According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), no cases of the Omicron variant have been detected in the United States, and the South African physician who first identified it says the variant’s symptoms are mild. Nonetheless, President Joe Biden has executed another of his trademark flip-flops by imposing a travel ban similar to that which he denounced as the “Africa ban” when Donald Trump was president. Meanwhile, the Democratic governor of New York has already used it as a pretext to declare a “disaster emergency” in the Empire State, and Dr. Anthony Fauci is doing his best to scare the bejabbers out of the electorate:
Right now, right now, what we have is we have the window into the mutations that are in this new variant. And they are troublesome in the fact that there are about 32 or more variants in that very important spike protein of the virus.… And that it might evade immune protection that you would get, for example, from the monoclonal antibody or from the convalescent serum after a person’s been infected and possibly even against some of the vaccine-induced antibodies.
One hardly needs to consult the Delphic Oracle to explain the Democratic overreaction to the new COVID-19 variant. It’s clear that, absent some extraordinary turn of events, their congressional majorities will be swept away by a tidal wave of voter wrath in 2022. More than one reputable poll shows a double-digit GOP advantage on the generic ballot. To survive, the Democrats need to change the election rules and Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-Texas) believes he knows their strategy: “Here comes the MEV – the Midterm Election Variant! They NEED a reason to push unsolicited nationwide mail-in ballots.”
Jackson, who served as Physician to the President under Barack Obama and Donald Trump, isn’t a nut. Nonetheless, he has been portrayed in the media as a crazy conspiracy theorist. Bloomberg asks, “Why would a congressman spread wacky theories linking the variant to the midterm elections?” The obvious answer is that the Democrats exploited the initial COVID-19 outbreak as a pretext for changing election laws before the 2020 general election — particularly as they related to mail-in ballots. In September of 2020, ABC News reported on the confusion caused by the avalanche of election law changes:
With election officials already working around the clock to cope with the mass changes to election law this year — mainly the expansion of absentee voting eligibility so Americans can vote from home safely during the pandemic — it can be frustrating to have to process multiple applications from a single voter.… Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon said that snowballing can become frustrating for election officials, who have to process multiple applications from one voter.
The Democratic push for nationwide mail-in voting is hardly a conspiracy theory. It is a major feature of the Freedom to Vote Act co-sponsored by none other than Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.). This bill won’t pass the Senate while the filibuster is in place, and the Mountain State senator has pledged that he won’t vote to eliminate that venerable parliamentary tool. He has, however, signaled that he is open to filibuster “reform.” What better excuse does he need than a new COVID-19 strain that prevents voters from casting ballots? The leftwing Brennan Center for Justice describes what we’ll get if Manchin caves:
The bill would create a national standard permitting no-excuse vote by mail for every eligible voter. States would be required to permit voters to apply for absentee ballots online and prohibited from restricting the ability of election officials to distribute absentee ballot applications.… Any mail ballot postmarked on Election Day that arrives within seven days would need to be counted, and ballots could not be discarded for minor errors, like failing to use an outer security envelope.
This provision of the Freedom to Vote Act would increase the potential for voter fraud exponentially. It is but one of the many defects that rendered the For the People Act dead on arrival in the Senate. In addition to mandating nationwide mail-in voting, this bill would require automatic voter registration by state motor vehicle departments, guaranteeing that non-citizens and other ineligible people will vote. It would loosen voter ID requirements to the point at which they would be completely meaningless and eliminate any and all state laws requiring voters to have a photo ID in order to cast a ballot.
In the happy event that this bill fails to escape Congress, the fallback position for the Democrats will be to emulate New York Gov. Kathy Hochul. Last Friday, after admitting that the variant hadn’t been detected in New York, she issued Executive Order 11: “I, Kathy Hochul, Governor of the State of New York, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the Laws of the State of New York … declare a State disaster emergency for the entire State of New York.” The ostensible purpose of EO-11 involves postponing elective procedures so hospital beds will be available when the new variant arrives.
It is, however, difficult to escape the suspicion that it’s really about the augmented authority Hochul awards herself by declaring such an emergency. State law authorizes her to issue executive orders that “temporarily suspend specific provisions of any statute, local law, ordinance, or orders, rules or regulations, or parts thereof, of any agency during a state disaster emergency.” Much of the mischief perpetrated by blue state governors in 2020 was committed pursuant to similar emergency declarations. In Michigan, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s emergency orders were struck down by the state Supreme Court.
But that’s just the law, a mere inconvenience for the Democrats. If they can exploit the Omicron variant to retain power, they won’t hesitate. It doesn’t matter if the Freedom to Vote Act passes or if blue state governors abuse their authority again. All they want is a compliant electorate and the reins of power firmly in Democratic hands.
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