Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas always seems to be a step behind Ron DeSantis in Florida, but there’s still something to be said about getting to the right decision. Abbott did that yesterday by banning so-called “vaccine passports,” including within Texas’ vibrant cruise line industry.
Here’s his announcement.
Texas is open 100%.
Texans should have the freedom to go where they want without any limits, restrictions, or requirements.
Today, I signed a law that prohibits any TX business or gov’t entity from requiring vaccine passports or any vaccine information. pic.twitter.com/JQXOe4cHgY
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) June 7, 2021
In a saner world that wasn’t eaten up with COVID hysteria, this would be a no-brainer move. After all, businesses can still require a negative test result, specifically those that deal in travel such as cruise lines and airlines. Further, with tens of millions of people with natural immunity, and others who can’t take the vaccine for certain health reasons, there’s just no reason to have a broad, discriminatory policy that infringes on an individual’s right to make their own medical choices.
Of course, because every common-sense, state-level move must be opposed in the post-Trump era by a certain sect of supposed Republicans, the grifter twins jumped into action to gnash their teeth.
Will you be banning “No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service” policies too? https://t.co/aKgMYNGdit
— Jonah Goldberg (@JonahDispatch) June 8, 2021
From social media legislation to infringing on economic liberty to protect anti-vaxxers, to speech codes in American education, the GOP is becoming the party that says, “Bake the cake, bigot. Your freedom stops at our feelings.” https://t.co/Efg89brE1x
— David French (@DavidAFrench) June 8, 2021
To these clowns, there is no such thing as a slippery slope. Rather, in their mind, slopes exist to dive down so as to then have something to whine about in a newsletter and collect more cash. Meanwhile, most Republicans have long decided they are done giving up an inch only to inevitably lose a mile.
Regardless, Goldberg’s analogy falls short. A business asking you to put shoes on is being far less intrusive than one that demands private medical information. Further, putting shoes on does not require injecting something into your body that you don’t even need if you have natural immunity. Nuance does exist.
Further, French’s critique is overwrought, dishonest garbage, which is hardly surprising. I haven’t gotten the vaccine because I have natural immunity from previously having COVID. I am not an “anti-vaxxer.” I support the use of the vaccine by those who need it, especially those who are in high-risk categories.
As to his accusation that conservatives support “speech codes” in schools, that is also nonsense. What conservatives oppose is the teaching of critical race theory. There are literally thousands of things that aren’t allowed to be taught in schools because they are dishonest, harmful garbage. Why should CRT get a pass if people want to vote to ban it? Would French be cool with teaching white supremacy in schools? Maybe he would, but his position is hardly consistent. Remember, this is the same guy who will tell you private companies can do whatever they want regardless of the subsidies they receive, but you as a voter can’t have a say in what’s taught in schools you pay for with your taxes. Makes sense, right?
Lastly, I want to note that French’s description of the Masterpiece Cake Shop case is misleading. In fact, he’s adopting a left-wing caricature in his attempt to dunk on Abbott. The baker in question was actually willing to “bake the cake.” Legally, he could not simply deny service to someone because they are gay and he offered to sell the couple a cake. What he refused to do on specifically religious grounds is produce a cake and take part in their wedding ceremony, which would not have been at his place of business.
Are businesses demanding vaccine passports doing so under the protection of religious freedom? They are not, thus the analogy fails on a variety of levels. Vaccine passports make no sense and are an undue burden on individual rights. Cruise lines, for example, already require a negative test. So what, exactly, is the problem? Further, why are antibody tests not accepted by those with natural immunity? Vaccine passports are an arbitrary precedent that has no business taking root in our society. While that may not be the federal government’s job to address, states are certainly within their rights to tell businesses to cut it out.
In the end, this is really about opposing anyone who dares to actually fight as a conservative. Fighting and winning as a conservative doesn’t sell newsletter subscriptions inside the beltway or make left-wing billionaires want to give you money.