Don’t look now, but Dems “souring” on vaccine mandates

Don’t look now, but Dems “souring” on vaccine mandates. By Ed Morrissey.

With Biden’s vaccine mandates getting shot down in federal courts, the political risks of angering vast swaths of the electorate for no good purpose have become apparent to Biden’s allies. For now, Politico reports …:

In recent comments, several high-profile Democrats have stated their opposition to vaccine mandates, specifically applied to private businesses. …

What changed? Gavin Newsom’s win in a recall election had momentarily emboldened Democrats to pursue heavy-handed policies to mandate vaccinations, Politico notes. His campaign advisers told Democrats across the country to embrace vaccine mandates unapologetically. And perhaps that might have worked at the state and local level, where Democrats might have more legal jurisdiction to order such policies. …

The souring of some Democrats on the mandate comes as the courts strike legal blow after legal blow against a series of vaccine mandates President JOE BIDEN unveiled in September, and it’s prompting concerns in the party that they’re ending up with the worst of all worlds: a blunt policy that won’t go into effect but that will saddle them politically.

Indeed. Even if such a policy would have paid off in the end — and that’s no sure thing in a pandemic with moving-target variants — the benefits might have taken months or years to become apparent. Now, all Democrats have to show for it is a string of court losses at both the state and federal level, and the stench of authoritarianism and elitism.

Imposing the mandates threw gasoline on a diminishing partisan and cultural divide, generating even more resistance to the vaccines and losing pro-vaccination allies who had tried to reach out to the skeptical and convince them to vaccinate on their own. Instead of a scientific and public-health conversation, the mandates transformed the debate into that of politics, exclusion, and governmental overreach.

The injudicious abuse of executive authority has a real cost, not just a political cost. Biden set back the vaccination effort to a degree that may never quite be measured.

The tide is turning.