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Di Leo: Joe Biden’s Needle Over the Line

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By John F. Di Leo - 

On Tuesday, November 2, the Democratic Party suffered a serious electoral walloping.  Republican gains – in states and districts we were long told were solid blue – showed that a public horrified by the tyrannical Biden/Harris/Pelosi/Schumer regime is indeed able to channel that horror into effective action in the voting booth.

Some would expect the Democratic Party leadership to regroup after being dealt such a stern lesson… but not our Democrats.  No, the lesson they took from this election was that they can expect to be turned into a minority party in 2022, so they had better make the most of the fourteen months that remain in their reign of error.

They therefore sped up their timetables on a number of unwise programs, including the vaccine mandate, massive “settlements” to illegal aliens, and a $1.2 trillion “infrastructure plan.”  All of them outrages. All of them the product of a government that has lost its tether to reality.

The vaccine mandate is in some ways the most worthy of analysis.

As soon as it became clear, early in 2020, that a lab project at the Wuhan Institute of Virology had escaped into the population, potentially spreading an engineered virus across the globe, the Trump administration swung into action.  The Trump administration directed the FDA and other relevant agencies to work with a host of R&D groups and pharmaceutical companies to fast-track any potential cures, treatments, and vaccines.  Sure enough, with the usual regulatory obstacles eased, treatments were quickly found, and a group of competing vaccines was produced with lightning speed.

What the Trump Administration did not foresee was how the establishment would put a hand on the scale, discouraging already-available treatments in favor of miracle vaccines yet to come.  Still, a number of vaccines were available and in early distribution for voluntary use by the end of the year, a remarkable accomplishment by any historical measure.

Once the Biden/Harris regime moved in, however, there was a shift.  No more would there be any support of individual choice, where this virus is concerned.

The American Left unified in pushes for mandates, encouraging industries and employers to insist that members, patients, students, employees, and customers accept a vaccine and be willing to prove it with a vaccine card. “Show us your papers, now!” became the refrain at the workplace, the concert hall, the theatre.  Some states declared it hogwash and refused to go along; other states ate it up, and piled on to the shutdown mandates and mask mandates they had instituted in 2020, as the new vaccine mandates of 2021.

As reports of dangerous, even fatal side effects continued to sneak into public awareness, though carefully buried by the government and the media, the regime decided it needed to bring the force of law into the matter.

In September, on top of demanding that all federal employees accept the vaccine, Joe Biden declared that he would be ordering his administration to issue a vaccine mandate on all private companies employing 100 or more, requiring all such employees to take one of the vaccines, regardless of such logical circumstances as vaccine risk levels, religious objections, personal choice or even natural immunity from having already survived the virus… or lose their jobs. 

When it was pointed out that the federal government had no legal authority to mandate such a thing, the regime doubled down, announcing that they would find ways to punish people further, threatening that if you lost your job for this reason, it would be a dishonorable discharge from the military, and they would refuse to let such private sector dismissals qualify for unemployment coverage or other benefits.

Many of us assumed that this was bluster, knowing that such mandates are illegal, but there it was, on Friday, November 5, lighting up our computer terminals: the OSHA mandate, in all its draconian, unconstitutional glory.  They weren’t bluffing; they were going to push this illegal effort as hard as they could.

Despite the fact that long term statistics are indicating that the vaccines may pose more of a risk than the disease, at least to some, maybe even to many… despite the fact that the vaccines currently available don’t appear to be particularly effective against new variants as the virus mutates… and despite the fact that the federal government simply has no legal right – none whatsoever – to implement such a mandate.

As soon as OSHA released its illegal mandate, the lawsuits that had been prepared were able to be filed, with proper requests for immediate attention. Just as immediately, the 5th circuit stayed the regulation, recognizing the host of legal problems with such an effort.

To begin with, Congress never authorized OSHA to do such a thing in the first place, and an agency cannot legally exceed its authority.  Period.

Besides that, Congress doesn’t have the authority to authorize it, even if it wanted to; the Constitution reserves such matters to the states and to the people.  OSHA claimed the need to issue the order under emergency grounds… over 18 months after the emergency first occurred, at a time when most objective students of the matter are agreed that the crisis is long past.  Even if a case could have been made for an emergency order in March, 2020… it could hardly be made in November 2021.

