly testing for their workers.

While OSHA said it had made the decision to remove the mandate, the agency was not withdrawing the vaccine-or-test option as a “proposed rule.”

“OSHA strongly encourages vaccination of workers against the continuing dangers posed by COVID-19 in the workplace,” a statement from the agency said.

That happened Tuesday, after weeks of taking drubbings in court — including the Supreme Court — over unconstitutional mandates. Everybody knew this wasn’t going to last and that it was totally unrealistic to force employers to fire some 20 percent or more of their workforce over a vaccine that doesn’t even work. Even if the courts hadn’t laughed this mandate out of existence it would have fallen apart out of sheer practicality.

And the public hasn’t been impressed. This was Sunday:

Germany, too, you know:

Aaaaaand Brussells:

Plus, what happened in New York:

A New York state Supreme Court judge on Monday struck down Democrat Governor Kathy Hochul’s mask mandate for schools and public locations.

“There can be no question that every person in this State wishes, wants and prays that this era of COVID ends soon and they will surely do their part to see that is accomplished,” Judge Thomas Rademaker said in the ruling. “However, enacting any laws to this end is entrusted solely to the State Legislature. While the intentions of Commissioner Bassett and Governor Hochul appear to be well aimed squarely at doing what they believe is right to protect the citizens of New York State, they must take their case to the State Legislature.”

Hochul’s mask mandate was “violative of the State Administrative Procedure Act as promulgated and enacted and therefore null, void, and unenforceable as a matter of law,” the judge wrote, adding that it was also “violative of the Public Health Law as promulgated and enacted and therefore null, void, and unenforceable as a matter of law.”

Karen Hochul never wears a mask herself, and yet she’s been trying to impose a mask mandate. That’s not tenable. She’s trying to reimpose the mandate a different way, but it isn’t going to work.

Then you’ve got what’s happening in Virginia:

On Monday, Chap Peterson, a moderate Democrat who joined with Republicans to force school re-opening last year, said in an email to the Fairfax County Parents Association that Fairfax’s school board “must define an ‘off ramp’ for mandatory masking. That means plainly stated metrics as well as a final deadline (e.g. Valentine’s Day). They should announce that immediately. The forced masking policy is going to end very soon, i.e. in a few weeks. Otherwise, the General Assembly will again step in. IT IS NOT AN ACCEPTABLE LONG-TERM SOLUTION.”

Republicans control the state house, while the Democrats control the state senate 21-19, meaning that any bill backed by Republicans and Peterson can be passed into law, with the Senate tie being broken by Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears, a Republican.

These days, “moderate Democrat” means “potential flip to the GOP amid the insanity of the Hard Left,” so if push comes to shove in Virginia it’s entirely possible Chap Peterson could bring down the whole Branch Covidian political cult in that state. How high do the prospective costs rise before the status quo changes?

We’re not done. There’s more.

The Harvard-Harris poll is hardly the worst of the job approval surveys out there, but it has Biden at a monstrously low 39 percent. But what’s in that poll is a whole lot worse. Biden is down 35-58 on the economy, and his COVID policy is underwater 44-50. COVID used to be his strength; it’s what he tried to pivot to when he botched the Afghanistan pullout and made the country realize what an abject bum of a president he is.

Harvard-Harris also had respondents believing the pandemic is getting worse by a 39-27 margin. Ouch.

Breitbart’s John Nolte says the Harvard-Harris numbers point toward a potential political realignment that could last a long while. That’s one of the themes of The Revivalist Manifesto, the political book I’m working on (it’ll be out this spring, published by Bombardier Books), so I’m inclined to agree. If these COVID policy poll numbers keep declining, it starts to become a choice whether to stay the course and taking the risk of proving Nolte and me correct, or lose your pride and your COVID policy and “change the narrative,” quick.

Of course, when the FDA on Tuesday killed monoclonal antibody treatments by pulling the Emergency Use Authorization for two of the three main concoctions of them, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis opened up with one of the most breathtaking rebukes in American political history and burned the Biden administration clear to the ground in response. This is a thing of beauty.

No presidential administration can withstand that for very long. It’s bad for morale, and these people clearly already have a morale problem.

Especially if they read the New York Times and see how, even though the Gray Lady is trying to pin this whole thing on Donald Trump, they just can’t help Biden anymore:

[A]n examination of Biden’s first year of fighting the virus — based on interviews with scores of current and former administration officials, public health experts and governors — shows how his effort to confront “one of the most formidable enemies America has ever faced,” as he recently described it, has been marked by setbacks in three key areas:

— The White House bet the pandemic would follow a straight line, and was unprepared for the sharp turns it took. The administration did not anticipate the nature and severity of variants, even after clear warning signals from the rest of the world. And it continued to focus almost single-mindedly on vaccinations even after it became clear that the shots could not always prevent the spread of disease.

— The administration lacked a sustained focus on testing, not moving to sharply increase the supply of at-home COVID tests until the fall, with delta tearing through the country and omicron on its way. The lack of foresight left Americans struggling to find tests that could quickly determine if they were infected.

— The president tiptoed around an organized Republican revolt over masks, mandates, vaccine passports and even the vaccine itself, as he worried that pushing certain containment measures would only worsen an already intractable cultural and political divide in the country. The nation’s precarious economic health, and the political blowback that Biden and members of his party could face if it worsened, made him all the more cautious. So rather than forcing Americans to get shots, he spent months struggling to accomplish it through persuasion.

Don’t forget that all of those COVID Karens? As we’ve said before, they aren’t leaders. They’re followers. Which means a certain percentage of them will move when they’re told to move on the question of the virus. Bari Weiss isn’t what I would call either a COVID Karen or a particular follower; she’s too smart for that. But Weiss described herself in those ways on an appearance on Bill Maher’s show over the weekend, and look how far she’s come:

Democrats love to use the word “sustainability,” mostly when they flog climate change mumbo-jumbo. But what truly isn’t sustainable is the current direction Biden is pursuing on COVID. It’s going to crush his party if all of this continues into the fall, and everybody over there knows it.

So if my politically astute friend is correct, and how can he not be, the only real question remaining is how to execute this U-turn to come.

For the answer to that, I can’t really help — though this time I might actually want to, out of sheer goodwill for my fellow Americans. The only thing I can come up with is this, which might at least help with the spirit of the thing:

Scott McKay
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Scott McKay is publisher of the Hayride, which offers news and commentary on Louisiana and national politics. He’s also a writer of fiction — check out his three Tales of Ardenia novels Animus, Perdition and Retribution at Amazon. Scott's other project is The Speakeasy, a free-speech social and news app with benefits - check it out here.
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