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Not My Party: Biden’s Ballsy Mandate

The workplace vaccine rule is popular now but runs the risk of eventually backfiring politically.
September 16, 2021
Tim Miller on Biden's Ballsy Mandate

[Editor’s note: Watch Not My Party every week on Snapchat.]

TUCKER CARLSON: It’s Nicki Minaj’s cousin’s friend’s testicles who are swollen from taking the vax, that’s the claim.


TIM MILLER: This is “Not My Party,” brought to you by The Bulwark. Last week, Joe Biden made an announcement that took big—

GUTSY SMURF: —giblets!

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: An emergency rule to require all employers with one hundred or more employees to ensure their workforces are fully vaccinated.

MILLER: That’s right, y’all. No more Grandpa Joe kindly asking that people get vaxed.

BIDEN: This is not about freedom or personal choice.

MILLER: Now Bad Boy Biden is swingin’ his brass clankers and mandating that if you work at a business with over one hundred employees, you must get vaccinated or have a weekly COVID test.

HOMER SIMPSON: How could you?

MILLER: He hopes this will finally bring along the stragglers.

MITCHELL PRITCHETT: Come on, come on, get in there. Get!

MILLER: Especially in red states where Republican governors have been fighting vaccine incentives.

Of course, many Republicans are calling this a federal government overstep that violates states’ and individuals’ rights. And normally I’d probably lean towards that view too. In fact, that was my position when the Biden administration tried to unilaterally ban landlords from evicting people who weren’t paying their rent.

PEARL MCKAY: Where’s the rent?

WILL FERRELL: You don’t have to raise your voice.

MCKAY: You pay now!

MILLER: But if there was ever a time to push the boundaries of federal authority and let the courts sort it out, it’s this pandemic.

MAXWELL POTTERDAM III: There is a time and a place for everything, gentlemen.

MILLER: The pandemic is still killing 5,000 people a week in the U.S. There have been 80,000 deaths here over the last four months during a time when we have a damn miracle drug that could basically end it.

And even the vaccinated are carrying an unnecessary burden with overcrowded hospitals and our kids, who can’t yet get the vax, being put at risk. Look at what they’re doing in Denmark. Their vax rate is so high that this past weekend they were celebrating their freedom day with an indoor concert and a crowd of 50,000 people. I wanna have nice things like Denmark. But we can’t. Because nards like Florida Governor Ron DeSantis are having press conferences with anti-vaxxers who teabag us with nonsense like this.

DARRIS FRIEND: The vaccine changes your RNA.

NEAL SCHWEIBER: That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard.

MILLER: Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, and other red states have skyrocketed up the deaths-per-capita charts over the last few months. It’s a real and urgent crisis. It’s one thing to want to protect freedom, it’s another to actively give cover to people advancing nutty conspiracies that are literally killing your citizens. It’s dangerous and bad politics. Biden’s mandates have majority support in a country that’s sick and tired of this pandemic.

JACK DONAGHY: It’s what people want.

MILLER: If Republicans keep siding with rando anti-vax weirdos and ignore the pro-vax silent majority, they might just find themselves politically castrated.

But it’s not just Republicans who are spreading vaccine misinfo. Sorry Barbs, but Nicki Minaj can’t stop with the silliness. During an epic tweetstorm on Monday, she said she needs to do more research before she get vaxed.

INIGO MONTOYA: You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

MILLER: Then she tweeted this gem. About how her cousin’s friend in Trinidad—

SIMONE ADAMLEY: My best friend’s sister’s boyfriend’s brother’s girlfriend. . .

MILLER: —got dumped because the vax supposedly swole up his testicles and made him impotent.

HOMER SIMPSON: That is a dealbreaker.

MILLER: Y’all, I don’t know where this dude was actually putting his huevos, but you do not get swollen balls from the vaccine.

RUSSELL CASSE: Are you sure?

MILLER: Listen to the doc.

DR. SIYAB PANHWAR: I’m sorry that Nicki’s cousin’s friend has swollen testicles, but the vaccine has nothing to do with it. It’s probably something else.

MILLER: Look, I think this vaccine mandate was a ballsy but correct move for Biden because it’s time we stopped the suffering and protect all Americans, no matter our party, race, religion, or age. While it’s popular now, and certain to help the country’s public health, such an extreme move runs the risk of eventually backfiring politically.

DARRYL PHILBIN: That takes a lot of courage.

MILLER: The president has had the—


MILLER: —to do it anyway. Now all of us need to have the—


MILLER: —to push the friends, family, and Barbs in our life who are still holding out to get vaxed before they’re on a respirator and it’s too late.

We’ll see you next week for more “Not My Party.”

Tim Miller

Tim Miller is The Bulwark’s writer-at-large and the author of the best-selling book Why We Did It: A Travelogue from the Republican Road to Hell. He was previously political director for Republican Voters Against Trump and communications director for Jeb Bush 2016.