Besides all this, what is OSHA constituted for? The answer is right there in the title: occupational safety.  But a virus freely crossing the world in the atmosphere – equally available to a susceptible nonworker as to a worker – is hardly to be confused with the special risks of a workplace environment. This isn’t about cutting yourself while working a lathe, burning yourself with an arc welder, getting electrocuted or poisoned by inattention to factory safety protocols.  This issue simply has nothing to do with OSHA’s portfolio.  Nothing whatsoever.

The regime just chose OSHA to be the bearer of these illegal tidings because they thought they could make the strongest claim for OSHA issuing the order.  Reading any analysis of the 5th circuit’s response shows that idea to have been a flop. Just imagine how weak their case would be if they had elected to go with whatever agency was their second choice!

This entire experience has been a case study in the differences between the states.  We have seen states adopt mask mandates, and others laugh them off.  We have seen states champion lockdown culture, while others have refused such foolishness outright. The Biden/Harris regime assumed that if the all-wise, all-knowing, all-powerful Federal government in Washington, D.C. said “Jump!,” the whole country would ask how high.

They were wrong.

We now see protests, from peaceful outdoor rallies to chants at sporting events, from the quiet refusal by an individual to unorganized work actions where pilots or other workers just don’t show up to work if their employer is being foolish enough to announce implementation of the mandate.

This private sector activism will spread…  the resistance may have started with airlines and athletics, but Americans are standing up and reminding their employers and their political class what it means to be a free country, at last.

Will the mandate survive the court challenges?  Of course not. It cannot. 

But it’s too easy to let a politician off the hook, saying “he tried an idea, the courts said no, we can’t blame him for trying.”

No.  We can blame him for trying… and we must.

It is inexcusable that this regime has exceeded its legal authority, so often, in so many ways.

Remember, they just took their oaths of office a few months ago. This isn’t some long term employee who read the company handbook thirty years ago and forgot all the rules long ago.  From Biden and Harris to their cabinet level officers, not to mention their senior assistants, deputy secretaries and agency directors… these people are all new enough in their jobs to remember their orientation.   They all began with an oath before the US Senate, to support and defend the Constitution of the United States. 

Just as Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have no right to issue such an order to the agencies under their chain of command, those agencies’ directors have no right to accept such an order.  Their duty is to inform their superiors that they have no right to do it, before they waste a penny of taxpayer funds working on it.

For a century, in fact, ever since the 17th amendment turned the Framers’ design for our government on its head, we have had this same growing problem: politicians and bureaucrats exceeding their authority, thinking it must be fine if nobody stops them. 

This practice must end.  In the very first presidential administration, President George Washington recognized the fact, and repeated it often, that he did not report to a party, a faction, or even the states or the voters; he reported to the Constitution. His oath was to fulfill his obligations under the Constitution, and to make sure he never exceeded that authority. If Congress passed a bill  and handed it to him to sign, George Washington believed that his duty was to veto it, even if he liked it, if it was unconstitutional.  The Founding Generation took it that seriously.

In those early days, it was understood that everyone in government was the enforcer of this rule.  You didn’t wait for your boss, or the other house, or the president, or the courts, to say something was unconstitutional. If you could tell it wasn’t allowed, it was your job, no matter your title, no matter your branch, to stop it, then and there.

There has been precious little good in this global “pandemic”… ever since that lab-engineered formula was unleashed on the world, it has spelled economic and societal ruin across the globe.

But if it serves as the catalyst for the American people to finally remember the legacy of liberty bequeathed by our Founding Fathers, then at least there may be some silver lining in this wicked cloud.

Copyright 2021 John F Di Leo

 John F Di Leo is a Chicagoland-based trade compliance trainer and transportation manager, writer and actor. A one-time county chairman of the Milwaukee County Republican Party, he has been writing regularly for Illinois Review since 2009.

 A collection of John’s articles about vote fraud, The Tales of Little Pavel, and his 2021 political satires about current events, Evening Soup with Basement Joe, are both available in either paperback or eBook on Amazon.

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