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Idaho officials enforce the Biden mandate while crowing about their lawsuit against it

Idaho officials enforce the Biden mandate while crowing about their lawsuit against it

Wayne Hoffman
November 5, 2021

Idaho state officials aren’t suing President Joe Biden to block his vaccine mandate. They’re doing it because taking the president to court is good politics — red meat for the masses. 

A phony legal challenge against Biden is the perfect tool for scoring political points and raising boatloads of campaign cash.

The latest proof of this political doublespeak came Tuesday from the Idaho State Board of Education. The board voted unanimously to both join a lawsuit against the Biden administration while also complying with the mandate’s requirements. Think of it as deciding to go to war while also agreeing to the enemy’s terms of surrender. 

The board's ginned up excuse for ordering vaccines for university employees and some students even as the legal drama plays out is that Boise State University, the University of Idaho, and Idaho State University are considered federal contractors doing federally-funded research. 

Contractors are affected by the Biden vaccine rule, and not complying could potentially result in the loss of money from Washington, D.C. The Biden rule is so awful that anyone with a modicum of clout should want to keep the feds at bay. But even after the Biden mandate was pushed back to Jan. 4, the Idaho State Board of Education stuck to its decision to enforce the D.C. dictator’s mandate. 

Board spokesman Mike Keckler told me in an email that there are no plans to reconsider compliance. He said that’s because the schools have to develop and implement their compliance plans in three weeks when holidays are factored in. I don’t know what calendar they’re using in state government these days, but mine says January is eight weeks away, not three. The board is evidently misunderstanding the point of the chant “Let’s go, Brandon.” 

In other words, there’s plenty of time to sue and stand firm in defense of university employees and students. State officials just don’t really seem to want to. What they really want is mass vaccination while giving the appearance of trying to defend liberty and state sovereignty. 

This is what passes for normal among the so-called leadership of Idaho. Recall that in September, Boise State University announced that a proof of vaccination or negative covid test would be required to attend a Bronco football game. 

Gov. Brad Little, House Speaker Scott Bedke, and Senate Pro Tem Chuck Winder all sat on the sidelines when the school’s COVID-19 mandate was announced. They did nothing and said nothing to block the school’s effort. BSU later reversed course, citing a shortage of covid tests, not because anyone ordered the school to stand down. 

Little also blocked Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin’s executive order which would have stopped any state agency from also implementing similar protocols. So while everyone is able to bluster about Biden’s vaccine mandates, Little, Bedke, and Winder couldn’t muster a single word about a state agency they oversee implementing its own brand of medical tyranny. 

And then there’s the Nov. 15 special legislative session. Bedke wants to reconvene lawmakers to discuss the Biden vaccine mandate, but the only bill that’s expected to be on the docket is one that really doesn’t do anything to prevent the mandate from taking effect; it would only stop state agencies from helping to implement it. Other bills, which might actually stop enforcement of vaccine mandates or protect medical privacy, have been kicked aside so far. The Senate is even threatening not to do anything to help pass any kind of anti-mandate legislation. 

Such is the state of affairs in Idaho. Biden, Pelosi, and Obama help raise money and build political bonafides. But don’t count on state officials to do anything else unless the public sees past the circus act and demands actual, tangible action from Idaho state officials.

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