Biden's Push For 'Mask Mandates'

P. Gardner Goldsmith | November 2, 2020
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These are flips even the legendary comedian Flip Wilson could have appreciated.

Of course, these aren’t funny.

And they’re much more dangerous and educational than typical political flips, as well.

As part of his August push to utilize unwarranted fear over COVID19 to gain political points, Joe Biden blurted out his desire to issue a national mask mandate.

As Breitbart’s Kyle Olsen reported on August 20:

Last week, Biden called for mask-wearing while Americans are ‘outside.’ ‘Let’s institute a mask mandate nationwide,’ he said. ‘Every single American should be wearing a mask when they are outside for the next three months at a minimum.’

Biden and Harris quickly exercised a quick flip, something that came shortly after Biden yodeled his first “Mask Mandate” idea and folks at the Virtual Democrat National Convention applauded on their “sustainable” Zoom split-screens. Perhaps realizing there was a vestige of constitutional awareness among some small portion of Americans, Kamala Harris tried to wipe away the “mandate” language in Early September, saying it was just an idea for a “national standard.

And now, the pair have changed course again, this time displaying not only an uncanny Orwellian ability to disregard previous statements and to label as “attackers” those who might remind the pubic of those months-old facts, but also revealing a dark and dangerous approach to federal strong-arm tactics.

Projecting the apocalyptic overtones of a “Dark Winter” unless the federal government under the next President engages in massive federal crackdowns, spending, and propaganda, Biden once more is eager to impose a national mask mandate.

In a painfully gushing piece for the New York Times, Sheryl Gay Stolberg explains that Biden appears to have realized that he can’t simply “mandate” masks on American civilians by employing the already misused “Executive Order.”

And this is where we can see a couple of the most egregious ways in which the original constitutional system of “confederation” has been destroyed.

Mr. Biden has already said that, as president, he would mandate masks on all federal property, an executive order that could have wide reach. He could use his authority under federal transit law to require masks on public transportation. He could also prod governors who are resisting mask mandates to at least require masks in public buildings in their states.

And how could he “prod” governors?

The same way numerous Executive Tyrants and the Congressional Oligarchy have done for decades: threaten to withhold federal “grants” and other “spending” unless state governments comply. The cash ranges from “education funds” to “highway funds” to “environmental” funds, to “Medicare” cash, and dozens of pork handouts in-between, and not one is constitutionally valid according to the original wording of enumerated powers.

There’s even talk that Biden might go so far as to mandate mask-wearing for riders of, and drivers on, the federal boondoggle of Amtrak and the Interstate Highway system.

And this not only reveals the vast and deep ocean of problems presented when a federal government, backed by virtually limitless, valueless central bank notes, can shower spending on state politicians and special interests and then withhold the addictive juice when the addicts won’t comply, it presents a problem as far as Supreme Court precedent is concerned.

As constitutional researchers know, there is a term in American jurisprudence called “Unconstitutional Conditions,” it goes back to the 1800s, and it generally holds that no government can require a person to cede constitutionally protected rights as a condition of receiving a government “benefit.”

This makes sense, especially if the governments can claim that in virtually every aspect of our lives – from road control, to “food protection,” to “telecommunication,” to sundry other spheres – they use their tax-and-pork sorcery to supposedly “give” us things (things we could and would handle much better if left to voluntarily decide what we wanted and to what degree, and saw them provided in a free market).

A recent federal appeals court ruling also sees a similar set of hurdles when it comes to withholding federal funds going to states should the states not comply with Biden’s mask mandate. As Tom Howell, Jr. recalls for The Washington Times:

For instance, it would be difficult for his (Biden’s) administration to threaten state or localities with a loss of funding for refusing to institute a mask mandate, according to Mr. Blackman (Josh Blackman, a law prof at South Texas College of Law). A federal appeals court this year ruled against Mr. Trump’s push to withhold federal funds from “sanctuary cities” that don’t cooperate with federal immigration enforcement.

So, the climb might be steep for Biden. But the lessons are offered to us, regardless of what the future holds.

And this is why it is so important to read beyond the headlines that the pop media provide. By looking into the actual wording of the Constitution, seeing how the Bill of Rights is supposed to protect us to be able to freely assemble and not be arbitrarily punished, and by seeing that there is no power granted to the feds to hand out cash for all these pork programs, we can see how far afield the American system has wandered.

And maybe, just maybe, we can tell others, and help get it back on something closer to the right path.