A few days ago, our governor Kay Ivey delivered her annual “State of the State Address” to the assembled Alabama state congress. It was a pretty standard Republican speech – invocation of Ronald Reagan in the first minute, followed by a list of accomplishments and goals that focused on individual freedom and business-friendly positions. If you’re Southern, try to imagine your grandma re-writing a Trump speech, and you pretty much know what to expect.
Let me preface what I’m about to write by saying I like Kay Ivey. First of all, she looks a lot like my Grandma, who was one of the kindest women I’ve ever known. She was also a welcome change in the governor’s mansion when she replaced the deeply corrupt Robert Bentley in 2017 – Alabama has notoriously corrupt state-level politics, an issue which I suspect I will return to regarding our COVID policies soon – and I gladly voted for her when she was up for re-election. Most of her polices that my fellow Alabamans disapproved of seemed like nothing burgers to me. For instance, she put a tax on gasoline to fund some highway projects and diverted some of Biden’s COVID funny money to deal with some serious overcrowding and safety issues in Alabama’s prison system that have been plaguing the state for years. Both of these seemed reasonable to me, if not ideal – as much as I would prefer pursuing an ancap utopia where all of the above are privatized, an above-board tax increase is preferable to me in comparison to the shady hidden taxes and monetary tomfoolery that other politicians use to conceal their profligate spending. In any case it’s clear that huge numbers of people and businesses are looking to move to the free side of the Blue Curtain and Alabama needs to have sufficient infrastructure to make us an attractive destination – if enough of these folks come, the taxes will pay for themselves in short order. As of right now Ivey is probably still my first choice in the Republican primary this year, but it’s not as sure a thing as it would have been this time last year.
The reason I have soured on Ms. Ivey is based on her relative spinelessness when it came to resisting the Biden regime’s vaccine mandates – and then her attempt to take credit for what the Alabama legislature did without her help. If you’re reading this blog, I’m sure it’s no surprise to you that most Southern states in the second half of 2021 were driven to the brink of rebellion over the fact that Biden’s edicts were about to render some 50-60% of us unemployable over a vaccine that everyone with any sense already knew didn’t have the capacity to slow the spread of the SARS-2 virus. Probably the only reason the country has been able to remain as peaceful as it has over the past decade is the fact that the political “squishy middle” mostly had good jobs and a lot to lose if they openly resisted Washington; take our jobs, our homes, and our savings away and that all changes in an instant, and Alabama probably starts to look like Northern Ireland in the 1980s.
The gold standard for state-level resistance was set early by Ron DeSantis in Florida who aggressively used every tool at his disposal to block the Washington regime’s overreach. To Ivey’s credit, Alabama wasn’t completely supine under her leadership; Attorney General Steve Marshall joined many other state AGs in filing suits against the regime to block various mandates. Marshall also promised specifically to help victims of the mandates at Alabama’s university should they lose their positions due to Biden’s federal contractor mandate (not to mention the creeping valetudinarianism of the university high command).
But what Ivey completely failed to do was to support or suggest any state-level legislation to block or stimy the mandates. In October 2021 the Alabama legislature was even called to a special session by the governor. In special session (as I understand it), the legislature is required to consider legislation suggested by the governor – and all she ordered them to do was to deal with redistricting associated with the results of the 2020 US Census (booooring). This of course was during the most fervent uproar about the mandates, when other governors were in the news every day pushing back against Biden and his minions – Ivey could easily have ordered the legislature to consider something about mandates, but she opted to punt, saying that Marshall’s legal challenges were sufficient.
The problem with this, was that the legislature can’t easily consider bills in special session other than those submitted by the Governor. Bills can be brought, but they have to be supported by two-thirds supermajorities in both the senate and the house to pass. Even in deeply red Alabama, that’s a tall order – even taller because the Chamber of Commerce cucks oppose any legislations, no matter how obviously necessary, that restricts absolute freedom of businesses to abuse their employees however they choose.
In Ivey’s State of the State speech, she drops these lines (emphasis mine):
Speaking of D.C. politics – and I use the word “politics” intentionally here – from the moment the White House rolled out their scare tactic plans to try to force the COVID-19 vaccine on Americans, I assured the people of Alabama that we were standing firmly against it. I’ll call this nonsense what it is, and that is an un-American, outrageous breach of our federal law.
While the Legislature has stood with me in opposing these federal mandates, we have also been fortunate to have a strong leader in Attorney General Steve Marshall, who hasn’t shied away from the fight one bit. Attorney General Marshall, thank you for standing tall for Alabamians.
With all due respect Governor, this is stolen valor. The Legislature forced you to oppose the mandates with legislation, and the people of Alabama forced them to do it. You had nothing to do with it.
There was a huge public outcry after Ivey failed to put vaccines on the docket for the special session. Thousands of people called their legislators, and hundreds of us actually went to Montgomery to “encourage” the elected folks not to cuck on us. I was asked by Health Freedom Alabama (an anti-mandate lobby group) to be prepared to give an expert opinion to the senate conference committee while they were considering whether to bring a series of anti-mandate bills up for a vote (I might post my notes for that speech later). In the end I didn’t have to because the committee overwhelmingly supported the bills. Ultimately, we got the two-thirds votes we needed to pass two critical bills to protect Alabama jobs by forcing companies to accept nearly any exemption request, and creating difficult and time-consuming requirements for rejecting exemption requests, all of which would have to be pursued on the employer’s dime.
For anyone in Alabama who needs it, here is the link for the specifics about these bills, and how to apply for assistance from the state if your exemption request has been denied: https://vaxexemption.alabama.gov/
For me, the two weeks I was involved with that process was a real eye-opening and life-changing experience. I had never previously been so directly involved in the political process, but I spent a whole day wandering around in the State House talking to legislators, and watching fat-cat lobbyists tailing me trying to pressure the people I had just talked to into not supporting the bills. In the end, I think our pressure made it clear to every Republican in Montgomery that not supporting those bills was a political death sentence – I suspect state legislators start to feel really antsy when their constituents notice they exist. In Ivey’s defense, she signed the bills into law without hesitation, and I think she understands now that she should have been on the right side of this one. We’ll see how things shape up in the primary campaign, and whether she can survive that mistake.
Of course our laws haven’t really had to be tested yet, as federal courts have blocked most of Biden’s mandates. Time will tell whether that will hold, but I am glad to know that the people who run this state at least appear to care what happens to us. But the real take-home message is that the Biden regime has clearly gotten out over its skies. To the degree that what we did in October was replicated in other states, the Democrats should be shaking in their boots – the squishy middle has awakened, and it is red as fuck, bro.